Tidal Power Project In Puget Sound Abandoned By Utility – Earthfix

This was the Admiralty Inlet project. A very disheartening temporary end. Likely it won’t be the last we hear of this. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the newly created Jefferson County PUD to step up.  I wonder what the background story is on this. My guess is that the lack of support from the Republican House doomed this clean energy project. They have been loath to fund any such projects, and have been working to kill all tax advantages for the solar industry also.

 This is another project that likely would have been helped by restoring earmarks in the Federal budget, a negotiating tool for getting regional projects like this funded in exchange for regional projects in opposing lawmakers districts. Earmarks were abolished by President Obama, one of his early “accomplishments” to aid in the budget process. Something that should likely be brought back. It actually worked to ease gridlock, and keep worthy projects like this alive. It had it’s problems, like a bridge to nowhere in Alaska, but that was actually an outlier to the bulk of good work it got accomplished.

A long-awaited tidal energy project in Puget Sound has come to halt. The project was set to generate electricity and connect it to the grid – the first project of its kind in the world. But it just got too expensive. The Snohomish County Public Utility District had hoped to install two underwater turbines in Admiralty Inlet near Puget Sound’s Whidbey Island. The pilot turbines would have generated enough power for about 200 homes and stayed in the water up to five years. The U.S. Department of Energy had said it would pay for half the project, but the department recently said it couldn’t keep paying after eight years of permitting and testing. Courtney Flatt reports. (EarthFix)


Head of State Ecology Answers Prof. Cliff Mass on Ocean Acidification

As reported here in the last few weeks, UW Meteorologist Cliff Mass posted in his blog that recent court filings by the US EPA and State Department of Ecology were evidence that neither really thought that Ocean Acidification was a scientifically proven threat to the Salish Sea and our seafood industries. My criticism here on this blog was then used by him as a place to accuse me of personally attacking him for his views. (see comments in previous articles last week). This week, State Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon stepped into the fray, publishing a scathing blog entry directly addressing his comments. I quote:

Department of Ecology take threats from ocean acidification very seriously. This is not a surprise to many, given our policy and science leadership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to understand and address ocean acidification. But local meteorologist Cliff Mass’s September 7 blog is causing some people to question just what our position is, and whether ocean acidification is real.

Let’s be clear. Ocean acidification is real. Determining the causes, impacts, and identifying potential solutions are high priorities for our agency and our state…

….Cliff Mass quoted a few sentences from legal documents that misled several blog readers to believe that Ecology and EPA have determined that acidification is not damaging oysters in Puget Sound or other local waters. He misinterpreted documents filed under litigation by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


It is gratifying to say the least to see our top bureaucrat in charge of addressing this issue come forward and clearly lay out the issue to any reader in the State. Professor Mass has not yet chosen to respond to this blog post by Ms. Bellon.

Those of us who are involved in educating the public to serious (and sometimes difficult to comprehend) issues like ocean acidification are grateful to Ms. Bellon for stepping up and using her bully pulpit to call out the serious and urgent need for continued scientific work to figure out a solution to this issue, if a solution does in fact exist. There is far too much at stake to sit back and allow critics to derail these efforts without  answering them. It’s what true leadership is all about.

More on Navy Electronic Warfare Plans

One of our correspondents did some digging today. Thanks to L.P.  Here’s the report:

I just got a call from John Mosher, Navy Project Manager for that “electronic warfare testing project” reported in the Forks Forum. He had just received a similar call from someone in Forks so he knew my concerns – he confirmed that there was no posting of the project info or comment period for project, in particular in Forks Forum or PDN.

At first he started out defending the project, saying there were going to be 15 sites, only 3 of which were in an area east of Forks “far from the town, in the remote mountains of the Olympic National Forest.”  The sounds were to be emitted from a vehicle, only after it had been ascertained that “no people or animals were nearby.”  I pointed out that was impossible in the terrrain he described.  I also explained that what might seem remote to someone in an office was not remote to the people of Forks who have made/are making their living by logging and collecting salal.  The forest is their “neighborhood.”

I asked whether the Environmental Assessment and the Navy’s Declaration of Non-Significance are posted on the web and he gave me this link  http://go.usa.gov/kQ6e

But when I went there it had lots of old postings with meaningless titles and didn’t see anything that obviously related to this issue.   Unfortunately I didn’t get his contact info but he’s on the Whidbey Island base outside of Oak Harbor.

As we finished he did say that our phone comments now were being made note of, not in the official Comments on those documents but they may be taken into account for “further outreach.”  He did say “I can say that I now wish we had posted the information locally.

So it seems that yes, the Navy is up to something out near Forks, that it involves some kind of electronic warfare testing that involves sound emission, not clear if it’s something that is sonic, ultrasonic or electro magnetic. We hope that a larger news agency with staff might follow up on this issue.

Navy Planning on Electronic Warfare Exercises Near Forks – No warning to locals – Forks Forum

Apparently the Navy is planning on conducting unannounced Electronic Warfare Exercise in rural areas around Forks sometime in the near future. The exercises will include some kind of electromagnetic radiation exposure, that the Navy intends to stop if humans are found in the area. WTF?

Discussed in the Forks Forum, http://www.forksforum.com/opinion/277005121.html, this training exercise, which was ‘publicized’ in news outlets far from the affected areas, is somehow secret, yet needing local approval. According to the article, local politicians in Forks are unaware of the activity.

You can read the whole story at the link above, but if you want to call and complain, here’s the info:

Call Dean Millett at 374-1222 or Charles Escola (Navy-Silverdale) at 360-396-0069 or Leslie Yuenger, Northwest Public Affairs Officer (Navy) 360-396-6387.

So today you marched…now what?

Millions of people came out today (Sunday) to march to tell the elected officials in WA DC, that we demand real change on the environment.  Real progress to move the needle from imminent human ecological disaster to at least a plan to get us headed a right way. Maybe something minor, like Germany has done, actually moving themselves to well over 30% of their energy being generated by non fossil fuels. Can you imagine if we got that far? We are less than 3% now! Oh sorry, I didn’t include all the fracked energy that our elected officials pretend is “renewable”. Or the food products that we are turning into fuel for our cars. Get real!

But as we saw during Viet Nam, one march isn’t going to change the world. It took years of marches. Let me repeat. Years of marches.

But wait, it was an egomaniac point of view to think that we, here in the US, stopped the Viet Nam War. Nope. We significantly influenced our politicians, but the real people who stopped it, were the Viet Cong and North Viet Namese. The people who went out there and fought the battles on the ground. While we certainly aren’t advocating that kind of warfare, the issue here is that someone has to actually get out and do something more than march. Today’s analogy is to get the right folks elected, and the wrong folks voted out. That includes Democrats upholding the status quo,  that pretend they are for environment regs when they only say that to get elected.

We have to educate and help the Chinese and Indians (in India) to figure out better ways to get modern than burn  the remaining fossil fuels on the planet. That’s called *environmental education* and maybe paying for ads on Chinese TV is a start. But wait! They are leading the way in solar installations! Where is the US? Far down the pack. Who really needs the education? Them or us?

Here in the US, we have to stop pretending we are leaders in anything, other than great ideas. We are trailing across the board on climate change issues, but remember, we are what the rest of much of the world wants to emulate. If we can’t clean up our own house, we can’t expect them to follow suit. Unless, sorry to say, it’s us following them.

But I’m hopeful! Why? Because if there is anything we humans can brag about  to the rest of the animal kingdom, it’s that we are supremely clever. When we want something, we will figure out a way to get it. So let’s just take 100 years and say we need to fix the planet, rather than go to another one. That we will stop fighting long enough to fix what is broken here. Now.

As the kids say, “If wishes were fishes.”  We can’t wish ourselves out of this. We have to do the heavy lifting. And now that you have your walking shoes on for the march, it’s time to keep moving. You don’t need to get on a boat to head off the arctic whalers with Greenpeace. You have experience, or at  least a lot of stamina if you are young and without a specific talent. You know your strengths. Play to them.  You know the things to do in your community. You live there. Do what you are good at to do good. Change your own community first. Hell, write your own blog. Produce your own movie. Don’t wait for me or anyone else. But most of all, change the status quo.

If you are going to march, you can’t stop there. You have to do a long walk. You’ll need more than one pair of shoes to get to where we are going. You’ll need hip boots to wade through all the bs you will encounter in the way. You’ll need fast shoes to outrun the ones trying to stop you.  It’s a long way to the end of that road. But the real fun in is in the travels. Now that we’ve seen that you can march, let’s see if you can travel. See you on the road.

Northern lights: Auroras expected after 2 huge solar flares erupt – CBC

Look to the skies tonight. We have the weather to see them.

Two powerful blasts from the sun are hurtling towards Earth, and may generate beautiful auroras as far south as Pennsylvania tonight and tomorrow night – along with possible power and communications disruptions. “A G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm Watch has been issued for September 13th due to the combined influence of these two events,” reported the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colo. early Thursday morning. It recommended looking for possible auroras both Thursdayand Friday night. (CBC)


Cliff Mass and hot air – opinion

Last week, regional meteorologist Professor Cliff Mass, called into question the reality of ocean acidification, along with restating his claims that climate change is nothing to worry about anytime soon.

As to his analysis that ocean acidification doesn’t effect us here because of the court filings of the EPA I can confidently state that no one that I’ve contacted that he points to agrees with his conclusions. His misreading of the lawsuit by the Natural Resource Defense Council, and counter suit filings by the State and EPA, is twisting of facts to suit his arguement. He goes on to make points that the whole thing is only being used as a fundraising tool by environmental and grant funding tool by shellfish companies.

My contacts at Taylor Shellfish clearly stated he misinterpreted anything that they told him. They believe Ocean Acidification is real, and a threat to their very business. As to root causes of it, and possible solutions, no one yet has definitive answers, but a lot of people are looking at what those might be. As science should. The suit by the NRDC is stating that they already know enough to take action, while the US EPA and State EPA claim otherwise. To draw the conclusion that they don’t believe it exists from these court filings is absurd.

There has been a poster on the web recently, stating, “If 97% of structural engineers told you that a specific bridge was going to collapse if you drove your car over it, would you trust your life and the lives of your children to the other 3%?”  And the water planners in California, and homeless “climate refugees” in the Methow here in Washington, who have been wiped out by a fire the likes of which has never been seen in the generations that Europeans have been living there, can probably attest, that something is happening here that is outside the box of normal environmental scenarios. 97% of the scientists who study these things call it Climate Change. And they are in agreement over the root cause. It’s man made.

The NOAA web site for Ocean Acidification can be found on Facebook.


And the web site if you aren’t allowing yourself to be monitored for targeted advertising on Facebook.

Here’s the science standing in stark contrast to the outlier, Professor Mass.


climate change


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 267 other followers

%d bloggers like this: