Category Archives: Stories/News

A picture worth a million votes?

Like our lives depend on it

A color-coded map shows the biggest wildfires raging
up and down the West Coast
— Insider.com

Fires on Monday 14 September

The map below shows some of the biggest blazes in the three states, color coded by acreage.


The resultant smoke from the fires

AirNow Interactive Map of Air Quality

25 Washington Newspaper Editors Contact List

Places to submit Letters to the Editor

Follow the links for further instructions

Clallam County:

Clark County:

King County:

Kitsap County: 

Pierce County/ I-5 Corridor:

Snohomish County:

Spokane County: 

Whitman County: 

Yakima County:

Yakima Herald: 200 word limit for print; 500 for online

LSRD Methane Paper update – 30 July 2020

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En-ROADS — Climate Change Solutions Simulator

En-ROADS is a transparent, freely-available policy simulation model that provides policymakers, educators, businesses, the media, and the public with the ability to explore, for themselves, the likely consequences of energy, economic growth, land use, and other policies and uncertainties, with the goal of improving their understanding.


Seattle Cruise Control Update

Greetings, Seattle Cruise Control Supporters!

The COVID-19 pandemic has had at least two positive consequences:

  1. The entire 2020 Seattle-to-Alaska cruise season — all 233 ships — has been cancelled.
  2. Work has stopped on the new cruise terminal at T46! However, a pause is not the same as a cancellation: the Port of Seattle Director has stated that “when it’s safe to cruise again, we want to be ready.”

Now is a good time to double down on our demands for action in the face of climate collapse, public health emergencies, and systemic racial inequities:

  • Please ask five to ten of your friends to sign the petition that you signed (the last paragraph has changed to reflect the new circumstances). We’d like to get a whole new slew of folks to sign by September 15th.
  • Please also sign Stand.earth’s petition to the CDC to extend the no-sail order for cruise ships until they clean up their act!

Numbers matter! Last February, an approved plan to expand an airport in Bristol, England, was stopped when more than 8,000 people objected! They successfully argued that the damage the expansion would cause to the climate, the health of local residents, and plant and animal life outweighed the narrower benefits the expansion would bring. This is exactly our stance regarding expanding the cruise industry in Seattle.

Follow us on Facebook to stay informed with related news articles and calls to action, and check out our website for in-depth info!

Thank you for adding your voice to the growing groundswell of objections to these monster ships and the damage they cause everywhere they sail.

In solidarity,
Stacy, for 350 Seattle and Seattle Cruise Control

p.s. Seattle Cruise Control in the news: A recent hour-long interview on Portland radio station KBOO featured Seattle Cruise Control member Elizabeth Burton and climate scientist Heather Price! Tune in to hear our wide-ranging discussion of the harmful impacts of cruising and why we oppose a third cruise terminal in Seattle.

Forest Carbon Management Report

Forest Carbon and Climate Change
Proposed Solutions
Citations

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Climate Emergency Movement

The global tally for Climate Emergency declarations is up to 1,755, within 30 countries. In California, the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) Board of Directors adopted a Climate Emergency resolution and committed to achieving net zero emissions electricity by 2030, becoming the first utility company to commit to a timeline that is in line with what is necessary to address the emergency. SMUD has a legacy of leadership in the energy sector and with this declaration, demonstrates that they are committed to serving the 1.5 million people in their service territory, which includes the California State Capitol. Special shout out to our California ally Chris Brown who has been an invaluable champion for Climate Emergency Declarations in California and around the U.S. 

Menlo Park, CA has adopted a plan to become carbon-neutral by 2030, building on their Climate Emergency Declaration from 2019, and instituting one of the most ambitious plans in the United States. Their resolution makes explicit connection between the Climate Emergency and the demands of the Movement for Black Lives that investments be made to support communities that have historically borne the brunt of environmental injustice and racism: 

The City’s current Climate Action Plan (CAP) includes a 27 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal by 2020. In 2019, the City Council declared a climate emergency (Resolution 6525) and committed to addressing climate change by adopting a new CAP that provides significant actions to reach carbon neutrality (Resolution No. 6493.) Recently, the City Council also proclaimed in a Black Lives Matter resolution (Resolution No. 6563) an action to prioritize climate action and empower the City’s environmental leadership, recognizing that the City’s most vulnerable residents are the most affected by this global issue.

These two policy actions demonstrate the ongoing impact of the decentralized Climate Emergency Campaign and the continued leadership from the people of California.

Biden Climate Plan

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has published his new climate platform which focuses on environmental justice, clean energy, jobs, and sustainable infrastructure. While we commend Biden’s prioritization of climate and environmental justice, his 2050 deadline for eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is disastrously insufficient.

We cannot afford another disastrous emergency response that prioritizes profits over human life, as we have tragically seen with the failed response to COVID-19. Biden must commit to a 2030 zero-emissions timeline and a full-scale emergency mobilization to restore a safe climate in order to prevent runaway global heating and to build a better future.

Online Events

Next Monday, July 27 at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern, please join TCM’s Strategy Director Cris Lagunas, along with folks from the Institute for Policy Studies, Mexican Network of Mining-Affected People, and others for No Warming No War: Connecting Militarism with the Climate Crisis. Click here to register

Join System Change Not Climate Change, the Ecosocialist Network, Labor Network For Sustainability and 10 others for Strike! Using our Power to Stop Climate Disaster and Create a Just World with Jeremy Brecher — this Sunday, July 26 at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern. Click here to register.

Thank you for being a part of this movement.

Onward!
The Climate Mobilization Team

The Climate Mobilization
275 9th Street, Suite 150387
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States

The DNC platform is being improved!

Thanks to you, the DNC platform is being improved! At the end of a long day of amendments, hearings, and markups, we’re pleased to report that most of the amendments supported by Climate Hawks Vote folk like you have been approved!

Here’s a sampling of the amendments where your public support made a difference:

We won a commitment to 1.5 degrees! Perhaps the single most important amendment, where we collaborated closely with the DNC Climate Council, this language reflects science, the Paris Agreement, and equity among nations. The language: “Democrats will immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, commit the United States to doing its fair share and leading the world in the effort to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and convene a world summit aimed at new and more ambitious global targets to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.”

We’ve added climate finance language, building upon bills proposed by Congressional climate hawks Elizabeth Warren and Sean Casten. The platform now includes this language: “Democrats recognize that climate change poses serious risks to the economy and the financial system. We will require public companies to disclose climate risks and greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and supply chains.”

We added #ExxonKnew language: “We will hold polluters and corporate executives accountable for intentionally hiding or distorting material information and for affecting the health and safety of workers and communities.”

