How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change – NYT

Many people ask me about what they can do to really personally affect climate change. In this article today from the NY Times, Author Emma Marus presents the most concise overview of what’s really needed by individuals.  A five point plan for you to use in your everyday life. Hang this on your fridge door. Look at it daily. Everything beyond these ideas, like eating vegan, buying electric cars, etc. are all nice things to do, can make you feel better, but will not change the equation. Start here. Expand with whatever else you feel you want to do. And stop stressing. Climate change is here and we just have to deal with it as best we can.

My point is that the climate crisis is not going to be solved by personal sacrifice. It will be solved by electing the right people, passing the right laws, drafting the right regulations, signing the right treaties — and respecting those treaties already signed, particularly with indigenous nations. It will be solved by holding the companies and people who have made billions off our shared atmosphere to account.

www.nytimes.com/2020/01/10/opinion/sunday/how-to-help-climate-change.html

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.

German coal mine expansion threatens to displace villagers, even as country charts green energy future | CBC Radio

Interesting story comparing the various issues at play in Germany, the leader in renewable energy use.

A dozen or so historic villages in Germany are about to be swallowed up by open-pit coal mines in the coming years. Meanwhile, a neighbourhood in the city of Freiburg has forged its own reputation as a leader in energy conservation, solar power and green building standards.
— Read on www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-september-23-2019-1.5293685/german-coal-mine-expansion-threatens-to-displace-villagers-even-as-country-charts-green-energy-future-1.5291570

Extreme Weather Displaced a Record 7 Million in First Half of 2019 – NY Times

An interesting article by the New York Times documenting how many people have been displaced by climate change related weather in the first half of this year alone. The only question left to ask is, who’s next?

www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/climate/extreme-weather-displacement.html

EVENT: State attorney general Ferguson, DNR commissioner Franz to speak Aug. 25 at Democrats’ annual Fish Feast

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, undefeated in 22 lawsuits so far against the Trump administration, will be one of two keynote speakers Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 25th annual Fish Feast in Port Townsend of the Jefferson County Democrats. Its theme this year: “There’s a Lot on the Line.”

Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, who spearheaded the development of a 10-year statewide plan to fight and prevent wildfires, will be the other keynote speaker.

Tickets for the event at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds are available for $60 at jeffcodemocrats.com and by mail at Jefferson County Democrats, P. O. Box 85, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Tickets will also be available at the door (cash, check or card).

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the bar and socializing in the Erickson Building. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., and speakers begin at 6 p.m. The party donates one dollar of each ticket to the Jefferson County Fair Board.

“The Fish Feast is our major fundraiser of the year,” said party Chair Marty Gilmore. “Each ticket purchase supports the vital work we do year-round to elect Democrats! It’s also an opportunity to hear the latest on current issues from our guest speakers – and fun time to see friends.”

Recent successes by Ferguson’s office include the largest-ever trial award in a state consumer protection case, debt relief from predatory lending for hundreds of students, and defense of the constitution by defeating the Trump administration’s attempt to add a discriminatory citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Franz’s office has led state efforts to make Washington’s lands resilient in the face of climate change, investing in carbon sequestration and clean energy with wind, solar and geothermal infrastructure. Her office has also allocated millions of dollars to struggling rural communities to spark economic opportunities.

Fish Feast attendees will also hear from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, state Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, state Reps. Mike Chapman and Steve Tharinger, state party chair Tina Podlodowski, and local Democratic elected officials.

Before the feast is served, guests can mingle with candidates, campaigns, and organizations in Campaign Alley outside the Oscar Erickson Building.

Rep. Kilmer has sponsored tickets for 20 Young Democrats (under 35 years old). Contact Libby Wennstrom (360-301-9728) or Chelsea Pronovost (425-256-0626) to pre-register as a guest.

“We’re also offering 20 discounted tickets at our cost,” said Fish Feast organizer Claire Roney. “$25 each – first come, first serve.” For more information—or to volunteer for the Fish Feast, contact Roney at (360) 531-1177.

The Fish Feat menu will include sockeye salmon from Key City Fish, BBQed by chef Larry Dennison; shellfish from Taylor Shellfish; greens and veggies from local farms; rolls from Pane d’Amore; and cake. Beverages will include wine from the Wine Seller and beer from Port Townsend Brewing Co.

