Monday, July 30, 2012

Mainstream media ignores Saturday’s protests on anti-Fracking in nation’s capitol

 

Amazing how hard it is to find coverage about this anti-Fracking protest in Washington, DC. Couldn’t be that mainstream media is pro-Fracking could it? One has to wonder in these days of a medium, the news medium, which is allegedly starving for money, why they would ignore a major rally in our nation’s capital on a major issue, like Fracking, with major speakers speaking:

Rally speakers included, Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org; Josh Fox, producer of Gasland; Calvin Tillman, former mayor of Dish, Texas; Allison Chin, board president of the Sierra Club, and community members from swing states affected by fracking. (June 28, 2012) EcoWatch

How much fossil-fuel industry money is flowing into mainstream media? Fracking could change New York State’s environment permanently and not is a good way, but the media is mostly mum. We are about to make the biggest decision in New York State’s environmental history in hundreds of years and the media cannot bother to give the public full coverage on this issue.

So, we have to go to our other options on the Internet to get the news we need to know. One option is to go here to see all the photos that participants sent out to the world about their protest, probably figuring that mainstream media would be too busy that day to cover a protest about an important matter in our nation’s capitol: protest Fracking Saturday, July 28 Washington dc - Google Search

Here are the stories I was able to find on Saturday’s rally in Washington, DC.

  • Fracking Protest Draws Thousands To DC On Saturday July 28th nearly 5,000 people gathered to protest fracking regulations and advocate for safer, cleaner, better methods of protecting our citizenry and environment from natural gas procurement. Photographer, Paul Perrin, documented the event which included celebrities: Mark Ruffalo, Pete Seeger, Ed Begley Jr, Margot Kidder, Dar Williams, Lois Gibbs, Gus Speth, Ed Asner, and Holly Near as well as activists: Bill McKibben, Josh Fox, Cornell West, Vandana Shiva, and James Hansen. (July 29, 2012) Addicting Info
  • 5,000 People Unite in DC to Protest Fracking More than 5,000 people from all over the nation, and various parts of the world including Australia, united today on the West lawn of the U.S. Capitol demanding Congress take immediate action to stop fracking. After the rally that began at 2 p.m., rally participants marched for more than one hour, stopping at the headquarters of the America’s Natural Gas Alliance and American Petroleum Institute. People impacted by fracking in their communities joined forces with 136 local and national organizations to call on Congress to Stop the Frack Attack and protect Americans from the dangerous impacts of fracking.  (July 28, 2012) EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement

Towards a more realistic baseline for sound actions on Fracking

 

ourwaterAs the deadline for lifting the New York State moratorium on Fracking (horizontal Hydraulic fracturing) looms, the news, rallies, and articles are getting more strident. There’s a hullabaloo over a recent study on Fracking that has critics questioning the motives of the study Local watchdog group blasts Texas university fracking study - The Buffalo News and there’s criticism on the other side that the anti-fracking groups are cherry-picking the science to push their agenda Some experts fault fracking critics’ science. Bringing everything to a fevered pitch is the Stop the Frack Attack rally this weekend at the capital: Fracking protesters to storm national Capitol Saturday - MPNnow

Hard to imagine that anyone in New York State doesn’t know about the Fracking controversy by now, but I suppose there are. And, I’ll bet there are many who still don’t care. As long as the quiet majority in our state think they might get a job, free our energy security from other nations, get a windfall by signing a lease on their property for drilling rights, or not get sidetracked from the fun stuff they’re doing by this issue, they will remain mum. As our species tends to do, far too many will sit back and think this environmental issue has nothing to do with them.

One person at least who isn’t remaining quiet is NYS Senator Avella-- , Ranking Minority Member, Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation. Hold on to your hat and listen to Senator Avella speak about Fracking on this 11 minute video: Sen. Avella on Fracking Forum.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, it does threaten to be the biggest environmental story in our state since Love Canal. If Fracking comes there will be change, which brings up many questions. Are local moratoriums, like the one just passed in Rochester, NY, going to hold or will Home Rule be gutted by the gas industry, making us second class citizens in our own state? (In Pennsylvania, their weaker home rule law was upheld: Court Rejects a Ban on Local Fracking Limits - NYTimes.com) Is the New York State Department of Conservation going to have enough employees to monitor the new Fracking wells: Regulation: How many wells per inspector? In some states, answer is elusive -- 07/25/2012 -- www.eenews.net.

But the question that all of us, no matter where we stand on this issue, should be asking is whether we have a realistic baseline for sound actions on Fracking at all? In other words, do we know the state of our water and our public health well enough so that when there is a drilling accident, we’ll be able to identify damage due to gas drilling? One group is not waiting for the state to chase their tails over this issue and is on it:

Water monitors prepare for fracking in New York | Innovation Trail On a humid Wednesday in July, Kathy Cronin crouched in Pierce Creek in the City of Binghamton. The creek empties into the Susquehanna River just upstream from the city's water treatment plant. Houses line the creek banks and the sounds of the freeway drown out the urban waterway's churn. Cronin, who lives in Binghamton, dipped a small, electronic meter into the water. Another local resident, Scott Lauffer, stands just downstream, waiting to hear Cronin read off results. (July 24, 2012) Innovation Trail

Over the last 10 millennia, as humans developed agriculture, burned forests, killed top predators, or decimated and brought to extinction many other species, it never occurred to our brainy species to assess whether or not our actions would irrevocably change our environment—maybe even cause it to collapse. Now, in the twenty-first century, we are supposedly smart enough to do that before we chase headlong into some fantastic venture. Our scientific discoveries for the last hundred years have given us a great wealth of knowledge about our environment and revealed many of the repercussions of our actions on our environment. For example, our agricultural practices contributed to the greatest man-made environmental disaster to date on this continent, the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s.

What’s the point of finding all that out, educating all those environmental experts, if we aren’t going to use that knowledge before we do something crazy—instead of after? There is no getting around this fact: we can and do change our environment, our climate, our water quality, and much, much more—and usually not in a good way.

Here’s a great quote by Steve Nicholls, author of Paradise Found – Nature in America at the Time of Discovery:

“Part of the reason for writing this book is to illustrate the sheer abundance of nature just a few centuries ago, to give a more realistic baseline against which to judge our current actions.” (Page 42)

It’s worth pausing and thinking about this statement before we rush off and radically change our New York State environment with Fracking. Do we know the state of our environment well enough before we start Fracking, or are we so blinded by our immediate wants that we’ll continue to act the way we have in the past?

Too often we evaluate the impact of our solutions for on the shifting baseline of our own experiences, our religious views, whatever constitutes conventional wisdom at any given time, our prejudices, on the lack of research, and our notion of economics—which by the way has always treated our environment as an externality, a magical resources generator and our collective toilet. We’ve been irresponsible stewards of our environment for a long time and much of it is due to an economic theory that is oblivious to Nature. Why not start thinking about our environment (our very life support system) as an intelligent species would do—look before you leap.