We’ve succeeded in adding in fossil fuel language and a pledge to end their subsidies! Although an early draft of the platform only mentioned “fossil fuels” once, the new platform adds, twice: “Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.”

And we’ve won a small victory on electric cars. The Biden campaign rejected our main request for a sunset on gasoline-powered car sales. However, the campaign acknowledged a point we’ve hammered on social and earned media: the increased domestic manufacturing base envisioned by the platform must be in service of electric vehicles.

Thanks again to the thousands of Climate Hawks Vote folk who’ve signed last week’s petition and engaged with the important work of the DNC Climate Council. Your voices made a huge difference in negotiations. 

Anything that you can chip in fuels the next phase of this critical work.  And yes, there will be a next phase.

Your fellow climate hawk (and DNC member-elect),

RL Miller

P.S. The final platform hasn’t been compiled yet, but here’s the original draft, the “manager mark” of agreed-upon amendments, and a separate package of 18 amendments getting votes (not all passed).

Climate Hawks Vote
PO Box 141
Agoura Hills, CA 91376-0141
United States

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Timothy Snyder | March 2017

An idiot’s guide to tyranny: Some thoughts about Timothy’s Snyder’s ‘On Tyranny’
— The Berkshire Edge

“Americans today are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism in the twentieth century. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.” — Timothy Snyder, from ‘On Tyranny’ | 2017

The Original article from Mr. Snyder’s Facebook Page

20 Lessons from the 20th Century on How to Survive in Trump’s America
A history professor looks to the past to remind us to do what we can in the face of the unthinkable.

BY Timothy SnyderThis article first appeared as a post on the author’s Facebook page.
His most recent book is “On Tyranny — Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century”
(Please note the numbered order is different in the book.)

“Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.”

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are 20 lessons from across the fearful 20th century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1. Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom. 

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Accurate Weather and Climate Reporting on KNKX Jazz Blues & NPR News

Thanks for signing our petition, “Accurate Weather and Climate Reporting on KNKX Jazz Blues & NPR News”. We were successful in modestly moving KNKX with respect to Cliff Mass’s minimization of the climate crisis. Station managers arranged for a scientific review (conducted pro bono by Dr. Tad Anderson, a former colleague of Mass and a member of 350 Seattle) and a journalistic integrity review (conducted by former NPR Public Editor Elizabeth Jensen). Both reviews were too narrow in scope, but KNKX has agreed to taking three steps:

  1. Removing mentions of Cliff Mass’ blog on the KNKX website and on the air during Weather With Cliff Mass. “A commentary slot should not be a platform for self-promotion,” the journalistic ethics reviewer wrote, “[and] Mass’ blog increasingly covers far more than weather.” This is an understatement, given one of Mass’ blog posts about I-1631, in which he compared the underserved, overburdened communities who would have benefited from some of the fees raised to pigs at a trough; the disrespect he shows Greta Thunberg, Jamie Margolin, and 350.org in another post; or the critique he makes of Washington state’s response to the pandemic.
  2. Requiring KNKX’s regular commentators to disclose if they plan to take a public political position; if they do, KNKX will disclaim it online or on-air. The public editor writes that “if Mass, or any other regular commentator, gets actively involved in a political campaign, KNKX should be transparent about that and make clear that such activism has no effect on its reporting.”
  3. Possibly creating additional programming dedicated to climate change.The journalistic integrity evaluation included a recommendation that “KNKX could consider making a place for dedicated reporting on local environmental issues, and give it as much prominence as it does its weather commentary.”

This third recommendation may be the most impactful for KNKX’s 350,000 weekly listeners throughout Washington and beyond. It would be terrific to hear a new feature on the station — “Climate with Kate Marvel” (or Elizabeth Kolbert or Jennifer Francis!) in which the climate minimalism of “Weather With Cliff Mass” would be counterbalanced by the perspective of one of the women in the field of climate science and climate journalism! If you support the idea of a new “Climate Science” feature centering the voice of a woman scientist or someone from the BIPOC scientific community, please let KNKX know by emailing Content Editor Matt Martinez. If you are a donor of KNKX, please also let the station managers know how important it is for them to develop additional climate reporting — distinct from weather or environmentalism reporting — ASAP!

Many thanks.
Mary Paterson with  350 Seattle, 350 Tacoma, 350 Eastside, and 350 Everett

The Washington State Climate Assembly needs your help!

Position announcement:
17 July 2020

Washington State Climate Assembly Program Assistant

The Climate Assembly Washington Initiating Team is looking for excellent candidates to serve as Program Assistant for the first-ever “Citizens’ Climate Assembly” in the United States!  

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Bill McKibben Steps-down from 350.org Board

First of all, enormous thanks for being part of 350.org’s family over the years. We’ve all depended on you, and I think together we’ve done useful work.

As 2020 ends I will transition from active to emeritus status in my work at 350.org, both in my role as ‘senior advisor’ and as a member of the board. Please read my full letter about this transition.

Second of all, I’m still going to be doing what I can to help 350.org, and to back up the climate fight. I’ve known from the very start that one of my jobs was to train the next generations of climate fighters, because this is going to be a struggle that takes place over decades. I’m proud of the people running 350.org these days, and know that with the proper support they will make enormous progress. It’s especially clear in their decisive embrace of the idea that we need to think about a just world even as we think about a safe and working one; the fusion of these ideas will produce enormous changes.

I won’t tell you we’re winning this battle: it now looks like 2020 will turn out to be the hottest year in the earth’s history. But I will say that, with your great help, we’ve accomplished at least a little of what I set out to do. The fossil fuel industry is no longer the colossus it was a decade ago, capable of blocking change. Increasingly we have it on the defensive, which means there may finally be room to start making the changes we should have embarked on three decades ago. The young people now leading 350.org will help make those changes happen!

The main thing I’d like to say is: thanks. These have not always been easy years for me—though it’s nothing compared to the violence experienced by environmentalists elsewhere. At times, the counter-attack by the fossil fuel industry has felt almost unbearably fierce, especially since they also went after my family. I’m truly grateful for the support of my wife and my daughter. And I’m truly grateful for the friends that I have made these past decades in this fight—they are so many in number, and spread so widely across the earth, that I can’t begin to list them. But they know who they are, the companions in this fight who have done so much, against such great odds. I look forward to supporting them, and those who will emerge, in every way possible in the years ahead.

Onward,
Bill McKibben

P.S. Please read more about 350.org’s new board members here.

Greta Thunberg: Humanity has not yet failed

Sommar & Vinter i P1 | Jun 20 – 75 min.

