Category Archives: All

Contains all blog posts to this site that aren’t on static pages

COVID-19, Capitalism, and Climate Disruption

How will the coronavirus change perceptions
of climate change

By Krestine Reed

I’ve become interested in how COVID-19 sequestration (a.k.a. social distancing and shelter-in-place) may effect GHG and other factors contributing to climate change. There is much being written that acknowledges just how little time is required to make a significant visible and measurable change. We are currently emerged in a real-time case study that shows how existing energy and economic systems adapt to abrupt changes. I’m just hoping that those in the power seats are paying attention. Here is an article of interest that was in Scientific American, March 12, 2020.   

“History suggests that global disasters, particularly those with major effects on the economy, tend to drive a temporary decline in carbon emissions. The 2008 recession, for instance, was accompanied by a temporary dip in global carbon emissions.  On a local scale, the climate impact of an epidemic is more complex—it’s likely to hinge on a wide variety of changes in the way people carry out their daily lives, from how often they leave their homes to how they travel around their cities to how they do their shopping.”  https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-affecting-co2-emissions/.

I recently noticed that capitalism never misses a profit making opportunity. In the security of our “social distancing” confines comes the offer to purchase a new automobile and have it delivered to your driveway. And if your personal income stream is interrupted by COVID-19, you are offered extended terms in which to begin repayment. Now that’s ingenious marketing in a fear-based downturned economy. Only in America does consumerism and materialism have the fervor of religion. I’m a little disappointed though, so far I’ve only seen automobile manufacturers of combustion engines offering this deal. At my new house, I got local channels included in the Wave package, so I watched some TV with all those ads. Thank goodness I can get the TV channels option removed.

Hot Off the Wire — 4/03/2020

Flu Virus Resources

It’s for your own good.
You have to stop touching your face.

Opinion

Letters to the Editor | Bill Moyers editor
The Sleep of Reason — March 8, 2017

In our inaugural “letters to the editor,” Bill hears from a historian about the greatest horror to emerge from Trump’s actions thus far.

A Historian Speaks to the Current Moment — March 14, 2020
The wolves at the door

Solutions

Week 19: Leave washable cutlery and tableware at work for greener lunches
Take part: April 5–11, 2020

Regional Actions

#FridaysForFuture
in Port Angeles is suspending gatherings until further notice.
We will be ramping-up our #DigitalStrike efforts.

Greta Thunberg urges ‘#DigitalStrikeOnline
rather than big crowds amid coronavirus outbreak

It is time to weigh in on the proposed Chehalis River Dam!
Please register today for the online public hearings April 2 and April 21

National Actions

Trump and Wheeler are exploiting this pandemic to make toxic pollution legal. Tell them this is unacceptable. — Sierra Club

Build your skills of virtual legislative lobbying
Join a webinar on Tuesday, March 31 at 5 pm PT

Local/Regional News

Series:
Coronavirus and Cascadia

National/International News

Key readings about climate change and coronavirus

Writers and reporters offer insights on the comparisons between two urgent global problems — Yale Climate Connections

Coronavirus Halts Street Protests, but Climate Activists Have a Plan
— New York Times

Social Community Series Webinars — Strike With Us

The New York Times

Interview with magazine editor and filmmaker Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
— Burning Worlds | New York Times

Climate Voters Still Want More From Biden — New York Times

Judge Orders Environmental Review Of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline — National Public Radio

Will you join me right now and urge Congress to oppose a bailout to the cruise industry? — Stand.earth

Climate in Politics

Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks Find Opposition Within:
Staff Scientists

Federal scientists and lawyers, told to undo regulations that some have worked on for decades, have embedded data into technical documents that environmental lawyers are using to challenge the rollbacks.

Inspiration

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist
who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands since 2000
  1. Carbon dioxide:
    Nature’s tiny solar panels
  2. Take a deep breath
  3. Galileo Fixes Everything

This is a series I’m writing on climate change for our local monthly newspaper. I wanted to go back to the basics of the science behind climate change.
I’ll post them in coming Yarns.
Cheers, Nan

Category:
Burning Worlds

Making PPE for our Healthworkers

Jo-Ann’s Fabrics is offering free take-home-to-sew face mask kits. The PA store has kits of materials to sew 5 face masks (limit one kit per person at a time).  Return the completed masks to the store.