For more information about the Jefferson County Democrats, visit its website at jeffcodemocrats.com or its Facebook page, @jeffcodemocrats.

July was Earth’s hottest month on record – Washington Post

Like frogs in a pot of water, we think that it’s just incremental changes we are seeing. The President and his minions continue to say that it’s all a hoax and there’s nothing to worry about. More lies from the man who seems to never be able to tell the truth, nor even remember what he said the day before. As glaciers shring, and water tables in many places lower,  our sources for water are starting to dry up in some places. Maybe this will get through to people. Then there is rising sea levels, which we only now are starting to see in a certain locales.

July was Earth’s hottest month on record, beating or tying July 2016
July was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, “on a par with, and possibly marginally higher” than the previous warmest month, which was July 2016, according to provisional data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service. This European climate agency will have a full report for all of July on Monday, but a spokesperson said enough data (through July 29) has already come in to make this declaration. Andrew Freedman reports. (Washington Post)

‘Regional climate modeling’ provides clearer picture of climate change impacts in PNW | KNKX

This is what Cliff Mass is best at, regional weather modeling. Cliff has at times been highly skeptical of climate change issues that many of the rest of the scientific community had already excepted, but in the last few years he seems to of come entirely on board with the premise. This appears to be very good work that he’s done with this group of atmospheric researchers.

How does it apply to us here on the Olympic Peninsula? If our snow pack is reduced by 75% in the next hundred years, we may have to seriously look at alternative ways of getting water for our towns like Port Townsend. And the notion of having a papermill that uses 1,000,000 gallons or more a day will likely be a thing of the past.

KNKX weather expert Cliff Mass has been working with a group of atmospheric researchers at the University of Washington hoping to get a better idea of the
— Read on www.knkx.org/post/regional-climate-modeling-provides-clearer-picture-climate-change-impacts-pnw

California signs bill to go carbon free by 2045

The biggest news of the year. California showing the way. Can we pull it off too?

California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that would require all of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by 2045, marking the biggest step yet in his fight against global warming. The measure, passed last month by the legislature, will eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels to power homes, businesses and factories in the world’s fifth-largest economy, accelerating a shift already under way. The state currently gets about 44 percent of its power from renewables and hydropower.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-10/california-s-brown-signs-bill-for-carbon-free-power-by-2045

 

Solutions to the Climate Crisis- Alternative Radio

For an alternative point of view to the climate summit, tune in to Alternative Radio on KPLU this week, or pay to download the audio or transcript direct from Alternative Radio.org. Expand your mind on the subject…This week, Tim Flannery.

http://www.alternativeradio.org/products/flat001#

“The Paris Climate Change summit has come and gone. The results? Kind of like what Naomi Klein, author and activist, says: Your doctor tells you that you have dangerously high levels of cholesterol and are at acute risk of a fatal heart attack. You are told to stop eating meat and radically reduce your intake of alcohol. So what do you do? Instead of eating 5 hamburgers a day you eat 4. Instead of ten drinks a day you have eight. The world leaders who gathered in Paris were falling over themselves congratulating one another on what they saw as an historic achievement. But what was agreed upon was the equivalent of applying band aids where surgery is required. The future of the planet is at stake. We need solutions not placebos.

Tim Flannery of Australia is a major voice in chronicling the effects of climate change and proposing solutions. He has taught at the University of Adelaide and Harvard and was Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Museum. He is a Professional Fellow at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Atmosphere of Hope: Searching for Solutions to the Climate Crisis”

Washington

  • KAOS Olympia – 89.3 FM – Noon Monday
  • KEXP Seattle – 90.3 FM – 6 a.m. Saturday
  • KGHI Westport – 91.5 FM – Noon Sunday
  • KGRG Auburn – 89.9 FM – 6 p.m. Saturday
  • KITR-LP Kettle Falls – 101.5 FM – 6 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. Sunday, 6 a.m. Monday-Friday
  • KLOI- LP Lopez Island – 102.9 FM – 7 p.m. Monday
  • KPBX Spokane – 91.1 FM – Noon on rotating Tuesdays & Thursdays
  • KSER Lynwood/Everett – 90.7 FM – 7 a.m. Sunday
  • KSFC Spokane – 91.9 FM – 9 p.m. Friday
  • KSVR Mount Vernon – 91.7 FM – 4 p.m. Friday
  • KSVU Skagit River Valley (Sedro-Woolley, Lyman, Hamilton, Birdsview, Shannon Lake, Concrete, Rockport) 90.1 FM – 4 p.m. Friday
  • KUGS Bellingham – 89.3 FM – 6 p.m. Friday
  • KUOW Seattle – 94.9 FM – 11 p.m. Wednesday; 2 p.m. Sunday KUOW-2 HD
  • KYRS Spokane – 92.3 FM, 88.1 FM – 9 a.m. Monday