Spotify URLhttps://open.spotify.com/episode/7E2Wz3C5XwtEw3Pi96tLQA?si=gOHyk4gOSMGxKcgdaoc4lg

Episode Description

Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges world leaders to do more. Doing our best is no longer good enough. We must now do the seemingly impossible, Thunberg says in the Swedish Radio show Summer on P1 where she takes us along her trip to the front lines of the climate crisis.

We don’t accept these odds. That was Greta Thunberg’s principal message while speaking before the General Assembly of the United Nations last year. It referred to the remaining CO2-budget of humanity.

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OCA Signs Letter to Big Oil: Protect the Arctic Refuge

OCA joins other groups to encourage the big oil companies of Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Hilcorp, and BP to not pursue fossil fuel development in one of our most majestic public lands in the nation – the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Read the letter here . . .

Drilling in the Arctic Refuge is risky and unnecessary – it violates the human rights of Indigenous peoples, will exacerbate climate change in an area that’s already ground-zero for climate impacts and will cause irreversible destruction to a precious landscape. 70 percent of voters in the United States oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge. The case for protecting the Arctic Refuge is so clear that five of the six largest US domestic banks have announced they will not fund any efforts to drill in the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge, which is sacred to the Gwich’in people.

Despite the COVID-19 crisis, which is endangering our health and economy, the administration continues to push forward with destroying majestic places. Drilling in a place as remote and pristine as the Arctic Refuge isn’t cheap, and by joining this letter, you have an opportunity to encourage oil and gas companies to publicly affirm that they will not drill in the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge.

In Solidarity with All Our Relations

The senseless, violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other Black, Brown, and Indigenous people of this country are merely the most recent, visible examples of systemic inequality and racial injustice in our country. These deaths and the depth of inequality they represent work against our mission to seek a safe, prosperous, sustainable future for us all. Organizations, including our own, working against climate change have an obligation to unequivocally condemn racism in all its forms and to work towards an equitable, livable future for all.

We need real, lasting change to stop acts of racism and violence against communities of color, as well as the unjust burden of climate change on poor and front-line communities. We stand in solidarity with all marginalized and oppressed members of our community in calling for accountability and justice for all, and we commit to engaging in critical self-reflection and active listening and dialogue with marginalized communities to learn how we can be part of the solution.

OCA Stands Opposed to the Keystone XL Pipeline

In solidarity with Indigenous communities, farmers and ranchers along the route, OCA is sending our protest banner to the Governors of Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska demanding they stop all pre-construction activity.

Background:

The movement against the Keystone XL Pipeline has successfully stopped the Trump Administration and TC Energy, aka TransCanada, from building this climate-destroying tar sands pipeline for years. But right now, amidst COVID-19, TC Energy is moving forward with plans to break ground on construction. While so many of us are sacrificing so much to protect our communities, TC Energy is planning to bring thousands of workers near Indigenous communities and rural towns that are already vulnerable to the spread of the coronavirus with little access to healthcare facilities. Such blatant disregard for public health and safety is sadly to be expected from a company who would build such a life-destroying pipeline in the first place. We must act now and come together to demand TC Energy halt any construction.

‘Cancel KXL’ petition

Promise to Protect

How can we achieve climate justice today?

From urban cities to rural towns, people are coming together in outrage to demonstrate that #BlackLivesMatter and call for the end of white supremacy culture and systematic racism. This is not a new struggle or fight. This is a response to centuries of oppression that has torn apart Black communities through slavery, police brutality, incarceration, economic disenfranchisement, redlining, wage theft, and environmental racism. 

As an intersectional climate coalition, we know that we cannot achieve climate justice without racial and economic justice. We also recognize that we cannot fight the climate crisis without being anti-racist. Our society’s solutions must actively work to replace the current racist system with one that is just, equitable, and explicitly repairs past injustice. 

Ways to take anti-racist action:

  • Donate what you can to the following bailout funds and organizations that are leading this work
    • Black Visions Collective – A Black, trans and queer-led organization committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence, and shifting public narrative to create transformative, long-term change
    • Reclaim the Block – Minnesota coalition that advocates for and invests in community-led safety initatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
    • Black Lives Matter Seattle Freedom Fund – The funds collected will go to the immediate release of people protesting the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Manuel Ellis in Seattle/King County.

We uplift the lifelong work of Black, Brown and Indigenous-led organizations calling for racial justice and the transformation of our neighborhoods into places where everyone can be safe, healthy, and can thrive. We remain committed to confronting and undoing structural racism, uplifting the voices and decision-making power of communities of color, black, and indigenous communities, and pushing for solutions that invest our communities most impacted by structural racism, pollution, and the climate crisis.

In Solidarity,

Lauren Breynaert

Coalition Director, Climate Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy

Stop the Money Pipeline supports the demand to defund the police

For years, the Movement for Black Lives has demanded investments in the education, health and safety of Black communities, instead of in institutions that criminalize, cage and harm Black people.

Stop the Money Pipeline supports the demand to defund the police, and invest instead in Black communities.

Cities across the United States spend a mind-boggling portion of their budgets on policing. In many cities one in three tax-payer dollars is spent on policing. Minneapolis policing accounts for 35.8% of the city budget; in Oakland it’s over 40%. In some cities, like LA, police account for half of the city budget.

When we talk about defunding the police, the question isn’t just if we should be funding the police at the current levels. The question is also about what we as a city, county, state and nation should be spending our money on.

Few documents say more about who we are than our budgets. Budgets are a concrete expression of our values and our priorities. Every dollar we spend funding the police is a dollar not spent on mental health programs, social workers, rehabilitation programs, community empowerment programs, education, the arts, and local Green New Deal programs.

These are the same types of questions that calls for divesting from fossil fuels are concerned with — it’s not only what shouldn’t we do, it’s also what we could do instead. That’s why Stop the Money Pipeline strongly supports the call to defund the police. Here are 3 things you can do right now to support the call to defund police: Sign this Black Lives Matter petition demanding the defunding of police Sign up for updates at Defending Black Lives Donate to the Movement for Black Lives. If you’ve been inspired by the wave of uprisings sweeping the world and want to keep the momentum for defunding the police moving, the next step is signing up to join Six Nineteen, a series of actions across the country starting June 19th and continuing throughout Juneteenth weekend. 

Want to learn more about defunding the police? You can read more at the Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter, as well as in these pieces in Newsweek, The New York TimesThe NationThe Atlantic, and Rolling Stone.

