#RochesterNY, don’t miss this opportunity to demonstrate your love of Mother Earth at the #EarthEveMarch 4/21/2016 #EarthDayRocs
Many of our recycling programs fail at the point where folks are moving and lots of stuff gets discarded. Programs like “Goodbye, Goodbuy!” at RIT should be reproduce all over our city and county.
When folks have to move immediately for some reason or another, there should be a mechanism in place where large amounts of discarded stuff can be reused, recycled, and disposed of properly. Our daily routine of recycling seems to work OK until we move, then all that stuff we been hording, collecting in our attics and cellars, and promising ourselves to get rid of properly suddenly gets dragged to the curb and goes to the landfills wholesale.
Someone ought to start a business modeled on “Goodbye, Goodbuy!” and help folks recycling during these trash-inducing pinch points.
Our recycling studies often don’t reflect these pinch points and so when a community thinks it’s recycling properly, they forget about people suddenly getting rid of a lot of stuff at once.
The new Federal microbead ban law is modest start on cleaning up our Great Lakes’ waters, but our water quality issues are much more complicated than microbead pollution.
Climate Change is bringing fresh water acidification, changing the entire Great Lakes ecosystem via fauna and flora warming issues, pollution from more sewage overflows from more heavy rainfall, and past toxic pollution. Not to mention critical invasive species issues like the Asian Carp.
We’ve only just begun.
More on Water Quality in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/water_qual…
Rochester, NY’s downtown future during Climate Change
The foundation of a thriving downtown Rochester encompasses more than a desirable housing market. Consider the case of Flint, Michigan where a bad official decision to save money on public water infrastructure has resulted in the lead poisoning of many children and a drinking water crisis. When you cannot drink the water, breath the air, or if your built infrastructures (transportation, water, waste, telecommunications, and energy) are crumbing, even a cheap McMansion will be undesirable.
In a changing world, where the past we knew is not an indication of our future prospects, one of the most dramatic changes Rochester and its downtown hub will experience is Climate Change. Our housing market, our job prospects, our public health, and everything else we hold dear will not thrive if our environment (our life support system) is collapsing. In the past we developed and advanced under the delusion that our environment would take care of itself despite our environmental interference.
Things have changed. Or rather, our recognition of our incredible negative effects on our environment has improved—culminating in our growing awareness of Climate Change. Our environment is a much more sensitive biological system that we previously thought. The Paris Agreement, agreed to by almost every nation in the world, should if nothing else remind everyone everywhere that sustaining a viable future must include an urgency to act at every level.
A year ago City Newspaper reported “Rochester to undertake citywide climate inventory” (January 21, 2015) and it looks like the city is finally getting around to it. How robustly the city embraces the community-wide Climate Action Plan (CAP) and other ‘green’ initiatives could determine whether we remain a desirable place to live regardless of downtown development. Rochester is and will be experiencing many changes due to the great warming but not as much as many other areas whose ability to get enough fresh water, maintain farm productivity, and protect themselves from extreme weather will fail long before these vital elements fail here.
Rochester has been slowly addressing Climate Change, although we have yet to reach the degree of concern equal to the threat. And the public has not been engaged.
• Rochester’s OFFICE OF ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.asp… You can download the Energy Management and Climate Action Status Report here!
• Rochester was first to join Compact of Mayors http://www.compactofmayors.org/
• Rochester’s CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION RESOLUTION http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.asp…
• Rochester has joined the state’s Climate Smart Communities program http://www.cityofrochester.gov/article.asp…
• Rochester is one of five New York State cities with its own energy plan: http://www.nypa.gov/RochesterEnergyPlan.ht…
• In the NYSERDA’s Cleaner, Greener Community’s program, this is the Finger Lakes Region sustainability plan for (counties of Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates) http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Pro…
In other words, Rochester government is changing its energy profile, assuming I suppose that if they lead on energy efficiency, conservation, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions the public will follow. But if the public doesn’t know that Rochester is leading, the message is lost.
Rochester has increased their focus on active transportation (walking and bicycling), which not only increases the likelihood that more folks will want to live downtown, but also decreases our fossil-fuel transportation system’s effects on our health and greenhouse gas emissions. But we have not educated the public about the importance of active transportation in combating Climate Change, we see the same old conversations about different transportation modes while the elephant sits in the room ignored.
Rochester has talked about its commitment to addressing Climate Change. But it has not demonstrated its concern to the public in a consistent manner that engages the public or the local media. Climate denial and its devastating obstructionism is still rife in our community. This means we are still talking about solving our existing problems and orchestrating our future development as if Climate Change doesn’t exist. Other areas, including other cities in our country, do not have this problem because they’ve presented their communities with strong climate action plans.