Also, you can use elastic from other products, such as head bands, hair ties etc., which should be available at many stores.

Here’s a more complex mask that includes a pocket for filter material:

Background info & discussion on this mask

Alexander McCall Smith

These are very difficult times for so many. I have been very touched by the messages that I have received from readers, many of whom are isolated now and are renewing their friendship with Mma Ramotswe and the others.

I have written a poem especially for this moment, and the text is below. It comes to you with my warmest wishes, and my hope that you are keeping well.

“In a time of distance”

The unexpected always happens in the way
The unexpected has always occurred:
While we are doing something else,
While we are thinking of altogether
Different things — matters that events
Then show to be every bit as unimportant
As our human concerns so often are;
And then, with the unexpected upon us,
We look at one another with a sort of surprise;
How could things possibly turn out this way
When we are so competent, so pleased
With the elaborate systems we’ve created —
Networks and satellites, intelligent machines,
Pills for every eventuality — except this one?

And so we turn again to face one another
And discover those things
We had almost forgotten,
But that, mercifully, are still there:
Love and friendship, not just for those
To whom we are closest, but also for those
Whom we do not know and of whom
Perhaps we have in the past been frightened;
The words brother and sister, powerful still,
Are brought out, dusted down,
Found to be still capable of expressing
What we feel for others, that precise concern;
Joined together in adversity
We discover things we had put aside:
Old board games with obscure rules,
Books we had been meaning to read,
Letters we had intended to write,
Things we had thought we might say
But for which we never found the time;
And from these discoveries of self, of time,
There comes a new realization
That we have been in too much of hurry,
That we have misused our fragile world,
That we have forgotten the claims of others
Who have been left behind;
We find that out in our seclusion,
In our silence; we commit ourselves afresh,
We look for a few bars of song
That we used to sing together,
A long time ago; we give what we can,
We wait, knowing that when this is over
A lot of us — not all perhaps — but most,
Will be slightly different people,
And our world, though diminished,
Will be much bigger, its beauty revealed afresh.

Facebook | Twitter | AlexanderMcCallSmith.com

Hot Off the Wire — 3/21/2020

Flu Virus Resources

Opinion

Naomi Kiein — Senior Correspondent | The Intercept
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” — Milton Friedman
by Andy Warner

Unpersuasive: | Knowable Magazine
Why arguing about climate change often doesn’t work


Subaru: Stop Helping the Trump Administration
Make Cars Less Efficient

Solutions

Week 17: Spring cleaning time! Donate old items instead of throwing them out

Take part: March 22–28, 2020


Engineers Found a Way to Generate Electricity From Thin Air

Elon Musk’s Battery Farm Is an Undeniable Success

It’s the bet that saved Australia tens of millions of dollars.

Regional Actions

We are standing for mother Earth and humanity, especially for the youth inheriting this future.

#FridaysForFuture in Port Angeles is suspending gatherings until further notice. We will be ramping-up our #DigitalStrike effort in coming days.

Greta Thunberg urges ‘#DigitalStrikeOnline
rather than big crowds amid coronavirus outbreak

Announcing the first-ever 350.org
Regional Conversation Series!
Monthly discussions around key organizing topics


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is league-of-women-voters-logo.jpg
From the League of Women Voters


FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE & ITS EFFECTS

2020 Legislative Session Wrap Up


National Actions

Tell Trump: No bailouts for shale oil producers — Climate Hawks Vote

Tell Trump and the federal government: no bailouts for Big Oil and the fossil fuel industry — Stand.earth

Tell the Senate to invest in people, not polluters — 198 Methods

Tell Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to ban climate disinformation and fossil fuel greenwashing on the platform — Greenpeace

Will you join the Twitter storm and let your opposition to this tree-to-toilet pipeline be known? — Stand.earth

UCS is monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and may modify our supporter communications as we do our best to balance progress on our shared priorities with the ongoing public health crisis. We encourage all our supporters to practice social distancing to the extent possible and have implemented several practices at UCS. Stay well.

Local/Regional News

Quileute Tribe Climate Action Planning – a wealth of references & resources

Rocky Mountain animals will move as the climate changes
These corridors could give them a safer path — The Washington Post

Sustainable Farms and Fields bill (SB 5947) passed the Washington State legislature!

While we can’t hug, fist bump or
march together, now IS a good time
to dig in and learn more about the incredible people, achievements,

and challenges our movement is founded upon. .”

Move the Money Out of Fossil Fuels
Our state Senate failed. “. . . with inaction on another global crisis.”

Dammed to Extinction
is now available for streaming
on-line, for $4.99

National/International News

COVID-19 resource .Doc for US local groups — from 350.org
These resources were collected with the goal of best supporting the resilient network of 350 US groups during the emergence of COVID-19. This is a living doc intended for local groups to share within their organization and communities.

Stand.earth’s statement on COVID-19: Community care and climate action

The demise of the polar vortex
could spell weather surprises this spring

— The Washington Post


New Report Reveals Global Banks
Funneled $2.7 Trillion into Fossil Fuels
Since Paris Climate Agreement,
with Financing on the Rise Each Year

Our Sierra Forum: Defunding Climate Destruction will be postponed — Sierra Club

The Soil Solution
Policymakers, entrepreneurs and farmers are increasingly looking to soils in their fight to slow climate change
Out of Antarctica, churnings of climate change
The interplay of carbon dioxide, winds and Southern Ocean waters could be reaching an environmental tipping point
Why green energy finally makes economic sense
Solar and wind generators have suddenly become just as cheap as other ways to produce electric power
What makes food ‘local’?
An anthropologist looks at the myriad ways we link food to place — and whether it really could make a difference — Knowable Magazine

Inspiration

Untitled Poem

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20

An Imagined Letter
from Covid-19 to Humans

Nan Bray is an oceanographer and climate scientist
who has farmed superfine merinos near Oatlands since 2000
  1. Carbon dioxide:
    Nature’s tiny solar panels
  2. Take a deep breath
  3. Galileo Fixes Everything

This is a series I’m writing on climate change for our local monthly newspaper. I wanted to go back to the basics of the science behind climate change.
I’ll post them in coming Yarns.
Cheers, Nan

Category:
Burning Worlds


Subaru: Stop Helping the Trump Administration Make Cars Less Efficient

The Union of Concerned Scientists (Winter 2020) reports that Subaru is in a group of automakers trying to fight California’s right to keep a higher emission/efficiency standard while the Trump administration is rolling back the national standards.

OCA member Janis Burger is a Subaru owner and she’s written a letter to Ms. Anton, Manager of Corporate Communications in the U.S. (danton@subaru.com). Janis would like to share that letter with other members and Subaru owners alike.

Why California gets to write its own auto emissions standards:
5 questions answered — The Conversation

Why Trump Wants to Revoke California’s Clean-Air Waiver — The Atlantic

Search: California’s clean-air waiver

Dear Ms. Anton,

I’m hoping you can pass these concerns on to the relevant corporate decision makers.

I’ve been a Subaru owner for most of my adult life, as are many of my friends here in outdoorsy Washington state. We are also surrounded by mountains with declining snowpack and retreating glaciers. We are seeing worrisome declines in downstream water supplies, increasing forest fires and days with health-compromising smoke, and more. And ocean acidification is exacerbated on our coast and impacting tidepool species, even in Olympic National Park and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. They can be protected somewhat by their park and sanctuary status, but not from inaction by us humans regarding climate change.

It’s a crime that the newest Subaru’s and even the hybrid Cross-trek barely get better mileage than my old 1992 Legacy got. The Obama administration’s efforts to increase vehicle efficiency and emissions standards were a strong move to cutting global emissions. Now the current administration is ignoring science and trying to roll those back and is even challenging California’s right to keep the higher standards. So it’s shocking that Subaru is part of the disingenuously named Coalition for Sustainable Automotive Regulation that is fighting California’s right in the absence of stronger federal standards. As the Union for Concerned Scientists has reported, Subaru at least has removed the hypocritical posting on its website about AWD vehicles keeping us safe in a changing environment, all the while fighting efficiency standards that would help fight that change.

I will be taking a look at Honda’s line of SUVs and hybrids now since they, BMW, Ford and VW are siding with California.

I hope Subaru’s management will be a better corporate citizen of this planet, join the automakers above to embrace the original Obama guidelines (or even strive to exceed the more ambitious standards since we’re seeing the climate warming faster than even experts predicted).

I’ll be sharing this email with all my Subaru owning friends and members of our local climate action group so we can get the word out.

If you have any updates, I’d love to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Janis Burger

Untitled

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20