Want to learn more about the connection between defunding the police and climate justice? Mary Annaïse Heglar published a piece this morning about why “We Don’t Have To Halt Climate Action To Fight Racism.” Ayana Elizabeth Johnson explains how racism derails our efforts to save the planet. Here is a piece in Common Dreams that Stop the Money Pipeline ran on why climate activists should support the demand to defund the police. Finally, here is a great resource from one of our partners, 350.org: What we must do to dismantle white supremacy.

There are already a string of initial wins during the uprisings: The Minneapolis school board is terminating contracts with the police. LA is cutting up to $150 million from the LAPD budget and investing that money in communities of color instead. A majority of the Minneapolis City Council has pledged to disband the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new model of public safety. In Atlanta, county commissioners have denied a proposal for a $23 million expansion of Fulton County jail in Atlanta. Confederate statues have come down in at least 7 cities, and as the antiracist uprising goes global, statues of slave traders in the UK are going the same way.

Climate justice is about far more than reducing emissions. It is about building a fairer and more just world. It’s about following the leadership of those that are most impacted by injustice. At Stop the Money Pipeline, we believe that can start by getting behind the demand to defund the police.

Climate justice is also about accountability ― and we need to take some accountability. In our last email, we perpetuated a behavior that upholds white supremacy and harms people of color: We misspelled Ahmaud Arbery’s name. We apologize and deeply regret this mistake. We recognize that misspellings and mispronunciations are common microaggressions, often perpetuated by white people, that harm Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color. As we all continue to learn the hard work of dismantling white supremacy in ourselves and in our broader society, we would like to share this article about how misspelling and mispronouncing the names of People of Color is a harmful act that upholds white supremacy.

We’ll have more soon — especially about next weekend’s Juneteenth actions.

Stop the Money Pipeline

What are our next steps toward BLM?

How about that amazing special edition 350 PNW Conversations call on Monday?!

We had 22 folks from 12 local groups across our region gather together to reflect, listen, and engage in conversation around the powerful recent message “In Defense of Black Lives” from Black leadership at 350.org to all of us organizing for climate justice at local groups in the US. Thank you to everyone who showed up to share in this conversation together with empathy, insight, and care. 

I encourage each of you to watch the webinar message so that you, too, can engage in this ongoing conversation about what it looks like at the local group level to respond in a good way to Black leadership within our organization. 

Meeting Notes + Slides w/Resources

Three key reflections are worth sharing here:

  1. The importance of following Black leadership at this moment in our support of the movement for Black lives, including at the local, regional, and national levels.
  2. Our key role as local group organizers in educating our groups and our bases to help our communities make strong connections between climate justice and racial justice, and to provide ongoing support and education around topics that may feel challenging to some, such as defunding the police or conversations around “looting”.
  3. We have broad regional alignment and shared values around showing up as climate organizers right now in support of Black lives in a good way.

You can find fantastic notes from the call above, (thank you to Emily from 350 Spokane for stepping in as note taker while I have limited hand function!!) and I’m also going to pull all of our resources together right here for folks to make it that much easier to engage with this ongoing conversation.

Resources for Next Steps

Updates on Climate and Racial Justice

Crowds of protestors have taken to the streets in major cities and towns of all sizes in the United States and around the world, decrying the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and many others, and to demand an end to police violence against black people. Last week the Movement for Black Lives held a week of action demanding defunding the police, investing in community-led efforts to reclaim the future, additional COVID-19 relief, an end to the war against Black people, and protection for protestors. Read an explanation of those demands here and here

As you are able, consider showing up to support publicly announced demonstrations in your community, or support the cause using resources like this one from Sunrise Movement, or this “Beyond the Streets” guide

More than 230 climate and environment groups, including The Climate Mobilization, signed on to a letter of support for the week of action from the Movement for Black Lives.

This month’s protests have shined a light on the failures of many environmental organizations to support racial justice, as well as the connections between racism and environmental injustice

We are keenly aware that the emergency-speed Climate Mobilization we need in order to restore a safe climate and end the sixth mass extinction of species cannot happen unless systemic racism and racialized violence are stopped. Here is a climate scientist’s take on the connection between racial justice and the Climate Emergency, and an explanation of why reallocating police funding to community programs is good climate policy.

Climate Emergency Movement 
Congratulations to Elgin, IL, which passed a declaration of Climate Emergency on May 24. Total worldwide declarations have reached 1508 within 29 countries. There are 96 declarations of Climate Emergency in the United States, across 24 states. 

May of 2020 was the hottest May on record, with 2020 on track to be one of the top 10 hottest years in history.

COVID-19 and stimulus funding propping up fossil fuel 
According to new research by Bloomberg Energy Finance, $509 billion worth of stimulus funding worldwide is going to prop up the fossil fuel economy with no climate-related conditions. $18.5 billion is going directly to high-carbon industries with decarbonization requirements attached, while only $12.3 billion worldwide is going to supporting low-carbon industries like renewable energy.

In an article in The Guardian, Diplomat and climate leader Christiana Figueras recently discussed the potential to use the COVID-19 bailouts to spur the transition to a low carbon future.

In solidarity,
The Climate Mobilization team

Stop the Money Pipeline supports minority protests

June 5, 2020 medical worker Breonna Taylor should have been celebrating her twenty-seventh birthday. But on March 13th, police used a battering ram to enter her apartment and murdered her in her bed, shooting her eight times.

Anyone who has read about the cold-blooded murder of Breonna Taylor or watched the footage of a white police officer murdering George Floyd or Ahmaud Arbaury being hunted by white supremacisists should understand the fury that is erupting across this country at the systemic devaluation of Black lives. But we need to do much more than simply understand it. We need to figure out what we can actually do to help dismantle white supremacy.

This starts by following the leadership of the Black community, and supporting their demands for change. That is why Stop the Money Pipeline fully supports the demands from the Movement for Black Lives and #BlackLivesMatter.

Climate justice is about far more than reducing emissions. It is about building a fairer and more just world. It’s about following the leadership of those that are most impacted by injustice. And right now, those of us in the climate movement have an opportunity to do just that by showing up in every way we can for Black Lives. That’s why we are getting fully behind the demands coming from the Movement for Black Lives.

We support the demand to defund the police. Just as we need to stop the flow of money from Wall Street to the fossil fuel industry, we need to stop the flow of money from governments to heavily militarized police forces that kill over 1,000 people a year, and are guilty of systemic racism and the terrorizing of Black communities. Please join #BlackLivesMatter in supporting the demand to defund the police by signing this petition. You can learn more about why we need to defund the police here and here and here and here.

We support investments in Black communities. Black communities have been systemically underfunded, redlined, and cut off from so many of the advantages afforded white communities. We need to support reinvestment in Black communities and in Black-led community groups. We can do that by demanding investment in Black communities, and by donating our own money to Black-led community groups and organizations:

We support an end to the war on Black people. The Movement for Black Lives demands for an end to the mass incarceration, killing and criminalization of Black people. Young Black men are twenty-one times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. Black people are five times more likely to be incarcerated than white people. This must end.

We support the demand for reparations. We support the demand for reparations to Black communities and we support reparations and land repatriation to Indigenous Nations. The government and corporations responsible for centuries of harm inflicted on Black communities and Native nations must seek to atone for the harm they have done. That means reparations. That means land repatriation.

We support the demand for economic justice. We must radically rework our economy, our tax system and support the right for all workers to organize. We support the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act to break-up the big banks power, and we support the development of community banks and credit unions.

We support the demand for Black community control. We support participatory budgeting at the local, state and national level. We support an end to the privatization of education, and giving political power to local communities.

We support the demand for Black political power and Black self-determination. We need to end corporate money in politics, and publicly finance elections. We must end the criminalization of Black political activity, and free all political prisoners. We need to protect and increase investments in those institutions that support Black political power and self-determination, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and Black media, cultural, political and social institutions.

These are the demands that are coming from the Movement for Black Lives and from Black Lives Matter. Stop the Money Pipeline, as a coalition committed to challenging the power of the fossil fuel industry and Wall Street, fully supports these demands. Right now, we are discussing internally about how we can do more to amplify and support the leadership of Black-led organizations to turn these demands in reality. We hope that you will do all that you can in service to Black leadership too.

We also hope that you will commit to following, amplifying and supporting the Movement for Black Lives on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

And we hope that you will commit to doing all you can to follow Black leadership in your local communities, supporting their demands in ways that are welcomed, collaborative and respectful.

Stop the Money Pipeline

Science is Not Immune to to Racism

The protests that are sweeping the country are a direct response to the fact that racism is an inescapable reality in the United States. That these protests are happening right now, in the midst of a pandemic that places the protesters at risk from congregating, speaks to how deep the injustice is, and how urgent the need for change. The legacy of white supremacy continues to harm those of us who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, or members of other racially marginalized groups. 

And despite having a veneer of objectivity and impartiality, science is not immune

Science is a powerful tool for solving problems and making people’s lives better. But it has been used to do harm and obstruct progress as well.

Most people have heard of the infamous example of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. In this 40-year study, Black men with syphilis were left untreated, without their informed consent and despite the availability of effective therapies, so that researchers could study the progress of the disease. This is but one example of how science has been used to justify white, European conquest for centuries and continues to this day.

Today’s protests aren’t just about the nine minutes that ex-Officer Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck ultimately leading to his death. They are about the thousands of other unarmed Black men, women, and children who have been needlessly killed by police or others with impunity. They’re about the 40 years of treating hundreds of Black men as guinea pigs in the name of science. And they’re about the 400-year old legacy of slavery and inequality in this country, which manifests itself in institutional and systemic racism in all aspects of modern life from access to housing, health care, food, economic opportunity, and beyond. 

As an organization that works for a healthy planet and a safer world, we must address the reality that health and safety are enjoyed unequally across racial lines in our country. Ending these inequities must be an integral part of our mission and our daily work. And a commitment to facing facts means we must be willing to talk about racism explicitly, listen to those who’ve been hurt by it, take counsel from and show up as allies for those who are leading the fight against it, and confront it both in the world we seek to change and in our own institution, assumptions, and actions.

We stand in solidarity with the protesters and urge our supporters to do the same. We also recognize the additional risks protesters are incurring in the midst of a pandemic, and we strongly encourage all to protect their own health and the health of their loved ones at home by maintaining a safe distance from one another and wearing masks and gloves at all times, so that this important act of protest does not result in more sickness and death from the virus. 

If you haven’t already, seek out and support local organizers and organizations in your community who are doing critical work on racial equity, environmental justice, voting access, and more. Not sure where to start? Here are some groups that can be a launching point:

As an organization, we are also continuously working to advance our own internal racial equity as an integral part of working  to achieve our mission. We acknowledge that our progress is slow and that we have more work to do, even within our own organization. Below are some resources that some of our staff have found useful. 

You can also explore how bias plays out in your own life, as it does with all of us, by taking this test on implicit bias designed by a cross-disciplinary group of researchers.

If you identify as white and haven’t yet explored issues of privilege, we suggest the podcast series Seeing White from the Center on Documentary Studies at Duke University, or watch this video series on systemic racism from our colleagues at Race Forward.

Sincerely,
Katy Love
Katy Love
Online Engagement Manager
Union of Concerned Scientists

4 area Tribes are “still in” for climate action

The Jamestown, Hoh, Quinault, and Suquamish Tribes are among 12 Tribes nationwide that have signed on to the We Are Still In declaration, a coalition of cities, states, tribes, businesses, universities, healthcare organizations, and faith groups who strongly oppose the US withdrawal from Paris and are not going to take a retreat from the global response to the climate crisis lying down. Kudos! (But where are the Cities and Counties and businesses?)

The Affiliated Tribes of the Pacific Northwest (ATNI) have had a Climate Change Project since 2014 and will host a virtual National Tribal Climate Leadership Summit in October.

$170K grant will facilitate climate planning on the NOP

Once again, partnerships pay off: The Puget Sound Partnership, along with its local stakeholders’ group known as the Strait Ecosystem Recovery Network, have awarded $170,000 to the North Olympic Development Council (a local coalition of governments, businesses, NGOs, and citizens) to develop multi-benefit local climate action plans that integrate with local governmental comprehensive and shoreline master plans, as well as other local recovery plans. This project builds upon a previous grant project that developed the Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula. Olympic Climate Action assisted with the application and will assist in the implementation as well, just as we did with the Climate Preparedness Plan.

OMG! look at that honeybee swarm!

Quick, call Noelle!

360-280-4594 | noellenordstrom.oly@gmail.com | #beeallaboutit

Hello neighbors, my name is Noelle and I am a hobbyist beekeeper who moved here last fall. I live on 9th street in Port Angeles. Alas, my bee colonies did not survive the winter. Since I am renting, I decided not to purchase bees this year and I have several empty beehives standing by in my backyard. Honeybee swarming season is revving up, so I wanted to ask you to please give me a shout if you see a honeybee swarm in our neighborhood. I have homes for them. I can even set up a hive in your yard if it has the right conditions and you think it would be fun. I will tend it and we can share the honey. When a swarm clusters, time is of the essence. Please know that though a honeybee swarm is a dramatic, kind of scary looking event, the bees are in a very good mood and not likely to sting. Do not be scared, it is a festive occasion! Please magnetize my contact information above, to your fridge and put it in your phone.