An analogy: Before you start downloading and installing a beta program that tells you it has not been completely tested and is probably full of bugs, wouldn’t you create a restore point on your computer’s hard drive? A restore point is a spot along a continuum of your operating system’s history, that point just before you start downloading that iffy program, so when everything goes haywire, you can just bring your operating system back to the place before you tried installing that program.

In other words, because Fracking includes an industry reluctant to divulge what chemicals it’s using, and a state reluctant to make them divulge that information, shouldn’t we find out for ourselves what the place looked like before they meddled in it?

Shouldn’t New York State do a comprehensive monitoring of our environment and find out how it is behaving before we launch thousands of Fracking sites? Why is the state sitting on its butt while concerned citizens have to go out and do their job? Why isn’t the state monitoring our water now so we’ll know what we are risking? Because once we allow Fracking, we’ll be another state than the one we are now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

RENewsletter | July 29, 2012

 

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[07/22/2012 – 07/29/2012]

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

Opening Salvo: “Towards a more realistic baseline for sound actions on Fracking”

As the deadline for lifting the New York State moratorium on Fracking (horizontal Hydraulic fracturing) looms, the news, rallies, and articles are getting more strident. There’s a hullabaloo over a recent study on Fracking that has critics questioning the motives of the study Local watchdog group blasts Texas university fracking study - The Buffalo News and there’s criticism on the other side that the anti-fracking groups are cherry-picking the science to push their agenda Some experts fault fracking critics’ science. Bringing everything to a fevered pitch is the Stop the Frack Attack rally this weekend at the capital: Fracking protesters to storm national Capitol Saturday - MPNnow

Hard to imagine that anyone in New York State doesn’t know about the Fracking controversy by now, but I suppose there are. And, I’ll bet there are many who still don’t care. As long as the quiet majority in our state think they might get a job, free our energy security from other nations, get a windfall by signing a lease on their property for drilling rights, or not get sidetracked from the fun stuff they’re doing by this issue, they will remain mum. As our species tends to do, far too many will sit back and think this environmental issue has nothing to do with them.

One person at least who isn’t remaining quiet is NYS Senator Avella-- , Ranking Minority Member, Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation. Hold on to your hat and listen to Senator Avella speak about Fracking on this 11 minute video: Sen. Avella on Fracking Forum.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, it does threaten to be the biggest environmental story in our state since Love Canal. If Fracking comes there will be change, which brings up many questions. Are local moratoriums, like the one just passed in Rochester, NY, going to hold or will Home Rule be gutted by the gas industry, making us second class citizens in our own state? (In Pennsylvania, their weaker home rule law was upheld: Court Rejects a Ban on Local Fracking Limits - NYTimes.com) Is the New York State Department of Conservation going to have enough employees to monitor the new Fracking wells: Regulation: How many wells per inspector? In some states, answer is elusive -- 07/25/2012 -- www.eenews.net.

But the question that all of us, no matter where we stand on this issue, should be asking is whether we have a realistic baseline for sound actions on Fracking at all? In other words, do we know the state of our water and our public health well enough so that when there is a drilling accident, we’ll be able to identify damage due to gas drilling? One group is not waiting for the state to chase their tails over this issue and is on it:

Water monitors prepare for fracking in New York | Innovation Trail On a humid Wednesday in July, Kathy Cronin crouched in Pierce Creek in the City of Binghamton. The creek empties into the Susquehanna River just upstream from the city's water treatment plant. Houses line the creek banks and the sounds of the freeway drown out the urban waterway's churn. Cronin, who lives in Binghamton, dipped a small, electronic meter into the water. Another local resident, Scott Lauffer, stands just downstream, waiting to hear Cronin read off results. (July 24, 2012) Innovation Trail

Over the last 10 millennia, as humans developed agriculture, burned forests, killed top predators, or decimated and brought to extinction many other species, it never occurred to our brainy species to assess whether or not our actions would irrevocably change our environment—maybe even cause it to collapse. Now, in the twenty-first century, we are supposedly smart enough to do that before we chase headlong into some fantastic venture. Our scientific discoveries for the last hundred years have given us a great wealth of knowledge about our environment and revealed many of the repercussions of our actions on our environment. For example, our agricultural practices contributed to the greatest man-made environmental disaster to date on this continent, the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s.

What’s the point of finding all that out, educating all those environmental experts, if we aren’t going to use that knowledge before we do something crazy—instead of after? There is no getting around this fact: we can and do change our environment, our climate, our water quality, and much, much more—and usually not in a good way.

Here’s a great quote by Steve Nicholls, author of Paradise Found – Nature in America at the Time of Discovery:

“Part of the reason for writing this book is to illustrate the sheer abundance of nature just a few centuries ago, to give a more realistic baseline against which to judge our current actions.” (Page 42)

It’s worth pausing and thinking about this statement before we rush off and radically change our New York State environment with Fracking. Do we know the state of our environment well enough before we start Fracking, or are we so blinded by our immediate wants that we’ll continue to act the way we have in the past?

Too often we evaluate the impact of our solutions for on the shifting baseline of our own experiences, our religious views, whatever constitutes conventional wisdom at any given time, our prejudices, on the lack of research, and our notion of economics—which by the way has always treated our environment as an externality, a magical resources generator and our collective toilet. We’ve been irresponsible stewards of our environment for a long time and much of it is due to an economic theory that is oblivious to Nature. Why not start thinking about our environment (our very life support system) as an intelligent species would do—look before you leap.

An analogy: Before you start downloading and installing a beta program that tells you it has not been completely tested and is probably full of bugs, wouldn’t you create a restore point on your computer’s hard drive? A restore point is a spot along a continuum of your operating system’s history, that point just before you start downloading that iffy program, so when everything goes haywire, you can just bring your operating system back to the place before you tried installing that program.

In other words, because Fracking includes an industry reluctant to divulge what chemicals it’s using, and a state reluctant to make them divulge that information, shouldn’t we find out for ourselves what the place looked like before they meddled in it?

Shouldn’t New York State do a comprehensive monitoring of our environment and find out how it is behaving before we launch thousands of Fracking sites? Why is the state sitting on its butt while concerned citizens have to go out and do their job? Why isn’t the state monitoring our water now so we’ll know what we are risking? Because once we allow Fracking, we’ll be another state than the one we are now.

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com (Click on my email for feedback)

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* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr On Twitter and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up. We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.

