What if we stopped pretending? New Yorker

Finally the veil is being dropped on whether we are going to actually save ourselves from the climate change fiasco. Author Jonathan Frazen has stated what many in the environmental movements inner circle have been discussing behind closed doors,  not wanted to talk about, because of it’s “negative” influence on members and donations to the ongoing feel good aspect of doing work that is not directly related to fixing climate change.  The elephant in the room is that none of that is going to save us from our addiction to fossil fuels. Read this and take action, while we can. Let’s stop pretending that we are not going to end up with major consequences. Maybe all the environmental agencies and NGOs on the Peninsula and the State can band together into something that can start to raise the red flag. Governor Inslee staked his campaign on it. Why he lost has a bit to do with his on stage personality, but more to do with the lack of connection most people have to this issue. The 70,000 people in the Bahamas, who became the most recent climate refugees, paying the price for our coal, natural gas and gasoline engine addiction, are fully aware of who causes this and who pays. We may have already run out of time to do anything of substance. The answer is in strengthening our systems, including our democracy from the upcoming onslaught of fear and tribalism. We have a head start here in Port Townsend and on the North Olympic Peninsula, but the recent tribal (and I don’t mean Native American tribal but the tribal like response of the local non-tribal people) backlash in Sequim to even the notion of a drug rehab location shows how much more work that needs to be done.

What can you do? Can you fly just a bit less? Vacation here rather than Mexico or Hawaii just for one time? Drive just a bit less? Put off that trip to Sequim’s big box stores for another week or so? Eat less meat? One night a week? No one is asking you to give it up (though that would be a much bigger help!), but just taking actions on your own, right now is what is needed. Sorry, you won’t see a positive result, you will see a slightly less negative one! And you might find yourself slightly less stressed out.

To survive rising temperatures, every system, whether of the natural world or of the human world, will need to be as strong and healthy as we can make it.

The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.

The goal has been clear for thirty years, and despite earnest efforts we’ve made essentially no progress toward reaching it. Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. If you’re younger than sixty, you have a good chance of witnessing the radical destabilization of life on earth—massive crop failures, apocalyptic fires, imploding economies, epic flooding, hundreds of millions of refugees fleeing regions made uninhabitable by extreme heat or permanent drought. If you’re under thirty, you’re all but guaranteed to witness it.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/what-if-we-stopped-pretending

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations | UBC Science – Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia

As if we needed another problem for our dwindling salmon stocks to face, now this.

New viruses discovered in endangered wild Pacific salmon populations
— Read on science.ubc.ca/news/new-viruses-discovered-endangered-wild-pacific-salmon-populations

The World Wastes Tons of Food. A Grocery ‘Happy Hour’ Is One Answer. NY Times

Here’s a simple thing that all of us, myself included, can do to slow global warming. The article points out that food waste, the excess food that groceries and restaurants dump, along with the food that you and I throw out because it never got used in our fridges, is another significant cause of global warming. Why? Because all of it had used fossil fuel to plant, harvest and transport, and then, after it was near or after its’ use by date, was transported from the store to either a food bank, or landfill where it was composted, both using fossil fuel to do that job, and by the methane generated by it rotting in the landfill.

I’ve gone to using my bike to make much more frequent trips to the grocery store, or combining those trips with other trips. I buy in much smaller amounts, such as a quart rather than a gallon of milk. I rotate my vegetables and check the drawer daily. I’ve gone to buying less fruits and veggies at the market, more 1 at a time, rather than three or four that might sit and go to waste.

Here in Port Townsend, I know that the food bank works with NW Harvest and the local groceries to do their best to work excess food into the hands of those that need it and are not able to afford it.

Our refrigerators are geared towards waste. Very few of us really need the size of refrigerator that we have, but unless you design your kitchen yourself, all standard kitchens use about the same size large refridgerators. This is not true in Europe. And not having a standard refrigerator affects your house’s resell value. It’s all of a piece, that we are designing our way to a warming planet.

While a freezer does help reduce waste by prolonging the foods use by date, it also contributes to global warming itself.

The best we can do is to think through our food use. Slow the buying habit. As a challenge, try to buy your food the day you plan to eat it.

And perhaps discuss this with your local grocers. They want your business! It’s a low margin business.

www.nytimes.com/2019/09/08/business/food-waste-climate-change.html

Growing Blueberries Workshop – Wed September 18th

Growing Blueberries Workshop – Wed September 18th *New*

If you are interested in blueberry production, then this workshop is for you! Come on out and gain knowledge and practical experience with WSU specialists and local farmers! Workshop topics will include soil management and nutrient needs for optimal blueberry production, pruning for controlling bush size and concentrating ripening earlier in the season, pathogens  including phomopsis twig blight and mummy berry, weed management, and spotted wing drosophila and other pests. Guest speakers include Lisa DeVetter  Assistant Professor, Small Fruit Horticulture, Beverly Gerdeman – WSU Assistant Research Professor in Entomology and Janet Aubin  Farmer, Finnriver Farm. Janet will walk us through her 25 year old and 2 year old blueberry fields. Cost is $25 per person (*scholarship assistance available, please contact Kellie Henwood at least two weeks before the event or call (360) 379-5610 ext. 201. Preregistration required, click here.
Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon. Location: Finnriver Home Farm, 142 Barn Swallow Rd., Chimacum

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th

WSU Master Gardener Training’ Course – Class starts September 16th *New*

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener? The next WSU Master Gardener Training class starts soon!  This eleven-week course includes professional education from WSU educators via online training, lectures from local experts and field trips to outstanding local and regional gardens.  Upon completion, participants give back to the community by volunteering in one of our many programs, including our Growing Groceries class, WSU Seed Library, food bank gardens, native plant outreach, and Plant Clinics.  Lectures and field trips take place on Thursdays; September 12th through November 21st from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The class is held at the Jefferson County Library and the WSU Classroom in Port Hadlock. .  Cost is $265.  For more details click here,  or contact Bridget Gregg.

EVENT: Beyond Waste Action Group 9/10

Beyond Waste Action Group – Local 20/20 – Tues  September 10th
The Beyond Waste Action Groupmeets the second Tuesday of each month at either 10:30 a.m.-12:00 or 7pm-8:30pm, depending on the month.  The group looks at a number of issues including food-waste composting, plastics reduction and recycling, reduction of garbage on an individual and community level, and various other waste-related topics that spontaneously come up during the meeting.  Newcomers are always welcome. Email Lisafor info on monthly agenda and meeting time and venue. Location: Uptown PT.
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Location:  contact Lisa.

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/

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