Photo by Timothy Paule II on Pexels.com

My second request is that everyone keep their eyes peeled for an invasive menace called the Asian Giant Hornet. Please familiarize yourself with what they look like so you can report them to WA Dept. Ag. and consider trapping them if you are interested. If you have a hummingbird feeder it is possible you might see one stop by for a drink. It will be nearly as large as a hummingbird! These hornets are dangerous to humans and can decimate honey bee colonies as well as other colonial insects. Just last year they were discovered in British Columbia and in Blaine, Washington. The Washington Department of Agriculture has instigated a volunteer trapping program to try to get a handle on them. Clallam County is one of the spots they want to watch closely. We have at most 2 years to get a grip on these things before they become a long-term problem. If they are here, the queens will be emerging right about now and looking for sugar. They like tree sap, especially oaks.

Photo by FRANK MERIu00d1O on Pexels.com

New York Times article:  Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet

AGH Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hornets

WA Dept Agriculture AGH information, report sightings, etc: https://agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets

I am going to set up some traps and am getting supplies. More traps improve our chances of detecting them, so consider setting out and tending (weekly) traps of your own: https://agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets/trapping. If you decide to set out traps, two places you can get the rice cooking wine are McPhee’s on Race St and Saar’s on Lauridsen Blvd in PA.

If you decide to set traps, let me know, and I might be able to offer advice or help. 

Thanks a ton! My husband and I are very happy to land in this excellent place! We look forward to making friends around here.

Take care everyone -Noelle noellenordstrom.oly@gmail.com

About CoronaVirus

Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC)


Letter from Dr. Robb at UC San Diego.

For those concerned about the coronavirus:

Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

by James Robb, MD UC San Diego

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the U.S. are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

What to do, and not do

Continue reading

Climate-related Bills in the WA State Legislature

Climate- and energy-related bills in the WA State Legislature that the League of Women Voters supports:

SHB 1110 /  SB 5412   Reduces greenhouse gas emissions with transportation fuels. 

HB 1113 Aligns Washington State’s greenhouse gas reduction goals with the 2015 Paris Agreement and current climate change science assessments. 

HB 1597 Integrates the natural gas upstream emissions rate and global warming potential rule into other environmental and energy laws.

HB 1999  Reducing emissions by making changes to the clean car standards and clean car program.

HB 2311SB 6272 Amending GHG emissions limits for consistency with recent climate science.  

HB 2248SB 6223  Expanding equitable access to benefits of renewable energy through community solar projects.Provides needed resources to enhance participation, and provide benefits lower income communities in community solar projects UPDATE: HB 2248 had Hearing Jan. 16 in House Environment and Energy. SB 6223 will have Hearing Jan. 22, 8am in Senate Environment, Energy & Technology.

HB 2287 Rail Safety. A joint transportation committee shall oversee a consultant study on rail safety governance best practices for Washington state, both for passenger and freight, and consider the national transportation safety board’s recommendations following the 2017 accident report. Bill addresses significant problem of train derailments that jeopardizes lives, and can cause fires and water pollution. UPDATE: Had hearing Jan. 15 in House Transportation.

HB 2379  Sulfur hexafluoride emission reduction

HB 2405 / SB 6222 Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resilience. 

HB 2427 / SB 6453 Tackling Climate Change as Part of Growth Management Act 

HB 2472  Incorporating GHG measurements from fossil fuels in state environmental laws

HB 2609 / SB 6335 Addressing Climate Change through Growth Management.

SB 5811 Zero Emission Vehicles. Reducing emissions by changing the clean car standards and program. Authorizes the Department of Ecology (DOE) to adopt California zero emission vehicle program regulations. Expands the types of vehicles required to meet California standards to include medium duty vehicles. Gasoline cars are the single biggest source of  carbon pollution in Washington. To make the big cuts in carbon we need, we must make the transition from fossil fuel cars to cleaner alternatives. UPDATE: Passed out of Senate Rules 26-23, referred to House Environment and Energy.

SB 5947 Establishing the sustainable farms and fields grant program.

SB 6135 System reliability under the Clean Energy Transformation Act (100%). Requires Department of Ecology submit a report regarding electrical grid reliability every four years. Good idea!

Bills the League opposes:

HB 1984 Designates food processing facilities as EIT for purposes of limiting GHG emissions

HB 1985 Regulatory relief from GHG rules for agriculture and food products.

Bills the League is watching:

HB 2415 Special district elections.

2019 State of the Sound Report

issues a Call to Action for Puget Sound Recovery

NEWS RELEASE — December 2, 2019
MEDIA CONTACT: Jon Bridgman, 206.276.5309, jon.bridgman@psp.wa.gov 

The latest biennial State of the Sound Report, released this week, stresses that “…we can still recover Puget Sound, but only if we act boldly now.” This is the scientifically informed assessment of the Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency leading the region’s collective effort to restore and protect Puget Sound.

The Report is clear that Puget Sound remains in grave trouble. The damaging effects of pollution, habitat degradation and disturbance persist. Southern Resident orcas, Chinook salmon, steelhead, and many other species are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Human wellbeing is also affected, for example, by reducing fishing opportunities and threatening human health. Climate change impacts and continued population growth stand to increase pressures on an ecosystem already in peril.

Continue reading

OCA Supports the Sustainable Farms and Field Initiative

OCA has joined organizations around the state
who are adding their names to the
Sustainable Farm and Fields Support Sign-on Letter

From: Noa Kay
I’m excited to add Olympic Climate Action to the letter of support.
Thank you! We’ll keep folks updated as the legislative session begins so you can track the bill’s progress and take action at key moments.

In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions and feel free to share the letter of support with local farmers and food system stakeholders who might be interested.

(We’re near the end of the letter with the CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS)

Open Letter Delivered at Meeting of Equator Banks

Press Release — 13 November 2019
By: BankTrack & Partners

As banks head for Singapore to decide on new Equator Principles, 300+ civil society groups call for ambition and courage

Campaigners urge banks to stop financing climate disasters and respect Indigenous’ Peoples Rights

312 Civil society organizations from 58 countries have today called upon the financial institutions that make up the Equator Principles Association (EPA) to “act with courage and ambition and not settle for business as usual” when deciding upon a new version of the banking sector’s standards for financing large-scale infrastructure projects at their annual meeting in Singapore, next week from November 18th to 20th.

Continue reading this article . . .
Equator Principles open letter

World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.
We must take action if we are to survive.

This is the warning that our scientists have been trying to deliver since 1992. It’s short and to the point:
World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency

ScientistsWarning.org also has a compelling message to deliver to the world.
Read the Summary

Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action

Reuters — Environment October 12, 2019 — Matthew Green


LONDON (Reuters) – Almost 400 scientists have endorsed a civil disobedience campaign aimed at forcing governments to take rapid action to tackle climate change, warning that failure could inflict “incalculable human suffering.” . . .

“We believe that the continued governmental inaction over the climate and ecological crisis now justifies peaceful and non-violent protest and direct action, even if this goes beyond the bounds of the current law,” said Emily Grossman, a science broadcaster with a PhD in molecular biology. She read the declaration on behalf of the group.

“We therefore support those who are rising up peacefully against governments around the world that are failing to act proportionately to the scale of the crisis,” she said.

Read the entire article at Reuters.com . . .

The number of scientist who have signed the declaration is currently almost 1600.
Scientists’ Declaration of Support for Non-Violent Direct Action Against Government Inaction Over the Climate and Ecological Emergency at Google Docs and a list of ALL the signers.

Climate Resolution for the City of Port Angeles is up for a vote


In the meeting packet .PDF linked above:
Resiliency Plan: Recommendations Addressing Climate Change — p. 78-103
Appendix A: Climate Resolution for the City of Port Angeles — p. 104
Appendix B: Actions for Reducing PT City Government Emissions — p. 106-107


Appendix A: Climate Resolution for the City of Port Angeles

WHEREAS, human activities have warmed the Earth to a point that threatens the stability of our climate and our modern way of life, and in 2018 The Fourth National Climate Assessment states that the Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities and a failure to act expeditiously that will result in a loss of human life, ecological diversity, and economic growth; and

Continue reading

Changing climate matters in Montana

“The speed of change calls us to action for the sake of our kids and grandkids.
Believe the science and support changes to address our changing Montana climate.”

THE EDITORIAL BOARD of the Billings Gazette — Sep 22, 2019

For the first time in three years, Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road wasn’t closed by major wildfires in August, the height of the tourist season. 

Northwest Montana has warmed about twice as fast as the rest of the Earth over the past century, according to information from Glacier Park. The largest and fastest temperature increases worldwide have occurred at the North Pole, south through Canada and Alaska and into the northern tier of the Lower 48, according to a report published last week in the Washington Post. 

When Glacier became a national park in 1910, it was home to more than 100 glaciers that provided water for wildlife and streams. Now only two dozen glaciers remain large enough to be considered active and they are melting faster.

Climate change is a key point in litigation over de-listing of the Yellowstone grizzly bear. The white bark pine trees of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are dying, so their pine nuts that were a staple of the grizzly diet are disappearing. Loss of that food source was part of the successful argument to keep the bears protected from hunting.

Bears and other animals whose food and habitat are changing with the climate may also get into more conflicts with people. When food is less available in remote locations, the bears will forage closer to where people are.

Among the climate changes documented in Yellowstone:

  • Average park temperatures are higher now than 50 years ago.
  • The time between last spring freeze and first fall frost has increased by about 30 days in some areas of the park over the past 50 years.
  • The Northeast Entrance by Cooke City recently has averaged 60 more days per year above freezing than it did in the mid-1980s.

Warmer days and nights might seem like a good thing, but warmth increases wildfire risk. Winters aren’t as cold as they were generations ago, so bark beetles that would freeze to death at 40 below zero are surviving to infect pine forests the next spring and summer. Huge swaths of Rocky Mountain forests (and trees in cities) have succumbed to disease transmitted by bark beetles in the past decade.

Wildfire is bad for forests, rangeland and for people who breathe the smoke. Wildfires in Colorado and Washington in 2012 alone led to 419 premature deaths, 627 hospital admissions and $3.9 billion in total health costs, according to an analysis by the National Resource Defense Fund and the University of California San Francisco that was published this month in GeoHealth.

Climate change over the past 20 years has made forest recovery more difficulty, according to University of Montana researchers. In study reported March 12 by Science Daily, the authors analyzed regeneration rates of forests

Montana’s two biggest industries — agriculture and outdoor recreation — depend on Mother Nature’s benevolence. The timing of snow, snow melt and rain are crucial for crops and livestock production. Wildfires that force road closures, evacuations and obscure Montana scenery cut into outdoor recreation for Montanans and our 11 million annual visitors. Lack of mountain snowpack hurts the ski business. Warmer rivers and streams result in hoot owl restrictions that keep anglers off the waterways during the daytime.

The weather changes daily, if not hourly, but climate is long term. Our climate is changing over decades and at an increasingly rapid rate. The vast majority of climate scientists in the United States and around the world have found that these changes are largely driven by increases of human-caused pollutants in the air.

Climate change cannot be ignored. We must prepare to live in a changed and changing world. The first steps are recognizing the problems and working on solutions that will benefit our communities and our children.

For example, there is much work to do in energy conservation. Anyone who has replaced an old boiler with a new high-efficiency furnace knows the dramatic savings it yields in electric or gas bills. Solar panels installed at Billings high schools are projected to pay for themselves in energy savings. Yet our 2019 Montana legislators rejected a well-researched bill that would have provided needed options for small businesses to upgrade their energy efficiency.

What business, homeowner or renter doesn’t want to minimize energy expenses?

The city of Billings recently re-instituted an energy conservation advisory panel at the behest of citizens who know the city can save money while reducing pollution by planning carefully and acting promptly.

These are small, but necessary first steps to conserve our resources, reduce waste and respond to the overwhelming strong scientific consensus that human activity is accelerating the warming of our planet. The speed of change calls us to action for the sake of our kids and grandkids. Believe the science and support changes to address our changing Montana climate.