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

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

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

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UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

  • 7/28/2012 - Seeing Climate Change is believing: Flash Drought in U.S. Explained in 14 Seconds | Climate Central This animation shows the rapid progression of the U.S. drought during the late spring into mid-summer, based on U.S. Drought Monitor maps. (July 24, 2012) Climate Change | Climate Central
  • 7/28/2012 - I often get requests to solve issue with wildlife encounters. Sure RochesterEnvironment.com provides a lot of information, but how to handle a bear or a coyote should be left to the experts: Nuisance Species - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "It is a different matter when a skunk is in the woods compared to when a skunk is under the porch or digging up the yard. Encounters with wildlife have become more numerous as a result of urban growth into an animal's natural habitat. Information on this page is intended to help landowners learn some best practices for preventing negative encounters with wildlife. Need a Professional to Help? Contact a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator "
  • 7/28/2012 - Critical, getting baseline information about our environment before our planet warms more. Besides this (see story below) startling discovery that Climate Change may be destroying the ozone layer over the US, is this, “there are no historical data about how much water vapor has been moved upward by such storms over time.” As scientist look more deeply into how Climate Change is going to change our environment they are doing to come across items like how warming affects our planet’s ozone layer and when they do there won’t be the information they need to nail this down. Increasingly, I believe, because we don’t have an idea of what a healthy environment actually looks like, a baseline from which to measure change against, we will be hampered severely in our attempts to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. more...
  • 7/27/2012 - For those who do ‘get’ #climatechange and feel despair, maybe it’s too early for that. Some efforts work: What the Beijing Olympics could mean for climate change | Innovation Trail As the 2012 Summer Olympics get underway this weekend, the world's attention will be focused on London. But a team of scientists has recently been keeping a very close eye on the city that hosted the games four years ago: Beijing. They've discovered that China's efforts to cut back on traffic and clean up its air during the 2008 Olympics could have big implications for curbing climate change. (July 26, 2012) Innovation Trail
  • 7/27/2012 - Public official linking #climatechange with present drought in an election year? Oh no, I don’t think so, it’s too toxic. Activists Call on Agriculture Secretary to Discuss Links between Drought and Climate Change FoodDemocracyNow! and Forecast the Facts In light of the crushing drought currently sweeping the nation, more than 10,000 Americans are calling on Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to directly address the massive implications of manmade climate change for our entire farming sector. Scientists are clear that climate change is already leading to more extreme weather, such as longer and more severe droughts. But in multiple press appearances last week, Secretary Vilsack dodged questions about what drought-stricken farmers need to know about climate change, saying that he’s “not a scientist,” and the department is focused on the “near term.” (July 26, 2012) EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement
  • 7/26/2012 - Interesting speculation about whether a local politician is a climate change denier, but the critical issue this election year is whether Romney or Obama are. Might be good for our mainstream media to get on that. U.S. Rep. Buerkle — sweltering, yes, but still doubting? | 520 – An Environmental Blog | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle As my colleague Jessica Alaimo noted in a blog Tuesday, the League of Conservation Voters has denounced U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-Onondaga, for being a global-warming denier. The nationwide group placed the first-term congresswoman among its “Flat Earth Five” because of statements she made two years ago casting doubt on whether the climate is, indeed, changing. “Rep. Buerkle’s extreme views put her at odds with scientists, the Pentagon and her constituents,” the group’s president said in a statement. (July 25, 2012) [more on Climate Change in our area] 520 – An Environmental Blog | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 7/26/2012) - There are those who think #cliimatechange is a future issue only dealing with polar bears and Arctic ice melt, but this one will hit you in the stomach: Food Prices to Rise in Wake of Severe Drought - NYTimes.com WASHINGTON — Scorching heat and the worst drought in nearly a half-century are threatening to send food prices up, spooking consumers and leading to worries about global food costs. On Wednesday, the government said it expected the record-breaking weather to drive up the price for groceries next year, including milk, beef, chicken and pork. The drought is now affecting 88 percent of the corn crop, a staple of processed foods and animal feed as well as the nation’s leading farm export. (Jult 25, 2012) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 7/26/2012 - How does New York State stack up on state’s ability to monitor Fracking? Does NYS have enough inspectors for wells that are going to be drilled? Regulation: How many wells per inspector? In some states, answer is elusive -- 07/25/2012 -- www.eenews.net Figuring out the number of wells each oil and gas inspector must handle in North Dakota is pretty simple. In Pennsylvania, easy. In Oklahoma? Not so much. A recent overview of state shale gas regulations showcases major gaps in data available to compare, state by state, the force of oil and gas agencies. Oklahoma, for one, doesn't know how many producing wells it has. (July 25, 2012) E&E Publishing -- The Premier Information Source for Professionals Who Track Environmental and Energy Policy.
  • 7/26/2012 - Maybe there are more benefits to bicycling than reducing greenhouse gas emission and increasing your health. Check this out:Bicycle Benefits ®"Bicycle Benefits is a progressive bicycling program designed to reward individuals and businesses for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create a more sustainable community. The program's continual growth decreases parking demand, increases helmet use, and improves cyclists' safety and health by putting more people on bikes. This site has all of our Bicycle Benefit Business Members that can be found by clicking the links to the left (including their discounts/rewards, addresses, and maps to get there). Get your helmet sticker at any of the participating Bicycle Benefits Business Member locations or become a participating Business Member today and start experiencing Bicycle Benefits! "
  • 7/26/2012 - Thinking of a green career? Could be good for you and the planet: Getting a Green Education : Sustainability Majors | College Stats.org According to USA Today, over 100 majors, minors, and focuses in sustainability-centric programs were added to the collegiate roster in 2009. And with increasing interest in climate control, eliminating paper trails, and reducing our carbon footprints, the number has only grown since then. Going green is a hot topic, with many major companies making efforts to incorporate eco-friendly rituals into their businesses. Starbucks has embraced recycled coffee sleeves, McDonalds has opened “green” restaurant prototypes that use 25% less energy than other branches in the chain fast food joint, and dozens of automotive companies are designing hybrid cars that utilize significantly less gasoline, thereby reducing traffic pollution. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that college students are looking to garner wisdom in the field. (July 12, 2012) College Stats.org: University & College Data, Statistics, Facts, Maps
  • 7/26/2012 - Is this the epicenter of Climate Change: Dramatic Greenland Ice Melt - YouTube Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours Scientists have captured dramatic footage of massive lakes in the Arctic melting away in a matter of hours (July 19, 2012) Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours - Telegraph
  • 7/26/2012 - Connecting the present drought and heatwaves with Climate Change: What's the Science Behind the US Drought? : While climate change can be cited for making events like recent US heatwaves and the ongoing extreme drought more likely, what's the science behind the current drought conditions? (July 25, 2012)
  • 7/25/2012 - Baseline data on our Water Quality before you begin Fracking, not after. One has to wonder why private groups and not the NYS DEC is conducting baseline data before Fracking passes in NYS? Before a state like New York does something so potentially threatening to our fresh water (and our public health for that matter) by lifting the moratorium on Fracking, shouldn’t we know the state of our water before trouble arises? Water monitors prepare for fracking in New York | Innovation Trail On a humid Wednesday in July, Kathy Cronin crouched in Pierce Creek in the City of Binghamton. The creek empties into the Susquehanna River just upstream from the city's water treatment plant. Houses line the creek banks and the sounds of the freeway drown out the urban waterway's churn. Cronin, who lives in Binghamton, dipped a small, electronic meter into the water. Another local resident, Scott Lauffer, stands just downstream, waiting to hear Cronin read off results. (July 24, 2012) Innovation Trail
