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.

 

Mussels fetched from Kitsap waters give insight into contamination – Kitsap Sun

For many years Mussel Watch has been the method by which we have been able to monitor the water quality  throughout Puget Sound by  looking at the contaminants in our shellfish. During my time on the Jefferson County Marine Resources committee we petitioned and got a muscle watch station in Discovery Bay and other locations during the cycle that ended in 2017.

Work being done by this program is absolutely critical in understanding both where we are now and whether or not we’re making progress in making the waters of the Salish Sea cleaner. The findings are concerning, and should be of particular concern to feeding large amounts of shellfish to children. Much more research needs to be done to better understand what the levels found in these results actually mean to long term ingestion of them.

“Results from the last cycle — in 2017 — showed that Puget Sound has particles from fuel and laundry detergent, and 100% of sites tested showed a presence of antibiotics used for livestock. All sites also tested positive for antidepressant medication, said Mariko Langness, WDFW fish and wildlife biologist.”

Kitsap Sun

https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/03/04/mussels-fetched-kitsap-waters-give-insight-into-contamination/4925353002/

 

Geek out! PA event! March 14th 10-4

Geek out

Kid-Friendly Family Fun

On March 14, Feiro Marine Life Center will again host the free, community-oriented Science & Technology Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People of all ages and interests are invited to engage with scientists at booths and during presentations, and examine infographic posters that provide examples of how science works to contribute to our communities and our quality of life. Kids of all ages will enjoy displays, games, and activities specially geared to make science fun.
“Science on Display” is back this year. This display honors the broad spectrum of retired and active scientists and science educators living or working across the north Olympic Peninsula. From each profile, learn what inspired him or her to pursue a chosen field. Discover the science education, applied science, and interesting research conducted right here on the Peninsula, thus putting a face from the community on science in the community.

Why celebrate science?
Because science helps us understand hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes and how to capture, store, and use power from the sun. Science has shown us that it’s important to wash our hands and to cover our mouths when we sneeze. We use science to heat our homes, grow our food, and predict the weather. Science is everywhere, everyday.

GeekOut! is a self-sustained community event sponsored annually by Feiro Marine Life Center. Support for this event is provided from across the north Olympic Peninsula by volunteers who are members of grassroot organizations and groups, as well as residents and friends who annually volunteer in the Corn Booth during the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend. Some of these same volunteers fostered this local celebration in 2017 with a shared mission to celebrate the essential role science and technology plays in all our daily lives.

Group asks for injunction regarding Growler flights – Skagit Valley Herald

Again, the Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve and the State of Washington go to court to try and stop the increasingly annoying and likely health adverse Navy practice flights on Coupeville. Our federal representatives, like Derek Kilmer have been ineffective at slowing the growth of this nuisance.  Let’s hope the courts see fit to reign this in. The surrounding communities both on Whidbey Island, Jefferson County and the San Juans would like to see this moved elsewhere. According to the COER there has been a fourfold increase in flights in the area. Thanks goes to AG Bob Ferguson for taking a stand on this and seeing what the courts say.

The Citizens of Ebey’s Reserve (COER) is asking a federal judge to require the Navy to roll back the number of EA-18G Growler practice flights at Outlying Field Coupeville to pre-2019 levels until a lawsuit over the number of Growler flights is settled.

Skagit Valley Herald Article

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Judge voids nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases, saying Trump policy undercut public input – Washington Post

Again we see the importance of the courts in staving off the attacks against the environment by the current administration. If you ever thought that your vote doesn’t matter, remember, you are also electing judges that are appointed by the administration of the time. Not voting because your favorite candidate doesn’t get chosen is a foolish move that actually works against the environment and your own self interests.

Here we see a Federal judge in Idaho legally rule on what we all thought all along, that the administrations 30 day feedback window on giving away millions of acres to oil and gas companies was arbitrary and capricious.

Here’s the whole story.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/02/27/judge-voids-nearly-1-million-acres-oil-gas-leases-saying-trump-policy-undercut-public-input/

 

For first time in 20 years, feds take deep look at hydroelectric dam removal on Lower Snake River -Seattle Times

Today is the day that the Feds are going to be releasing the first serious draft EIS of dam operations on the Snake in 20 years. It’s amazing that we are seeing a small bit of traction in looking into the possibility of removing dam removal on the Snake. As the article points out, the BPA has struggled to be financially viable as solar and other sources of energy has surged. One analysis I saw from supporters of the dam removal (technically breaching the dam), said that the BPA loses money with every kilowatt is sells. Given the urgency of getting more salmon to our dwindling orcas, breaching the dams would be the fastest way to get the most salmon to the ocean.

As the article also points out, since the last time the Feds looked at this issue, in 2000, more than a dozen runs have remained near or at extinction levels. There is little time left to do something that can change this scenario.

The Governor of Oregon has taken a stand on supporting the breaching of the dams, and has urged Governor Inslee to do the same. There is a strong alliance of businesses that oppose it. I might remind readers that the same thing happened with the Elwha dam removal. However, with so much industry relying on the dams, the likelihood of a quick solution to this is pretty slim.

Thanks to the Seattle Times for reporting on this.

 

Seattle Times Story on Dam Removal

SSB 6147 in committee today. Bulkhead bill.

The bulkhead bill, SSB 6147 has an important vote in the House Rural Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 28th.


SSB 6147 establishes a process where replacement shoreline armoring would be required to consider using the least impacting shoreline protection technique — for example, using woody debris and natural green armoring rather than hard concrete.

I have documented the benefits of green armoring. If you want to see a short 2 minute video about a group of homeowners in Dungeness Bay who have benefited from green armoring over bulkheads and riprap, check this out. Won’t take much of your time. And if you feel like supporting this bill, call or write today to Representatives Chapman and Tharinger, along with Senator Kevin Van de Wege.

https://vimeo.com/68577147

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