Because of climate refugees, downtown Rochester will probably grow in numbers—one way or the other. The best way would be to ready ourselves by planning and educating the public to gain their support. The other way, business as usual, will be madness.
Ultimately, the most important attraction for a city will not be its snazzy architecture. It will be the likelihood of its prolonged sustainability, and its perception among the affluent that it will flourish.
Despite the holidays, the Rochester March for Global Climate Action! is expected to have a high turnout. Consider being a part of history and marching in downtown Rochester. We need thousands to march locally to show our support for an ambitious deal that will avert the worst impacts of climate change.
More on Climate Change in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/weather&cl…
Rochester's March for Global Climate Action | Nov. 29th at 1: PM downtown Rochester
On November 29th, the eve of the 21st United Nations Conference on Climate Change, concerned Rochesterians will take to the streets to demand global action on climate change. Rochester's March for Global Climate Action is one of thousands of events being planned worldwide to urge global leaders to achieve a universal, legally-binding agreement that will limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius.
Citing the heightened security situation in Paris, the French government is prohibiting the Global Climate March planned in Paris for 29 November. While this tragedy makes it difficult to go forward with the original plans for a massive march in Paris, we will still find a way for people in Paris to make the call for climate justice heard.
There has never been a greater need for Global Climate Marches throughout the rest of the world, and they will continue as planned. Love will win out over fear, and our movement will win over injustice. We encourage everyone around the world to join a Global Climate March and raise their voices louder than ever.
To further highlight the need for action on climate, the 57 businesses, churches, political offices, environmental groups, and other non-profits that make up the Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) have organized a series of events and initiatives that will span the duration of the Paris Climate Conference, providing a wide range of opportunities for local residents to take part in the fight against climate change. The project's title, Twelve Days of Climate: Paris Talks, We Act, illustrates RPCC's commitment to doing what it takes to make a difference. Though we have high hopes for the success of the Paris Climate Conference, we will not wait for someone else to solve this problem for us. Change is possible, but we must do our part to ensure a brighter future for all.
For more information about the November 29th march and Twelve Days of Climate project, visit RochesterPeoplesClimateCoalition.org.
We are fully aware that the long holiday weekend is just days away, and that’s why we need your help getting the word out now!
• Please send this message to your friends, family, anyone you think might be interested!
• Print out and help disperse our event flyer. http://tinyurl.com/pulpms2
• Go to our Facebook Event Page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1394335337… and share that with your Facebook contacts
• Please commit to at least one of the 12 Days of Climate http://www.rochesterclimateaction.org/twel…
I like to think of reports like the Environmental Advocates of New York’s ‘Environmental Scorecards’ as life support system checks.
If your legislators aren’t protecting our life support systems and planning for a healthy environment as our planet warms, you’ve voted for the wrong leader.
Anything else you value ain’t going matter if our environment is crashing.
More on Climate Change in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/weather&cl…
I mostly agree with Dr. Frank, respect his expertise on the science of Climate Change, and I love his ability to engage the public with a positive dialogue on Climate Change. But I fundamentally disagree with his position that we must keep traditional issues of pollution, population, loss of biodiversity, etc. separate from the discussion of Climate Change so we can talk to the conservatives.
We didn’t know fossil fuels were warming the planet back in the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (s) but we did know that humanity was incurring incredible environmental damage on the planet. But since the time of Henry David Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh (“Man and Nature”), John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and through many agricultural and environmental collapses, we’ve long known that our way of life has wreaked havoc on the planet.
We might not have known that we were ‘badass’ enough to alter the fundamental workings of our planet, but we have habitually acted in such a way that the burden of proof for environmental damage has been placed on the victims—not on the parties profiting from the damage.
The result of humanity’s lousy attitude towards our life support system (as a magical source of resources and as our toilet) is that Climate Change is many times more dire than it would have been had we entered into this warming with a more robust and resilient environment.
But we have to go into Climate Change with the environment we have (and to steal one more phrase from Donald Rumsfeld) there are now a lot of knowns and unknown unknowns we must learn about and adapt to for a sustainable environment—yes, sustainable to us.
If the public feels guilty, fearful, and apprehensive about addressing Climate Change, there’s nothing for it. Just saying Climate Change is not our fault; we did it and we can undo it, won’t assuage the plight of billions of folks who did not cause this crisis, but will reap its consequences.
Our hope is that Climate Change will “transform us into the next thing that humanity's going to become, which is a true planetary species.” But hope must be based on a realistic appraisal of the moral and biological complexities of this problem—not reshaping the argument so we can appease those who continue to stand in our way.
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