Posted on March 21, 2015 by Al B.
As we move into an ‘age of renewable energy” the voices of the petroleum and nuclear industries have attempted to use the solar eclipse of the last week as a means of inducing fear about blackouts to the general population. This article shows what small effect the eclipse had on Germany, which is the country currently using the most solar power in the developed world. Their ability to fall back on existing hyrdopower, as well as restart some idle coal and gas power plants show that we can get through this ok with renewables. I have no doubt that we can keep coal and gas powered plants around for some decades in idle modes, for just such emergencies, without significant harm to the environment. But there seems no reason not to continue to push forward with renewables, especially given the worsening climate situation, as massive storms such as once again have hit the South Pacific, (stronger than Katrina), the ongoing drought that threatens the most important state in the US, California, and the deteriorating condition of the Pacific Ocean off our coast. Recently, in addition to thousands of dying birds, hundreds of sea lions have been washing up dead from starvation off California’s coast. We are witnessing something quite extraordinary and moving towards ending our reliance on fossil fuel is more important than ever.
BERLIN – Power prices in Germany fluttered as the first eclipse of the emerging solar age passed and utility operators worked overtime to keep the grid supplied.
The phenomena highlighted the variable flows of electricity coming from such renewables as solar and wind. Coping with that intermittency has risen as an issue for grid operators as Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed for cleaner forms of energy to replace nuclear reactors.
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Posted on March 19, 2015 by Al B.
Having been a member of the ~20 person Shoreline Policy Advisory Committee (a non technical citizens’ advisory team), I’m very gratified that the work we did over almost 7 years, has been upheld by the Growth Management Board. We knew we weren’t doing anything that was not capable of being upheld in court, and we have been proven correct. This is also time for a thanks to Michelle McConnell for her expert guidance of the almost 40 person team of volunteer advisors through the process. Now I hope the County has the capability of doing as good a job on the new Critical Areas Ordinance.
The state Growth Management Hearings Board has dismissed 19 challenges to the newly enacted Jefferson County Shoreline Management Program. The decision, issued Monday, said “the board concludes that petitioners failed to provide clear and convincing evidence demonstrating the challenged action.” The challenges the plan enacted in February were made by three petitioners: Hood Canal Sand and Gravel — which may appeal, a spokesman said — the Olympic Stewardship Foundation and the Jefferson County chapter of the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights. Charlie Bermant reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
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Posted on March 18, 2015 by Al B.
Things are changing far faster than hoped for or even anticipated. It seems that we are in for a very unusual year. There is just no way for many creatures to cope with this fast a change.
It’s a double-whammy kind of year for the Pacific. An unusually warm winter in Alaska failed to chill ocean waters. Then this winter’s El Nino is keeping tropical ocean temperatures high. Combine these and scientists are recording ocean temperatures up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than average off the coasts of Oregon and Washington. Jes Burns reports. (KUOW)
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Posted on March 14, 2015 by Al B.
The Canadian Government and the RCMP employ techniques that would make a communist dictator like Stalin proud, all in an attempt to intimidate a professor who happened to take photos of a proposed controversial pipeline route . This outrageous behavior is indicative of the ongoing decline in democracy for the sake of business profits in what was once one of the most progressive nations on earth. The majority of Canadian citizens continue to appear sleep walk into a what can only be considered by tactics like this to be a future totalitarian state.
A B.C. climate change scientist says he got an “intimidating” call from RCMP because he had taken pictures on Burnaby Mountain near the site of a proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Tim Takaro, a health sciences professor at SFU, says he was having lunch in Tofino with his family on Wednesday when his daughter’s cellphone rang…. He says the officer asked him if he had recently had been taking photos near a TransMountain pipeline work site on Burnaby Mountain. They also told him they knew he had been to protest rallies that had taken place there a few months earlier. (CBC)
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Posted on March 14, 2015 by Al B.
The only thing mysterious about these booms, is that the Navy isn’t forthcoming with why they are continuing to allow their pilots to fly supersonic when they claim they never do. This is not a “mystery” except to reporters who aren’t asking the right questions. For all you folks dealing with the noise, this is what you are going to get a lot more of if the Navy is successful in implementing their proposed electromagnetic warfare training in Olympic National Forest & surrounding areas.
A new round of booming noises has disturbed residents of west Port Angeles and Joyce, who say the mysterious sounds shake their homes. The rattling noises were reported at about 12:21 p.m. Wednesday, almost exactly two weeks after the last round of booms heard on the afternoon of Feb. 25, and again at about 9:35 a.m. Thursday…. Speculation on the cause of the booms has included naval military exercises in the Strait, thunder, sonic booms from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island aircraft, hunters and small, shallow earthquakes. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daly News)
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Posted on March 12, 2015 by Al B.
It’s been reported that Northwest Straits Foundation Executive Director Robyn Du Pre has lost her battle with cancer. There will be a longer obituary in the near future. But my heart goes out to her family and close circle of friends. She was a unique woman and I consider it an honor to have worked with her in the efforts of protecting the Salish Sea. Words cannot convey my sense of loss and true sadness for all of us. Goodbye Robyn. We already have missed you. We will carry on your work.
From Ginnie Broadhurst, the Executive Director of The Northwest Straits Commission
Dear Northwest Straits Commission members and MRC staff, It is with great sadness that I share news that Robyn du Pre passed away on Monday evening at home after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. Robyn served as Executive Director of the Northwest Straits Foundation from November 2012 through this past summer. She was a close friend, colleague and exemplary leader to many of us. Previous to her work at the NWS Foundation she was Exec Director at RE Sources for sustainable communities in Bellingham. She was a life-long environmental advocate, naturalist and adventurer.
I’ve attached a photo of Robyn taken just this past January as she and her husband launched a kayak that she was building. She is greatly missed.
Robyn made it very clear that she did not want a memorial service nor did she have requests for donations. For those of you who knew Robyn, I think that the best gift that we can provide to her and her family is to carry on the work that was vital to her – keeping our environment healthy for ourselves and future generations. Please join me in carrying her work and her legacy forward.
Joan Drinkwin, has been acting as Interim Director of NWS Foundation since Robyn stepped down to fight her cancer. A search is ongoing for a full term ED.
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Posted on March 11, 2015 by Al B.
We assumed it was happening, and now the news is official. Even if you don’t believe in global warming, you are about to have a summer governed by it.
A stubbornly warm winter is still providing the Olympic Mountains with little snowpack, and the mountain range has been declared to officially be in a state of drought. After a short-lived storm restored about a foot of snow last week, the meager, melting snowpack in the Olympics is back to single-digit percentages of where it should be. The snow level is above the tops of most of the Olympics peaks, meaning that today’s rains are just that — rain — and not snow. Both the short- and long-range forecasts are for above-normal temperatures, according to the National Weather Service. Arwyn Rice reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
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