A real time global warming experiment

We have entered totally uncharted territory lately, as we all know, due to a virus that may or may not have started in a wet market in a Chinese city most of us have never heard of before this event.  We had been warned about viruses becoming more frequent as global warming accelerates.  and also here. (https://www.livescience.com/55632-deadly-diseases-emerge-from-global-warming.html)

Our current President has dismissed science, the scientists  that could have helped prevent it, the budget for them, our global alliances that we rely on for support and almost any mention of a science based approach. We have one of the most ignorant men of the modern era leading us at the most important time of the last twenty years. Those that elected him were fools then and now will likely follow him into the hospital as they listen to his lies and misinformation. Many innocent people will die from this. We are in free fall and are racing to find a way to stop the pandemic. Most likely we will, but at what cost?

I have been busy setting up remote at-home workstations for clients, complete with video conferencing, using the remote access tool TeamViewer. (highly recommended). So I apologize for not having kept up on this blog, which so many tell me they rely on for local environmental news. It’s been amazing to watch as people who have resisted virtual communications as it has grown, suddenly find themselves needing to become proficient with it to survive. People can change when they have to. It’s a lesson worth noting as we face the future.

The only good news out of all of this, is that we are seeing in real time, what the Green New Deal may have accomplished on a orderly basis, which is the radical slowing of our green house gases into the environment. Certainly there will still be coal fired electrical generation happening, but with the vast bulk of petroleum based engines being idled, we will gain some insight into what it means to stop oil use globally.

We can now watch, in real time, as we see how much impact a major shift away from oil will have. I’m looking forward to seeing the data.

I’m still hopeful. As Mindy Lubber, the CEO of Ceres, a sustainability non profit organization said in a recent Forbes article,

One thing that history has shown us is that a crisis can produce real change. The power of collective action will become evident. True leaders will emerge. The impossible will become inevitable. Innovative ideas and policy solutions will take hold, save lives and eventually get the economy back on track.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mindylubber/2020/03/26/coronavirus-climate-change-and-our-community/#2d4b2fa84f78

Stay strong, get out and get a walk. Protect yourself and stay healthy. We’ll need all of us after this is over to move back into real change for the next crisis that our warming world is creating.

 

One year after Paradise burned, the new normal for California – Washington Post

www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/26/this-is-new-norm-fire-ravaged-wine-country-rolling-blackouts-become-way-life/

“This is the new normal in fire ravaged wine country. Rolling blackouts become a way of life.” Blackouts affect millions. 13,000 people still displaced from Paradise and surrounding areas. No relief in site. Government agencies overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster. The short video in the article highlights a mother of three from Paradise who lost everything and struggles to get by, having to move 13 times since the fire. And this week, more fires. These are America’s climate refugees. To those still denying climate change, It’s time to demand action and see reality because you may be next.

Humans’ role in climate change, oil and gas industry lawyer says ‘that ship has sailed’ – Wa Post

The Washington Post got ahold of closed door comments by the a top Petroleum industry executive. This shows that the industry is well aware of their role in this climate emergency, and that they are not assuming the Trump agenda is lasting or helping them.

The burning of petroleum accounted for 45 percent of the United States’ energy-related carbon emissions last year, according to the Energy Information Administration, while natural-gas burning contributed 31 percent.

In a closed-door meeting of oil and gas executives this summer in Colorado Springs, industry lawyer Mark Barron offered a bold proposal: Energy companies must accept that fossil fuels are helping to drive climate change. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s real, or not real, or what the issues are,” said Barron, who heads the energy litigation arm of Baker Hostetler. “That ship has sailed from a political perspective.” Barron added that any American younger than 40 had grown up learning that climate change is “an existential crisis that we need to address.” The recording of the June 24 meeting of the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), which was obtained by The Washington Post, highlights a growing schism between the Trump administration and key players in the fossil fuel industry. Even as Trump officials work to repeal federal restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions, some oil and gas executives say they have no choice but to press forward with plans to address climate change. Juliet Ellperin reports. (Washington Post)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/when-it-comes-to-acknowledging-humans-role-in-climate-change-oil-and-gas-industry-lawyer-says-that-ship-has-sailed/2019/09/26/63c0d250-c9c2-11e9-a4f3-c081a126de70_story.html

17 States Sue Feds Over Endangered Species Act Rules – AP

Perhaps we should consider the cost benefit analysis of saving humans.I don’t think we would be allowed to be saved if all species on this planet would be able to cast a vote for or against us.

