Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary written by OCA & others

A Thanksgiving Call for Climate Action

By Mark Dunlea, Green Education and Legal Fund

Accelerating climate change will likely cause the collapse of civilization. Sooner rather than later.

Civilization is a complex web of social and economic interactions that takes centuries to reach its peak, but once it begins to unravel, collapse often occurs swiftly. Prior collapses of human societies have primarily been due to environmental factors. In most cases, solutions existed, but they threatened the power and wealth of the ruling elite. The elite chose the status quo.

Scientists increasingly raise the possibility of the extinction of the human species. We are already in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of species, with half or more of the species expected to die off. Insects and pollinators are rapidly disappearing. Humans are dependent on other species for many things critical to human survival, such as food and oxygen. (Plankton, which produce half of the world’s oxygen, are rapidly approaching extinction.)

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DNR: Adopt a forest carbon policy

By consensus at our Oct. 6 meeting, OCA has sent the following letter to the State Board of Natural Resources and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gShz1QaPB3YwDD97ElLv5L9Yk48SeQa4/view?usp=sharing

Excerpt:

The Washington State Public Lands Commissioner has a legal obligation to investigate and consider all reasonable, foreseeable mitigation and adaptation measures related to climate change. The DNR has completed an assessment of climate-change-related risks and has acknowledged significant threats to forest, agricultural and aquatic resources, and is working on climate resilience strategies; however, DNR needs a clear directive from BNR to focus strongly on the challenges posed by the climate crisis.

We believe that if a market were created to reimburse the State and Local Taxing Districts for forest carbon sequestration at the Social Cost of Carbon and State-managed forests were managed for optimal sequestration over the next century, they would produce far more income and employment for timber communities and their taxing districts than the income and employment currently generated by timber harvests. That income would grow year after year and provide a stable financial anchor for our timber communities. Numerous additional benefits would flow from such management, including cleaner water, steadier stream flows, healthier populations of fish and wildlife, more recreational benefits, reduced fire danger, etc.

 

Trump an “embarrassment”

“How dare you?”

Right here, right now is where we draw the line, The world is waking, and change is coming whether you like it or not.

Greta Thunberg, speaking before the United Nations, 9/23/2019

The terrible truth, in one graph

2050 is a generation too late. That would be unforgivable, and very likely utterly catastrophic.

Extinction Rebellion: “The Emergency”

If you let this graph sink in, you’ll understand why so many are turning out in the streets to demand a halt to business as usual and the most massive turnaround of the world’s economy we’ve ever seen. If you need more background, go here.

September 20th

Leviathans in the Harbor

More and bigger cruise ships are crowding coastal destinations. When is enough, enough? Who gets to decide?

by Brian Payton , August 27, 2019, Hakai Magazine 
‘Knoll Lowney, the lawyer representing the three plaintiffs who claimed they were victims of Carnival’s environmental violations, said, “Time and time again, Carnival has shown its contempt of environmental laws and the rule of law.”’