  • 7/25/2012 - Water privatization: The Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club did a presentation on water privatization at their 14th Annual Environmental Forum Our Water’s Fragile Future: Hydrofracking, Climate Change, & Privatization –You can see the whole presentation on the video at site Rochester NY Regional Group Sierra Club | Sierra Club—because this issue is not going away: Who’s water? Our water!: Maps spark concern over corporate water grab | Reuters Maps spark concern over corporate water grab | Reuters LONDON, July 24 (AlertNet) - As competition for clean water grows, some of the world's biggest companies have joined forces to create unprecedented maps of the precious resource that flows beneath our feet. The Aqueduct Alliance, which allows users to create maps by combining hydrological data with geographically specific details, gives companies and investors unprecedented detail of water availability in some of the world's largest river basins. (July 25, 2012) Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com [more on Water Quality in our area]
  • 7/25/2012 - Yesterday, I biked over to the Erie Lackawanna Pedestrian Bridge that was just officially opened for the public and take some photos for ya’ll. This bridge is really an amazing addition to active transportation in the Rochester, NY area, especially for UR and RIT college folks who can now easily use bike trails to go directly to the downtown from their campuses. But, UR did a better job at taking photos of the refurbished bridge than I did, so I’m linking to them. University, City Celebrate Opening of "Rails to Trails" Pedestrian Bridge :: Photo Essay :: University of Rochester "President Joel Seligman joined Mayor Thomas S. Richards, City Councilmember Elaine Spaull, and members of the Rochester community to celebrate the official opening of the Erie Lackawanna Pedestrian Bridge. The newly renovated railroad bridge, which is now open to walkers, joggers, hikers, bicyclists, and more, spans the Genesee River approximately 1.5 miles south of downtown Rochester, linking the east and west banks of the trail and establishes a new access point between the University's River Campus and Southwest Rochester neighborhoods. "University of Rochester
  • 7/25/2012 - ACTION: Learn about Plan Bv7 – a new approach to regulation of water levels and flows on the Great Lakes from Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River | The Nature Conservancy and Restore Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River - Citizens Campaign for the Environment and sign the petition online. Save the River - Water Levels Petition "Support a Healthy Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River! The International Joint Commission (IJC) recently released water levels management plan – called Plan BV7 – for the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. The new plan will make significant progress in protecting the health of the River and Lake, while providing greater economic opportunities for industry and continuing to provide protection for shoreline property owners from erosion and flooding. "--from Save the River - Riverkeeper of the Upper St. Lawrence River
  • 7/24/2012 - New book on Climate Change gets published. Looks interesting: Times Review: ‘Global Weirdness’ is a Winner | Climate Central As Climate Central’s first book project, “Global Weirdness,” hit the bookstores on Tuesday, it might not meet the approval of Nostradamus, but it did get an endorsement from an even bigger force in the universe (of books, anyway): a New York Times book review. (July 24, 2012) Climate Change | Climate Central
  • 7/24/2012 - Blame for #climatechange has what to do with Climate Change? What interested me most about this article Who’s ‘Most to Blame’ for Global Warming? - ABC News was not the result that the United States was the main culprit for most of the anthropomorphic greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but where this story came from - ABC news. Most of us following this crisis already knew that. As we try to negotiate Climate Change from the top down, that is from governments agreeing on policies that will have enough widespread authority and synergy with other governments so they are all on the same page instead of working against each other, it will be important to assess what countries have put the most GHGs up into our atmosphere and who needs to do the most to get it out of our atmosphere. I agree with that. more...
  • 7/24/2012 - Active transportation, walking and bicycling, have moved a giant step forward for Rochester, NY with the opening of this new “Rails to Trails” bridge over the Genesee River. New pedestrian bridge opened | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com A ribbon cutting Monday morning officially opened a new “Rails to Trails” bridge over the Genesee River, connecting the University of Rochester and the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood. The $1.8 million Erie Lackawanna bridge sits atop a bridge deck originally constructed in the 1850s and enlarged nearly 100 years ago. During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the city also was presented the 2012 Champion Award from the New York state Bicycle Coalition. (July 24, 2012) Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York | democratandchronicle.com [more on Transportation in our area]
  • 7/23/2012 - Some interesting and informed ideas on how communities might address Climate Change. Looks like tackling apathy will be a major concern: Round up: tackling climate change | Local government network | Guardian Professional We've collected all the best advice from our live discussion on how councils should approach climate change. Let us know your tips in the comments below (July 21, 2012) Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | guardiannews.com | The Guardian
  • 7/23/20120 - On Climate Change from PAUL KRUGMAN (In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Trade Theory and New Economic Geography.) Loading the Climate Dice - NYTimes.com A couple of weeks ago the Northeast was in the grip of a severe heat wave. As I write this, however, it’s a fairly cool day in New Jersey, considering that it’s late July. Weather is like that; it fluctuates. And this banal observation may be what dooms us to climate catastrophe, in two ways. On one side, the variability of temperatures from day to day and year to year makes it easy to miss, ignore or obscure the longer-term upward trend. On the other, even a fairly modest rise in average temperatures translates into a much higher frequency of extreme events — like the devastating drought now gripping America’s heartland — that do vast damage. (July 22, 2012) Editorials, Columns, Op-Ed, Letters, Opinionator and More Opinion - The New York Times
  • 7/23/2012 - Read the lastest Climate Change report: The Heat Is On: U.S. Temperature Trends by Climate Central: “Global warming isn’t uniform. The continental U.S. has warmed by about 1.3°F over the past 100 years, but the temperature increase hasn’t been the same everywhere: some places have warmed more than others, some less, and some not much at all. Natural variability explains some of the differences, and air pollution with fine aerosols screening incoming solar radiation could also be a factor. Our state-by-state analysis of warming over the past 100 years shows where it warmed the most and where it warmed the least. We found that no matter how much or how little a given state warmed over that 100-year period, the pace of warming in all regions accelerated dramatically starting in the 1970s, coinciding with the time when the effect of greenhouse gases began to overwhelm the other natural and human influences on climate at the global and continental scales.” (June 2012) Claudia Tebaldi, PhD, Dennis Adams-Smith, Nicole Heller, PhD (collaborator) The Heat is On: U.S. Temperature Trends | Climate Central
  • 7/23/2012 - The heat is on, it’s measurable, and it’s uneven. The Heat is On: U.S. Temperature Trends | Climate Central Global warming isn't uniform. The continental U.S. has warmed by about 1.3°F over the past 100 years, but the temperature increase hasn’t been the same everywhere: some places have warmed more than others, some less, and some not much at all. Natural variability explains some of the differences, and air pollution with fine aerosols screening incoming solar radiation could also be a factor. (July 23, 2012) Climate Change | Climate Central
  • 7/23/2012 - Two surveys on how American’s are viewing Climate Change with two different results: Climate Change? Most Gen Xers Not Concerned ANN ARBOR, Michigan, July 19, 2012 (ENS) - Gen Xers, born from the early 1960s through the early 1980s, care less about climate change now than they did just three years ago, finds a new University of Michigan report. Partisan affiliations predicted attitudes in the Gen Xers studied, who are now between 32 and 52 years of age, with nearly half of liberal Democrats alarmed or concerned compared with zero percent of conservative Republicans. (July 19, 2012) Environment News Service| Record Heat Wave Pushes U.S. Belief in Climate Change to 70% - Bloomberg A record heat wave, drought and catastrophic wildfires are accomplishing what climate scientists could not: convincing a wide swath of Americans that global temperatures are rising. In the four months since March there has been a jump in U.S. citizens’ belief that climate change is taking place, especially among independent voters and those in southern states such as Texas, which is now in its second year of record drought, according to nationwide polls by the University of Texas. (July 18, 2012) Bloomberg - Business, Financial & Economic News, Stock Quotes

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.] If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.

August 2012

  • Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org
    • Nature of Montezuma Lecture and Hike: Conserving Our Most Imperiled Grassland Birds The Montezuma Audubon Center is proud to welcome Mr. Andrew Hinickle, Conservation Biologist with Audubon New York, on Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. The talk will provide landowners a chance to learn about the habitat needs of New York’s grassland and shrubland birds like the American kestrel, bobolink, short-eared owl and golden-winged warbler, hike through one of Montezuma’s most extensive grasslands and learn about what land owners can do to improve habitat for these birds. As Audubon New York's Conservation, Mr. Hinickle works closely with agencies and organizations to engage landowners in cost-share or other incentive programs, drafting conservation and management plans for project sites, and monitoring the bird response to management activities. Andrew comes to Audubon from the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where he was employed as a Wildlife Biologist. Previously, he held positions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, restoring wetlands and grasslands on public and private lands. Andrew has degree in Environment Science from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. Fee: $3/child, $5/adult, $15/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org. Photo captions: Bobolink courtesy USFWS American kestrel courtesy USFWS
  • Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm | Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford
    • Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Spokes and Ink at the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education Saturday, August 25, 2012 Noon to 6pm Monroe Avenue at Oxford/Rutgers Spokes and Ink is a new festival in Rochester that brings bicyclists and artists together. This event on Monroe Avenue showcases the diversity of both groups – avid cyclists, recreational riders, the environmentally aware, letterpress printers, graphic designers and talented artists of all sorts! There will be poster art, food and merchandise for sale, live music and activities to attract a crowd. In the inaugural year of 2011, Spokes & Ink drew 600+ guests. 2012 is expected to be bigger and better! If you are interested in reaching this wide-ranging demographic who are into bicycles and art or just want to support this activity for others, please consider a sponsorship. Your business or organization could benefit from the exposure that is possible at Spokes and Ink. What: Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Where: Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford When: Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm Proceeds from the event will benefit the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education and R Community Bikes. The Genesee Center for the Arts & Education is a community-based 501(c)3 organization that educates, encourages and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts. We have 40+ years of experience in serving the Rochester community with great arts programming including classes, exhibits, studio access and special events. R Community Bikes is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester, NY's most needy children and adults. Their mission is meeting the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes for recreation as well as for transport to work, school, rehabilitation programs, and training sessions. If you have any questions about the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education or about Spokes and Ink, please call the office at 585-244-1730. We look forward to hearing from you!

September 2012

  • September 10th - 16th - High Falls region, Rochester, NY
    • Greentopia 2012 Greentopia 2012 is a week-long celebration of inspiration through art, music, organic and locally grown food and beverages, ideas and activism. The expanded event will contain four programmatic aspects, which include Greentopia Innovation, Greentopia Film, Greentopia Music and Greentopia EcoFest. In its first year the event drew between 18-20,000 people to the historic High Falls district. Through how-to workshops and cutting-edge films, visitors learned about big green ideas and how to apply them creatively in everyday life. There are special family activities, a community recycled art installation, mouthwatering organic and local food and beverages, and all kinds of live music. Businesses and organizations showcased products and programs that help to restore the planet, promote green living – even save consumers some money.

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date.

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Critical, getting baseline information about our environment before our planet warms more.

 

Besides this (see story below) startling discovery that Climate Change may be destroying the ozone layer over the US, is this, “there are no historical data about how much water vapor has been moved upward by such storms over time.”

As scientist look more deeply into how Climate Change is going to change our environment they are doing to come across items like how warming affects our planet’s ozone layer and when they do there won’t be the information they need to nail this down. Increasingly, I believe, because we don’t have an idea of what a healthy environment actually looks like, a baseline from which to measure change against, we will be hampered severely in our attempts to adapt and mitigate Climate Change.

When you read most Climate Change studies, they urge somewhere in the document that more information be gathered by scientists and sometimes by citizen scientists to fill knowledge gaps in our understanding of our own environment.

We are missing a lot of information because we made a lot of major changes to our environment without creating baselines. Fracking is another example, where some citizen scientists are out establishing a baseline for our fresh water before a Fracking accident happens.

Creating baselines, getting historical data, about our existing environment before we warm up or do something as incredibly disruptive as Fracking, should be at top of any Climate Change plans—not buried in the details.

This idea that our ozone layer may be eroding because of Climate Change might take awhile to nail down:

Climate Change Could Erode Ozone Layer Over U.S. For the past 25 years, it seemed that we’d pretty much solved the ozone problem. In the 1970s and 80s, people around the world grew increasingly alarmed as research revealed that chemicals we were producing—such as CFCs, used in refrigeration— had started destroying the crucial ozone layer, high up in the atmopshere, that protects us from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. In response, world governments came together to sign the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals. The concentration of these chemicals in the atmosphere leveled off within a decade. (July 27, 2012) History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian Magazine

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blame for Climate Change has what to do with Climate Change?

 

What interested me most about this article Who’s ‘Most to Blame’ for Global Warming? - ABC News was not the result that the United States was the main culprit for most of the anthropomorphic greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, but where this story came from - ABC news. Most of us following this crisis already knew that.

As we try to negotiate Climate Change from the top down, that is from governments agreeing on policies that will have enough widespread authority and synergy with other governments so they are all on the same page instead of working against each other, it will be important to assess what countries have put the most GHGs up into our atmosphere and who needs to do the most to get it out of our atmosphere. I agree with that.

But, blame? In the future as the consequences of Climate Change really kicks in there will be a lot of blame to go around.

However fascinating that will be for our courts, right now the slow entry into the informing the public, connecting the dots of extreme weather events to Climate Change can be blamed on mainstream media.

They aren’t doing their job to inform the public of how critical it is that the public not only get informed as to who is the blame but how nothing on a scale large enough to affect something so incredible vast as our atmosphere will be accomplished without the public’s widespread support. It is mainstream media where most folks get their news about what is supposed to be important to them in a Democracy.

Mostly, mainstream media is filled with sport scores, celebrity shenanigans, and the continual framing of energy and environmental issues so that the status quo is not disturbed. Mostly, for the past thirty years, mainstream media has reported ‘doubt’ about the science behind Climate Change and left the public paralyzed, instead of informing them about how great possibility of putting so much GHGs into our atmosphere would cause us so much harm in the future.

By the time US mainstream media properly informs the public of all the implications of Climate Change, we won’t have much time to blame anyone. We’ll be too busy adapting to Climate Change while mainstream media continues to spin doubt. This particular article is a good start on recognizing Climate Change, but it’s only the tiniest beginning:

Who’s ‘Most to Blame’ for Global Warming? - ABC News The USA — by a Long Shot 5 simple graphs show it – undisputed bedrock facts for any solution. Who’s most to blame for global warming? Nobody meant it to happen. But it has, and there’s no debate among the world’s scientists about which country is “most responsible.” That is, about which nation has injected the greatest amount of the heat-trapping invisible gas CO2 into to the atmosphere, where a lot of it remains for years, piling up and only adding to the heat.  (July 23, 2012) ABCNews.com - Breaking News, Latest News & Top Video News - ABC News

Sunday, July 22, 2012

RENewsletter | July 22, 2012

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr

Please “like” RochesterEnvironment.com’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment

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[07/15/2012 – 07/22/2012]

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |

Opening Salvo: “Climate Change is still too boring”

At this late date, decades into our understanding of Climate Change, I am amazed that articles such as “Climate change: extreme farming” are so rare.

On Thursday, Greentopia’s Film Festival sponsored “The Island President,” at The Little Theatre, about a nation and a culture 3, 000 years old that is sinking under the sea because of Climate Change, to only about 30 folks.

During this incredible heat wave and drought that is even reaching us here in the East, our local media is still not connecting the dots (except City Newspaper, of course) between our extreme weather and Climate Change.

Jeremy’s series of articles on Climate Change should be galvanizing the public about the how Climate Change in our region is something to be addressed at both the world level and at the local level. In this article, we learn that to keep our region viable for agriculture in our warming future, all of us must understand the changes that are going on, so we can help plan to adapt and eventually survive this change.

Last Friday night, my wife, my nephew and my sister-in-law, tried to walk a block to another film at the Little Theatre, but there were so many people in the streets drinking and swaying to the music festival going on that we barely made it.

If we only cared about the plight of our planet as we do about self-absorbed gaiety.

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com (Click on my email for feedback)

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* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr On Twitter and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up. We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.

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

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

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NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]

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UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

  • 7/20/2012 - Watch some great stuff on Fracking, like your representatives in NLYS speaking out against the worst possible idea to hit NYS’s environment in the last century. Especially engaging is Senator Avella in NYC’s 11-minute interview on a no-holds-barred talk about no Fracking. Sen Avella means business. "Yesterday's fracking forum, organized by Senator Avella in NYC, is available now through the links below. It's like taking an honors class in fracking given by the best professors! In total it's about 4 hours long but if you watch it in increments there's so much to be learned: Part One: Hydrofracking forum, Recorded on 7/18/12 NYSenDems on USTREAM. Other Entertainment Part Two: fracking part 2, Recorded on 7/18/12 NYSenDems on USTREAM. Other Entertainment ALSO, from YNN's Capital Tonight, Senator Avella speaks about the forum (about 11 minutes): Sen. Avella on Fracking Forum Anna Anna Sears and Nedra Harvey R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction) http://www.r-cause.net/ "
  • 7/20/2012 -‘Island President’ film in Rochester, escaping to reality The filming of the Island President by the Greentopia Festival at the Little Theatre was a great experience, a real-life experience. Usually, we go to the movies to escape reality, but increasingly, because the dysfunctional mainstream media and our government fail to connect the dots between Climate Change and the extreme weather around us and rising sea levels, we have to go to the movies to get real. Last night, we got real, watching the Maldives’ President’s struggle to get the world to understand that his 3,000 old culture was about to be overwhelmed by Climate Change via flooding from a rising sea. At the Copenhagen talks, the president made a difference. This guy is Mr. Relentless. more...
  • 7/20/2012 - Is there common ground between physics and economics? Yes , if you believe in life. NCPR News - Is new "sustainable life" vision for the Adirondack achievable? (07/20/12) Yesterday, we reported on a new planning effort in the Adirondacks, one that aims to find a common ground approach to environmental protection and economic development. (July 20, 2012) NCPR: North Country Public Radio
  • 7/20/2012 - If you don’t read anymore long articles on the fate of this planet this month, read this one by Bill McKibben : Global Warming's Terrifying New Math | Politics News | Rolling Stone Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is | If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe. (July 19, 2012) Rolling Stone | Music News, Politics, Reviews, Photos, Videos, Interviews and More [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 7/19/2012 - Brownfields are why it would be insane to relax environmental regulations – business won’t move to an area another business polluted. Syracuse gets money to revitalize old industrial zones | Innovation Trail Syracuse will use money from a state program to take another step in the long process of redeveloping former industrial sites. Syracuse is getting a $500,000 Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) grant for work on 113 acres just south of downtown and a 478 acre strip through the east side of the city. The grant is for the development of a revitalization strategy, the second of three phases of the BOA program, according to Owen Kerney, the city's deputy director for planning and sustainability. (July 18, 2012) Innovation Trail [more on Brownfields in our area]
  • 7/19/2012 - The really scary part of not addressing Climate Change rationally is that we’re left with loony geoengineering schemes on a planetary scale. Wouldn’t it be smarter to stop Climate Change and so decrease the ocean acidification instead of a playing god with technical acts of desperation? Can Adding Iron To Oceans Slow Global Warming? : NPR A noted oceanographer once quipped that if you gave him a tanker half-filled with iron, he could give you an ice age. He was only half-joking. Adding iron to the ocean can cause blooms of algae, which have the potential to take huge amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air and by so doing, cool the planet. And a report in Nature magazine now offers some support for that idea. (July 18, 2012) Environment : NPR [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 7/19/2012 - Dairy heat stress and Climate Change, connect the dots, make wise plans for NYS farming Disturbing as today’s news about how overheated cows are producing less milk; this is an anticipated effect of Climate Change in our region. If the local media connected the dots between milk production and the local effects of Climate Change we could better prepare for higher milk prices and garner public support for the energy increase that will be need to cool the dairy industry and keep it thriving as we adapt to Climate Change. more...
  • 7/18/2012 - Climate Change and the potential collapse of our environment are easy to explain when you think about it. We thought we could devise an economic system without considering the environment. (What were we thinking? future generations will ask) Now, we just have to change that. Here's a great encapsulation of the issue and your role in it: Story of Change « The Story of Stuff Project "Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. "
  • 7/18/2012 - For those who think nuclear power is the answer to everything including Climate Change and aren’t dissuaded by points that challenge their position, they might reflect on human hubris at operating very complex operations where there is little room for error-a microcosm for running the planet as it warms. How Fukushima Challenged a Core Tenet of U.S. Nuclear Safety: An Expert's View | InsideClimate News "Nuclear power is an unforgiving technology," says Peter Lam, nuclear safety expert, whose thinking was changed by Japan's disaster. Peter Lam's resume reflects a lifetime of experience in the nuclear energy industry–including 20 years in the private sector, followed by 18 years as an administrative judge at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He's a retired nuclear engineer with 110 published judicial decisions and more than 70 technical papers in industry journals and company publications. And he's considered an international expert on nuclear reactor safety and risk assessment strategies. (July 16, 2012) | InsideClimate News
  • 7/18/2012) - On Climate Change from Al Gore: Al Gore: Extreme Weather Disaster Area: This Is What the Climate Crisis Looks Like The U.S. Department of Agriculture has named over 1,000 counties in 26 states as disaster areas -- the largest declaration in history -- as a result of the recent drought, wildfires and other extreme weather events threatening agriculture and many other industries across the entire country. As scientists have told us, this is what the climate crisis looks like. " (July 15, 2012) Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post
  • 7/17/2012 - At some point along the continuum of Climate Change, from normal to too-hot-to-handle, all of the generations will wake up on Climate Change—hope it’s in time. Generation X on climate change: Meh — The Daily Climate Pre-occupied with careers and families, the Gen Xers – adults in their 30s and 40s – remain almost as indifferent to climate change impacts as their parents The study is the fourth in a series following Gen Xers – those born between 1961 and 1981 – since 1986. The new "Generation Report" [pdf], funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on the responses of some 4,000 Gen Xers' to questions about climate change each year from 2009 to 2011. Participants were asked a number of other questions about their lives and beliefs as a part of these annual surveys, which will be the focus of future reports. (July 17, 2012) The Daily Climate
  • 7/17/2012 - As parts of our Adirondacks burn from wildfires and the governor puts a ban on outdoor brush burning, we should connect the dots with all that and Climate Change. How Climate Change Is Turning Our Forests into Kindling The effects of global warming on temperature, precipitation levels and soil moisture are turning many of our forests into kindling during wildfire season. As the climate warms, moisture and precipitation levels are changing, with wet areas becoming wetter and dry areas becoming drier. (July 9, 2012) EcoWatch: Uniting the Voice of the Grassroots Environmental Movement
  • 7/17/2012 - In terms of effect, the Asian Carp is one of the largest and perhaps the most potentially devastating Invasive Species to our Great Lakes; see what they look like (5 minute video): How to Identify Bighead, Silver, Grass and Common Carps - YouTube How to Identify Bighead, Silver, Grass and Common Carps Created by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Midwest Region, this video will teach you how to identify bighead and silver carps using grass carp and common carp as points of comparison (July 2, 2012) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - YouTube
  • 7/17/2012 - Since back in the 1980’s, David Attenborough’s programs on the persistence of life on Earth has had a profound effect on my own thinking about our planet’s biology. How finely tuned life has become after billions of years of evolution and the profound and immediate disturbance of human’s to that balance and interdependency (which Attenborough reveals in so many programs) has given me a sense of perspective on the rapidity of change that is occurring now in our environment. Glad to see that Attenborough is finally speaking up on Climate Change: For my part David Attenborugop programs on the persistence of life on Earth has had a profound effect on my own thinking about our planet’s biology. Sir David Attenborough: 'This awful summer? We've only ourselves to blame...' - Profiles - People - The Independent "Attenborough on... climate change "There is no question that climate change is happening; the only arguable point is what part humans are playing in it," he says. "Personally I would be absolutely astounded if population growth and industrialisation and all the stuff we are pumping into the atmosphere hadn't changed the climatic balance. Of course it has. There is no valid argument for denial." " (July 14, 2012) The Independent | News | UK and Worldwide News | Newspaper
  • 7/17/2012 - Dragging our feet on addressing Climate Change will mean that we’ll attempt geoengineering the planet as a cure. We don’t know how to curb our cravings let along run a planet. Geoengineering Could Backfire, Make Climate Change Worse Deploying giant space mirrors and spraying particles from stadium-sized balloons may sound like an engineer’s wild fantasy, but climate models suggest that the potential of geoengineering to offset rising atmospheric carbon dioxide may be significantly overstated. Through a variety of computer simulations used for reporting to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the team investigated a scenario where an increase in the world’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels was balanced by a “dimming” of the sun. (July 16, 2012) Wired.com
  • 7/16/2012 - NYS Health Dept. has been mum on protecting public health during this heatwave since June 20th State Health Department, Office of Emergency Management Advise New Yorkers to Protect Themselves Against Excessive Heat, maybe they should read Go. Patterson’s New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report - November 9, 2010: New York Climate Change Advisory Group :: Interim Report 'To effectively manage the natural resources of New York State, practitioners must understand the baseline condition of species, habitats, and population trends. Rapidly changing climate and associated changes in habitats and ecological community structure will likely increase fish and wildlife exposure to stressors (both existing and those caused by climate change), compromise their ability to adapt to stress, and affect the ability to detect harmful trends in fish and wildlife ecology and health. An increase in the capacity to identify key stressors is needed to inform management decisions and abate threats. Assessments of species’ and habitats’ climate vulnerabilities, including exposure sensitivity and adaptive capacity, should be used to prioritize conservation actions. ' (page 11-33)
  • 7/16/2012 - Could be a way to rein in Fracking in NYS. Hey, you never know. Pollution Prevention Grants to be Awarded | WXXI News The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology is awarding grants around the state to implement programs that will raise awareness about pollution prevention. (July 12, 2012) WXXI News | The Public Media news source for Rochester, NY and the Finger Lakes
  • 7/16/2012 - On now for something totally new on the Fracking front, individuals can register themselves as landowners opposed to fracking at: REALNYS | Responsible Associated Landowners of New York State "We hope that you will join us in our fight to stand up as landowners in New York state who are working to protect our beloved land from the impacts of hydro-fracking. You can learn more about what we’re up to by checking our Our Mission and Our Work. Most importantly, if you own land and don’t want to have it fracked, please, add your name and property information on the Join Us! page. " --from REALNYS | Responsible Associated Landowners of New York State
  • 7/16/2012 - Green Drinks, Don't forget CEI: Center for Environmental Information - Green Drinks Events ": UGBN Green Drinks Don't forget, This Thursday, July 19, from 6:00 - 7:30 pm, the Upstate Green Business Network (UGBN) Green Drinks will be hosted by the Rochester Civic Garden Center at 5 Castle Park Rochester, NY 14620 Sponsored by: Experienced Bricks "
  • 7/16/2012 - So, I’m just thinking out loud here: What if damage due to Climate Change was admissible evidence in our courts, like health damage due to frequent extreme weather events, heatwaves, wildfires… you know, science. Development of the Third Edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence "The third edition of the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence was developed in collaboration with the Federal Judicial Center, which produced the previous editions, and is intended to assist judges with the management of cases involving complex scientific and technical evidence. " Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL)
  • 7/16/2012 - We cannot ‘shrink away in disgust’ over environments we have damaged because it’s all one planet – it never really goes away. 'Sunny Chernobyl': Beauty In A Haze Of Pollution : NPR In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China. Blackwell says his ode to polluted locales is a bid for re-engagement with places people have shrunk away from in disgust. (July 14, 2012) Environment : NPR
  • 7/16/2012 - It makes sense that as we warm the planet animals and plants as they always have in their evolutionary past will respond to the challenges of Climate Change along with their other challenges. Eco-evolutionary responses of biodiversity to climate change : Nature Climate Change : Nature Publishing Group "Climate change is predicted to alter global species diversity1, the distribution of human pathogens2 and ecosystem services3. Forecasting these changes and designing adequate management of future ecosystem services will require predictive models encompassing the most fundamental biotic responses. However, most present models omit important processes such as evolution and competition4, 5. Here we develop a spatially explicit eco-evolutionary model of multi-species responses to climate change. We demonstrate that both dispersal and evolution differentially mediate extinction risks and biodiversity alterations through time and across climate gradients. " (July 15, 2012) Journal home : Nature Climate Change
  • 7/16/2012 - Mosquitoes and dragging our feet on Climate Change Here in New York State, Climate Change is not expected to affect the net amount of rainfall we get in the next half-century. Mosquitoes that drive vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease, malaria, and West Nile Virus will probably increase. We will have more rainfall in the early spring and late fall according to many Climate Studies that address our region, but even in our drier summers and early fall; man-made pooling of waters will allow the mosquito populations grow. more...