The British Guardian View On COP15

Here’s a good overview on why we should be optimistic about the outcome of the Climate Summit last week. Believe me, it is easy to be cynical about the lack of enforcement built into this agreement. But here’s a good short overview from one of my most trusted sources for honest journalism in the world today. The people at the Guardian do not whitewash the difficult stories of today. They are of a shrinking group of newspapers left that are outside the normal advertising based model (they are funded by a trust fund from decades ago).

Globalisation has been spinning into reverse. But the Paris talks illustrate the potential of determined diplomacy between jealously sovereign states…

…The Paris COP 21 talks surpassed expectations in rising to it, demonstrating just how much can be achieved by determined diplomacy, even while working within the unbending red lines of jealously sovereign states.

The Guardian Editorial on COP15

First EPA chief accuses Republicans of ignoring science for political gain – The Guardian

William Ruckelshaus, who this week will receive the presidential medal of freedom, says candidates are harming US’s reputation ahead of Paris climate talks

The man considered the father figure of environmental protection in the US has attacked Republicans for “going through all the stages of denial” over climate change, accusing leading presidential contenders Donald Trump and Marco Rubio of ignoring science for political gain.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/23/epa-william-ruckelshaus-republicans-climate-change?

The B.C. Scallop Farmer’s Acid Test – The Tyee

More on the emerging ocean acidification issues of aquaculture. 

Rob Saunders points a flashlight into the depths of an immense plastic tank at his hatchery, illuminating millions of scallop larvae as tiny as dust particles. “Think of these as canaries in a coal mine,” says the marine biologist turned embattled shellfish farming CEO. It is here at Island Scallops’ facility in Qualicum Beach, located just inland from British Columbia’s shellfish farming epicentre of Baynes Sound, that ocean acidification wreaked havoc. Beginning in 2011, the company’s scallop brood stock (adult shellfish bred over 25 years to be disease-resistant and exceptionally meaty), began to die. Christopher Pollon reports. (The Tyee)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/11/19/climate-change-scallops_n_8597502.html

Washington Tribe Confronts Climate Change, Sea Level Rise – Earthfix KUOW

Climate change adaptation strikes home here on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The Quinault Indian Nation is struggling sea level rise and the loss of the Anderson Glacier, which feeds the Quinault River.

TAHOLAH, Wash. – A big question will confront international leaders in the next round of climate talks in Paris: How do they help poor, island and coastal nations threatened by rising oceans, extreme weather and other climate change-related risks?

In the Northwest, sea-level rise is forcing a Native American tribe to consider abandoning lands it has inhabited for thousands of years. – Ashley Ahearn reports.

http://kuow.org/post/washington-tribe-confronts-climate-change-sea-level-rise?utm_source=Sightline%20Institute&utm_medium=web-email&utm_campaign=Sightline%20News%20Selections

What’s the best way to communicate about climate change? – Grist.org

A very interesting overview by a social scientist who has studied this issue over the last few years. All of us that are involved in public communication and education can learn from this interview.

For the last decade, Anthony Leiserowitz has been tackling what he describes as the “problem from hell” – how to communicate to the public that climate change is a real thing that is happening and that they should probably do something about, unless they like famines and a world ruled by stinging jellyfish. As the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, he’s been an integral part of some of the most comprehensive research out there on how people around the world understand climate change — and why they aren’t doing enough to stop it.

http://grist.org/climate-energy/whats-the-best-way-to-communicate-about-climate-change-this-expert-offers-some-insights/?utm_source=syndication&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed

July 2015 was warmest month ever recorded for the globe – NOAA

The data is in from NOAA, and it’s not good.  In addition, January-July 2015 also had record warm temperatures and globally the oceans heated up. From South America, through Africa, the data points to the highest temperatures recorded since record keeping in 1880.

(graphic from NOAA)
These numbers simply belie the fact that moving to clean energy is crucial to having any success in reversing this trend, or mitigating it. The numbers however, don’t show the facts on the ground, where drought, massive and unprecedented wildfires, and ocean destruction are impacting us now, and into the future. There is no time left to push solutions into the future.

Here in Jefferson County, there appears to be no backup plan if we get another winter without snowpack. I have heard nothing from County or City leaders, on what will be done if the water from the rivers is not present. That situation is happening now, and will not likely break until midwinter. Lots of talk about September through November water rationing, but scientists are predicting a very dry winter.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/global/201507

Is Anywhere on Earth Safe From Climate Change? – The Atlantic Monthly

New article in the Atlantic Monthly, that explores the sweeping changes happening in the planet’s ecosystem, and what it means for all of us. Great read.

Relocating to a landlocked city isn’t enough .Put simply: Climate change poses the threat of global catastrophe. The planet isn’t just getting hotter, it’s destabilizing. Entire ecosystems are at risk. The future of humanity is at stake.

Is Anywhere On Earth Safe From Climate Change?

Free read, but subscribe to the Atlantic Monthly if you appreciate this kind of reporting.

Upcoming Climate Action Events

Want to actually do something to help move the needle on climate change? Here’s one thing you can get involved with.

Olympic Climate Action and Carbon Washington are sponsoring three local events in support of Initiative 732, for a Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax, featuring the Initiative’s principal author, Yoram Bauman

Carbon Washington is a grassroots campaign seeking to put Initiative 732 on the 2016 ballot. I-732 would institute a revenue-neutral carbon tax in Washington State, using revenue from a tax on fossil fuels to reduce existing taxes. There would be a full percentage point reduction in the sales tax, a fully-funded Working Families Tax Rebate, and an effective elimination of the B&O tax for manufacturers. If passed, this policy would be the strongest carbon price in the nation and would be the most significant improvement in the fairness of Washington’s tax code since the 1977 sales tax exemption on groceries.

Carbon Washington is working primarily through volunteers to collect 315,000 signatures from April-December of 2015. They have endorsements from organizations and individuals such as Citizens Climate Lobby, Seattle Business Magazine, former King County Executive Ron Sims, former County Commissioner Mike Doherty, and Port Commissioner Jim Hallett.

Yoram Bauman, Carbon Washington founder and executive committee member and

I-732’s principal author, is the world’s only stand-up Ph.D. economist.  He knows how to tackle heavy subjects in a light-hearted way and is coming to Port Angeles at the invitation of Olympic Climate Action.

Thursday, July 30, 1:05 PM:  KONP’s Todd Ortloff interviews Yoram Bauman.  AM 1450 and FM 101.7

  • Yoram will explain the rationale for I-732 and preview his Aug. 2 evening performance and Aug. 3 Chamber of Commerce appearance.

Sunday, August 2, 6:30 – 8:30 PM:  “Climate Change–It’s No Joke:  An Evening of Fun, Fossil-Fuel Fungibility, and Fundraising with Yoram Bauman.” Elwha Klallam Heritage Center, 401 E. First St. in Port Angeles.  All are invited at no charge, though the event is intended as a fundraiser.

  • Yoram will explain in a light-hearted way why economics is so basically funny and why I-732 is so important to our future and our community. Q&A, signature-gatherer signups, and fundraising are also on the agenda.  Light refreshments and socializing at 6:30, and then Yoram will try to knock carbon pollution out of the park at 7.

Monday, August 3, 12 – 1 PM:  “Why a Carbon Tax Would Be Good for Our Local Community—Let Us Count the Ways.” Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Meeting, Red Lion Hotel banquet room, 221 N. Lincoln in Port Angeles.

  • Those wanting to learn more about climate policy options in Washington state, and how those options can impact our local community, can attend this talk by Yoram. Chamber lunch rules apply; attendees must buy lunch for $15 or drinks-only for $3.

Olympic Climate Action

Contact:  Bob Sextro, (360) 683-7643, robert.sextro@noblis.org

Carbon Washington

Contact:  Yoram Bauman, (206) 351-5719, yoram@carbonwa.org

 

 

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Who we are:  Olympic Climate Action is a group of local concerned citizens working for a safe, prosperous, sustainable future for residents of the Olympic Peninsula by addressing the threat of climate change. By sharing the best available science, OCA hopes to raise awareness of the challenges “climate chaos” poses for our community, as well as options for mitigation and action. Join us at olyclimate.org.