Seventeen states sued the Trump administration Wednesday to block rules weakening the Endangered Species Act, saying the changes would make it tougher to protect wildlife even in the midst of a global extinction crisis. The lawsuit, in federal court in San Francisco, follows a similar challenge filed last month by several environmental groups, including the Humane Society and the Sierra Club. The new rules begin taking effect Thursday. They for the first time allow officials to consider how much it would cost to save a species. They also remove blanket protections for animals newly listed as threatened and make it easier for creatures to be removed from the protected list…The states challenging Trump’s rules are California, Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The District of Columbia and New York City were also named as plaintiffs. Gene Johnson report. (Associated Press)

17 States Sue Feds Over Endangered Species Act Rules

Hunting and Fishing to Expand on 77 National Wildlife Refuges – OPB

The outrage to our National Wildlife Refuges by the radical right wing that Trump has put in place in our federal government continues. It is hard to believe that most Republicans that voted for Trump were voting for this to happen. This is a right wing revolution taking place right in front of our eyes, and the damage may never be recovered from it. These areas were set aside as refuges,over the last 100 years,  now they are nothing more than shooting galleries for hunters. I have no idea why anyone would cheering such a thing.  Once again it reinforces the notion that you could have all the great intentions in the world, but if you sit out elections because your favorite candidate didn’t get the nod, then you have no power to accomplish anything, and you likely lose what you value. Voting counts.

Hunting And Fishing To Expand On 77 National Wildlife Refuges
The Trump administration is expanding hunting and fishing opportunities in 77 national wildlife refuges. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service eliminated or revised thousands of regulations to closely match state laws. The expansion added more than 1.4 million acres nationwide and more than doubled the acreage that has been opened or expanded in the last five years combined…. In Washington, San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Spring Creek, Leavenworth, Little White Salmon and Entiat national fish hatcheries will open to sport fishing for the first time. In addition, the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge will open more land to waterfowl hunting this season.  Molly Samayoa reports. (OPB)

Proposed EPA Rules Could Limit State And Tribal Power To Block Infrastructure Projects -OPB

Over the last few years, since Trump came to power, I have been hearing about companies, some here in the NW engaged in shellfish farming, that have been quietly spending tens of thousands of dollars lobbying the Federal government to strip away the capability of local jurisdictions, such as county, state and tribal governments, to create local rules that could stymie the businesses operations or licensing by the federal government, under the Clean Water Act. A goal of theirs has been to take away the ability of local environmentally concerned organizations to sue, other than at the federal level.  Now, it appears the Trump administration is acting on their lobbying efforts. Think about fish farming, pulp mills, or any other activity covered under the Clean Water Act.

The rules specifically would restrict these non-federal governments’ authority to review the water quality impacts of projects that require a federal permit or license. These projects range from pipelines to hydropower facilities to dredging — any development that result in “discharge” into U.S. waters.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 21, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OW–2019–0405, at https://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lauren Kasparek, Oceans, Wetlands, and Communities Division, Office of Water (4504–T), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564–3351; email address: cwa401@epa.gov.

Read the whole legal document (very long, very difficult to follow if not a environmental lawyer) at

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-08/documents/cwa401certification_2060-af86_nprm_20190807_prepublication_version.pdf

https://www.opb.org/news/article/federal-water-quality-rules-energy-infrastructure/

Debate Over Water Quality Standards Takes A New Turn – Puget Sound Institute

Christopher Dunagan writes on the issue of the Federal EPA vs. State of Washington EPA, vs. the people of Washington, as the real battle of Trumps reigning in of environmental regulations changes the rules of engagement. The issue is very relevant to all of us in the Salish Sea basin, as it pits a national standard of water quality, established by the EPA under Obama’s era, against an update by the Trump administration. How much cancer causing chemicals can we eat before we get cancer?

The State of Washington EPA fought the original stricter standards, because it would mean more effort by industrial corporations (i.e. Boeing et al) to meet the newer standards, which were put in place partly due to the fact that many of us are eating far more fish than what was originally believed. Now those same corporations are petitioning Trump’s EPA to ease the standards.

It’s not just an academic debate. Cancer causing chemicals effect us and our resident Orcas and more. Read the whole short story on it here. Www.pugetsoundinstitute.org

https://www.pugetsoundinstitute.org/2018/11/debate-over-water-quality-standards-takes-a-new-turn/

Many people thought the issue of regulating toxic chemical discharges into Puget Sound was settled when the federal government forced Washington state to use stricter criteria, but the debate may be underway once again.

%d bloggers like this: