Something extraordinary is happening in Rochester, NY. As group of folks tried to get some media attention about sending two busloads of Rochesterians to the September 21, 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, a rapidly growing umbrella organization formed to address Climate Change.
“The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) was formed in September 2014 to mobilize our community to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City. Within a few weeks, 30+ member organizations joined the coalition, including businesses, churches, political offices, environmental groups, and other nonprofits. The RPCC continues to grow, collaborate, and build political power. For a full list of member organizations and information on how to join the coalition, see here.”
A year later, RPCC has grown to over 60 coalition organizations with a proud list of accomplishments:
- · Candidate Forum 2015: While much of our local media ignored the connections that Climate Change has on our candidates for public office, the RPCC hosted a widely-attended forum that compelled our potential leaders to defend their positions on Climate Change.
- · Rochester March for Global Climate Action: The RPCC joined a worldwide effort to support strong leadership at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference, which resulted in the Paris Agreement. To get a sense of the energy and passion behind this effort that got over 500 people in Rochester into their streets, check out the event’s Facebook page.
- · Twelve Days of Climate: While the Paris negotiations were going on, the RPCC conducted 12 days of local action programs to keep local attention on the historic Paris meeting.
Much more, of course, has happened in the background as the group of dedicated and effective RPCC leaders quickly built a coalition that seeks to accelerate and make more effective all local actions on Climate Change. Those efforts are being noticed:
"Rochester was a center of the industrial revolution, and now is becoming a leader in the 21st century drive for a clean energy future. Thanks to the Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition for being out in front!" - Bill McKibben, co-founder, 350.org 
Coming up this year are myriad events in the Rochester area for Earth Week in an effort to keep the focus on the energy coming out of Paris. While not a perfect deal, the Paris Agreement does provide a lasting formula for all nations of the world to address Climate Change. The RPCC is helping its member groups promote their Earth Day events to engage everyone in our region, so that addressing Climate Change can occur on a level and scale that will actually matter. To keep up on all that the RPCC is doing check their website and Facebook page.
It matters that the RPCC exists and continues to grow. Just this week, Earth just got another wake-up call on Climate Change.
NASA, NOAA Analyses Reveal Record-Shattering Global Warm Temperatures in 2015 Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much. The 2015 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York (GISTEMP). NOAA scientists concur with the finding that 2015 was the warmest year on record based on separate, independent analyses of the data. Because weather station locations and measurements change over time, there is some uncertainty in the individual values in the GISTEMP index. Taking this into account, NASA analysis estimates 2015 was the warmest year with 94 percent certainty. (January 20, 2016) The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)