Puget Sound salmon face more ups and downs in river flows – Phys.org

Good news and concerning news from some recent science.

Many salmon rivers around Puget Sound have experienced increasing fluctuations in flow over the past 60 years, just as climate change projections predict – and that’s unfortunate news for threatened Chinook salmon, according to a new analysis of salmon survival and river flow. More pronounced fluctuations in flow can scour away salmon eggs and exhaust young fish, especially when lower flows force adult fish to lay eggs in more exposed areas in the center of the channel. The new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology says such increased flow variability has the most negative effect on salmon populations of several climate factors considered. (Phys.org)

http://phys.org/news/2015-02-puget-salmon-ups-downs-river.html

Fixing the environment from Davos Switzerland…absurd

I usually try to stay locally focused on this blog. But sometimes something so absurd that is related to our environment needs to be covered. As you may have heard, our planet is heating up. 97% of the climate scientists are convinced it’s due to our actions (number from Al Gore’s Climate 101 web site http://climaterealityproject.org/climate-101).  Burning fossil fuels, primarily. As one wag has put it, “if 97 out of 100 engineers told you that a bridge is so bad that you shouldn’t drive over it, would you?”

We are looking and expecting our leaders, to do something about it. Last week, in Davos Switzerland, the heads of most of the major corporations in the world, along with governmental leaders, met to discuss the global situation, both economic and political. How did they get to Davos? They flew 1700 private jets. 

If anything illustrates exactly the mess we are in, it is this. The very leaders that we expect to solve this crisis, are part of the problem.

Jon Stewart covered the issue brilliantly on Friday’s Daily Show. And Al Gore gave a great speech at Davos that clearly showed the current problem in very graphic form. He also called for action, now. (you can watch it at the link below). But if the players present, can’t even be bothered to fly first class to save on fuel, don’t expect any meaningful change soon. And this weekend were the King Tides here at home, along with the warmest winter on record. Doesn’t it seem that sometimes, nothing ever meaningful happens without a major crisis that causes change to be so obvious that change has to happen? I think of World War II as a perfect metaphor. Everyone knew it was coming, and had no will to actually do the things needed to stop it. We haven’t reached that point yet (unless you live in the Philippines, Northern New Jersey Coast, or just someplace near like the Quinault Nation on the Pacific Coast, where the tribe is moving to higher ground due to the breaching of their seawall). Hmmm. Ok, so maybe we have reached that point, and it just hasn’t affect you and I personally, except in higher prices for food from drought in California, higher insurance rates for coastal residents etc. Ok. So maybe it’s not affecting us enough. 

I don’t expect the 1% at Davos to do anything of any consequence for us with all the good intentions of Mr. Gore. As Billy Frank Jr, once so eloquently spoke, after returning from Washington D.C. and meeting with the President (Obama), the Secretary of the Interior and others, “They all say they care about the issue (salmon), but no one back there is in charge. I’ll tell you who’s in charge, we are.”  And so it is.

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http://www.weforum.org/sessions/summary/whats-next-climate-action

King Tides this weekend. – Get out and videotape and photograph them

A good opportunity for citizen science. If you have a local beach that you visit, this weekend, at high tide, is a good time to get out and videotape it. If your camera has GPS, get the exact waypoint for the spot you tape at. Your smartphone should also automatically do that with any shots you take.

We have a few projects that the Marine Resources Committee is tracking, and we’ll be out seeing how they fare.

This is global warming and climate change happening right in front of us. Take the kids out also to teach them what to look for in future decades, when they come back to the same spot.

King Tide Shows What Climate Change Has In Store

http://www.seattleweekly.com/home/956392-129/king-tide-shows-what-climate-change
This weekend the tide will rise three feet above normal, soaking the shore, spoiling freshwater aquifers, and giving us all a glimpse of the future. Dan Person reports. (Seattle Weekly) See also: King tides expected this week on Budd Inlet http://www.theolympian.com/2015/01/22/3537454/king-tides-expected-this-week.html Andy Hobbs reports. (Olympian)

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