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EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.] If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.

July 2012

  • July 23 at 11AM @ East Bank - Baush and Lomb Park (U of R Campus) At the foot of the Bridge
    • Due to several logistical issues, the City of Rochester has changed the date of the Ribbon Cutting for the Erie Lackawanna Bridge Rails to Trails project to the following: Erie Lackawanna Bridge “Rails to Trails” Conversion Ribbon Cutting Event July 23rd, 2012 Monday at 11:00am East Bank - Baush and Lomb Park (U of R Campus) At the foot of the Bridge (Note: new date: Monday - July 23rd) City of Rochester | Erie Lackawanna Rails-to-Trails Pedestrian Bridge "The City's efforts to improve and develop new shared use walking and biking trails, especially along the Genesee River, include converting the abandoned historic Erie-Lackawanna Railroad Bridge over the Genesee River into a Rails-to-Trails pedestrian bridge. "
  • Tuesday, July 24, 2012 3:30 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. EDT To register, visit: Using Health Impact Assessments to connect bicycle and pedestrian safety and health.
    • Learn how to make active transportation (walking and bicycling) safer and better mode of Transportation in the Rochester, NY region. PBIC and APHA Offer Free Webinar on Health Impact Assessments and Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety CHAPEL HILL, NC — The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC) in conjunction with the American Public Health Association announces the next free webinar in its Livable Communities Webinar Series: Using Health Impact Assessments to Connect Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety and Health Tuesday, July 24, 2012 3:30 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. EDT To register, visit: Using Health Impact Assessments to connect bicycle and pedestrian safety and health. Health impact assessments are a valuable tool for estimating the health impact of various projects and policies. This webinar will explore what health impact assessments are and how they can be used to connect bicycle and pedestrian safety and health. Bethany Rogerson, senior associate for the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, will provide an overview of HIA programs and how they can add value to a decision-making process.
  • Saturday, July 28, 2012, 10:00 AM | The Thousand Acre Swamp 1581 Jackson Rd - between Atlantic Ave & Plank Rd, opposite Penfield Center Rd Penfield, NY 14526
    • Summer Wildflower Hike Saturday, July 28, 2012, 10:00 AM This event is free & open to the public The Thousand Acre Swamp 1581 Jackson Rd - between Atlantic Ave & Plank Rd, opposite Penfield Center Rd Penfield, NY 14526 Parking lot is at the end of the access road. Trails are uneven, can be muddy and bordered with poison ivy; please wear appropriate footwear. Mosquitoes thrive in warm weather; protect yourself with insect repellent and suitable covering. For more information contact Marie Heerkens 585-586-8911 The Thousand Acre Swamp Sanctuary is a property of the Central & Western New York Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Susan Pixley, Chair Thousand Acre Swamp Preservation Committee

August 2012

  • Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org
    • Nature of Montezuma Lecture and Hike: Conserving Our Most Imperiled Grassland Birds The Montezuma Audubon Center is proud to welcome Mr. Andrew Hinickle, Conservation Biologist with Audubon New York, on Saturday August 4 from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm for a presentation about his conservation work with grassland and shrubland birds and their habitats. The talk will provide landowners a chance to learn about the habitat needs of New York’s grassland and shrubland birds like the American kestrel, bobolink, short-eared owl and golden-winged warbler, hike through one of Montezuma’s most extensive grasslands and learn about what land owners can do to improve habitat for these birds. As Audubon New York's Conservation, Mr. Hinickle works closely with agencies and organizations to engage landowners in cost-share or other incentive programs, drafting conservation and management plans for project sites, and monitoring the bird response to management activities. Andrew comes to Audubon from the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex, where he was employed as a Wildlife Biologist. Previously, he held positions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, restoring wetlands and grasslands on public and private lands. Andrew has degree in Environment Science from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. Fee: $3/child, $5/adult, $15/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. Space is limited. Registration required. To register or for more information about the Montezuma Audubon Center please call 315-365-3588 or email montezuma@audubon.org. Photo captions: Bobolink courtesy USFWS American kestrel courtesy USFWS
  • Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm | Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford
    • Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Spokes and Ink at the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education Saturday, August 25, 2012 Noon to 6pm Monroe Avenue at Oxford/Rutgers Spokes and Ink is a new festival in Rochester that brings bicyclists and artists together. This event on Monroe Avenue showcases the diversity of both groups – avid cyclists, recreational riders, the environmentally aware, letterpress printers, graphic designers and talented artists of all sorts! There will be poster art, food and merchandise for sale, live music and activities to attract a crowd. In the inaugural year of 2011, Spokes & Ink drew 600+ guests. 2012 is expected to be bigger and better! If you are interested in reaching this wide-ranging demographic who are into bicycles and art or just want to support this activity for others, please consider a sponsorship. Your business or organization could benefit from the exposure that is possible at Spokes and Ink. What: Spokes and Ink – A Bike and Poster Party Where: Monroe Avenue between Rutgers and Oxford When: Saturday, August 25, noon to 6pm Proceeds from the event will benefit the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education and R Community Bikes. The Genesee Center for the Arts & Education is a community-based 501(c)3 organization that educates, encourages and inspires all people to create and enjoy the visual arts. We have 40+ years of experience in serving the Rochester community with great arts programming including classes, exhibits, studio access and special events. R Community Bikes is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester, NY's most needy children and adults. Their mission is meeting the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes for recreation as well as for transport to work, school, rehabilitation programs, and training sessions. If you have any questions about the Genesee Center for the Arts & Education or about Spokes and Ink, please call the office at 585-244-1730. We look forward to hearing from you!

September 2012

  • September 10th - 16th - High Falls region, Rochester, NY
    • Greentopia 2012 Greentopia 2012 is a week-long celebration of inspiration through art, music, organic and locally grown food and beverages, ideas and activism. The expanded event will contain four programmatic aspects, which include Greentopia Innovation, Greentopia Film, Greentopia Music and Greentopia EcoFest. In its first year the event drew between 18-20,000 people to the historic High Falls district. Through how-to workshops and cutting-edge films, visitors learned about big green ideas and how to apply them creatively in everyday life. There are special family activities, a community recycled art installation, mouthwatering organic and local food and beverages, and all kinds of live music. Businesses and organizations showcased products and programs that help to restore the planet, promote green living – even save consumers some money.

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ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date.

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AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]