#RochesterNY, don’t miss this opportunity to demonstrate your love of Mother Earth at the #EarthEveMarch 4/21/2016 #EarthDayRocs
The public should be concerned about aging nuclear power plants that are ‘struggling’ financially and operating with safety issues. If our energy future must have nuclear power that does not mean that we should keep aging, unsafe power plants going. These are two different issues.
Proponents of the need for nuclear power to address Climate Change should distinguish keeping aging nuclear power plants separate from new generation nuclear (which can reuse spend nuclear materials) and small nuclear power operations (which can be built for less money and provide backup for renewable energy like wind and solar).
It would be helpful to the public and our ability to plan for the future if our media investigated how safe aging nuclear power plants are when these local nuclear power plants are struggling financially and continually having safety issues. And keep that issue separate from next generation nuclear power.
To toxic flame retardants in our Great Lakes we can add pharmaceuticals, plastic bits, human waste (from periodic sewer overflows), invasive species, pesticides, and much more. We will go into Climate Change with the environment we have and the Great Lakes, which will be incredibly vital to our ability to adapt to Climate Change, must be restored to the healthiest state possible.
Read: Restoring the Great Lakes - Success Stories from the 2014 Field Season https://www.fws.gov/glri/documents/GLRIBoo… from the US. Fish and Wildlife Service.
More on the Great Lakes in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/great_lake…
Cool so see many folks riding bike share bikes in Philly during #CleanEnergyMarch on Sunday. #biketheroc and bike shares will look good on Rochester too.
More on Transportation in our area: http://rochesterenvironment.com/communting…
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…
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