“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

PDN article on Global Climate Strike OP

Kudos to Port Angeles High School

They’ve made Climate Change their theme for the year. Here’s their memo to students and parents:

School-wide theme: Educating for Climate Change: Teachers are reporting creative ways that they are incorporating the theme of Educating for Climate Change into their classrooms this year. For example:

  • Ms. Christianson’s French III/IV students found French words/phrases associated with climate change, then read articles in French that use the words. Topics ranged from a comparison of the carbon production of an average American citizen and an average Chinese citizen, to the “gilets jaunes” (yellow vests) protesting French President Macron’s fossil fuel surcharge, to the features of modern electric vehicles.
  • Mr. Brabant’s DigiTools students read 10 Ways to Be a Better Environmental Steward in 2018.
  • Mr. Logan’s Environmental Science class features monthly themes centered on climate change. This week his students are learning about phenology –monitoring how a tree on the campus changes throughout the year. Two years of data collected by his classes suggest that spring is occurring earlier and fall is finishing later.
  • In Mr. Hansen’s Automotive Technology class, students are writing a research essay on a subject that is automotive and related to climate change, such as what the current U.S. automotive industry is doing to reduce vehicles’ carbon footprint.
  • Ms. Helpenstell’s Leadership class discussed the idea of a Climate Action Week: Meatless Monday…Brown Out Day…Carpool Day, etc. Her Money Management class is exploring the rising cost of insurance due to climate change…how the job outlook will change…comparing long term cost of eco-friendly vehicles vs traditional vehicles.
  • students will have a unit on public murals and social change.  We plan to propose a campus mural about envisioning a positive future, highlighting hopeful imagery and references to leaders in the movement to address climate change. Digital Illustration students will have a poster assignment along similar lines, art as a tool for promoting positive social change.  We will focus on addressing climate change this year.
  • In Honors English 9, students are assigned to discuss/explain the value of one aspect of nature that you find important, emphasizing personal connections, current events, and your hopes for its future.

Plastic Industry’s Planned Expansion Threatens Our Ability to Avoid Catastrophic Climate Change

“We cannot solve the climate crisis without also addressing the rapidly-growing plastic pollution crisis,” said Judith Enck, Former EPA Regional Administrator and founder of Beyond Plastics

CONTACT 518.605.1770, Judith Enck, BeyondPlastics@Bennington.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2019 BENNINGTON, VERMONT — As students around the world prepare for a series of climate strikes, the petrochemical industry is planning a massive expansion in production to make up for a shortfall caused by declining demand for fossil fuels, particularly for natural gas. If growth trends continue, plastic will account for 20 percent of global oil consumption by 2050. 

“As the nation moves away from fossil fuels and invests in energy efficiency and  renewable energy, the fossil fuel  industry is panicking and they are scrambling to find a substitute,” says Judith Enck, founder of Beyond Plastics and former EPA Administrator under President Obama, “They’ve settled on plastic production and are commanding eye-popping public subsidies to build new ethane cracker plants to turn the ethane that is a waste product of natural gas hydrofracking into virgin polyethylene plastic.”

In September 2018, The American Chemistry Council reported total investments of over $200 billion in more than 330 new or expanded facilities, an alarming 25 percent increase over the previous year’s reported investments. No fewer than 12 new ethane cracker plants are currently underway in communities (overwhelmingly poor and minority) in Louisiana, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. If these plants are approved and brought online, it will lock us in to even greater fossil fuel use and emissions.

The production and incineration of plastics release a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2019, alone, the production and incineration of plastics will produce 850 million metric tons of greenhouse gases – equivalent to the pollution output of 185 500-megawatt coal power plants. Even the most conservative predictions would result in plastics producing greenhouse gas emissions equal that of nearly 300 coal plants by 2030 and more than 600 in 2050.

The greenhouse gas emissions from the Royal Dutch Shell plant currently under construction in Monaca, PA would cancel out all of the carbon dioxide reductions that the city of Pittsburgh, 25 miles away, is working to achieve by 2030.

Should the planned expansion of the plastic industry continue apace, it will be impossible for the world to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of preventing global warming from exceeding the 2.7 degree Fahrenheit rise above pre-industrial averages. Any warming beyond this threshold is predicted to result in catastrophic climate change. 

“Every new plastic production plant is another nail in the coffin,” said Enck, adding, “You can’t solve the climate change problem without also addressing the plastic pollution problem. And we can’t recycle our way out of the plastic pollution problem since less than 10% of plastics are actually recycled – and that number is likely to drop given the recent collapse of international markets.”

According to the Center for International Environmental Law’s recent report, “Plastic & Climate,” a first-of-its kind study found that plastic at the ocean’s surface continually releases methane and other greenhouse gases, and that these emissions increase as plastic breaks down further. Nine million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year – a number that is expected to increase significantly as plastic production expands. This research also suggests that plastic could interfere with the ocean’s capacity to absorb and sequester carbon dioxide, indicating that microplastics are toxic to phytoplankton and zooplankton, the microscopic ocean creatures that transport carbon deep into the ocean. 

“Policy makers need to connect the dots between plastics and climate change, and adopt new laws and regulations that address both problems before it is too late,” said Enck. “The only solution to both our climate crisis and our plastic pollution crisis is to keep fossil fuels in the ground and avoid making massive new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure, including ethane cracker plants. At a bare minimum, taxpayer dollars should not be used to subsidize these plants as is the case at the plant that’s currently under construction in Pennsylvania.”

As students, citizens and communities prepare for the planned Climate Strikes and for Climate Week, Beyond Plastics urges everyone to urge their elected officials to act quickly and effectively to address these deeply intertwined issues. Beyond Plastics urges people to start by attending a Climate Strike in their area (search listings at GlobalClimateStrike.net.) Those in New York’s Capital Region can join Beyond Plastics founder, Judith Enck at the Climate Strike March and Rally hosted by PAUSE and Green Education and Legal Fund on September 20th at 11:00 AM at 79 Sheridan Avenue in Albany, NY. That is the site of the old ANSWERS garbage incinerator which Enck helped close decades ago. The plant currently burns gas but Governor Cuomo wants spend $88 million in state tax dollars to add two new turbines to burn fracked gas to heat and cool the State Capitol and other state buildings.

Beyond Plastics is a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Bennington, Vermont, that pairs the wisdom and experience of environmental policy experts with the energy and creativity of college students to build a vibrant and effective anti-plastics movement. Our mission is to end plastic pollution by being a catalyst for change at every level of our society. We use our deep policy and advocacy expertise to build a well-informed, effective movement seeking to achieve the institutional, economic, and societal changes needed to save our planet, and ourselves, from the plastic pollution crisis. www.BeyondPlastics.org


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.”’

DNC votes down a Climate Debate

Today the DNC voted down holding a climate debate. Evan Weber of the Sunrise Movement was in the room and live tweeted the conversation. The link below is that thread.

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1165334843221168128.html

Join Fridays for Future Seattle on 8/16 to stand with Zoe

When:8/16 at 1pm, Where: Seattle City Hall

Why: Every Friday from 1-2 a group, called Fridays for Future, of mostly youth Climate Strike in front of Seattle City Hall. They are asking extra people go out on 8/16 to show support for Zoe. Every week they use sidewalk chalk to show their message for climate action. This past week an adult handed Zoe a bottle of spray on chalk that turned out to be chalk paint. As soon as she realized they began making plans to clean it up, but the police intervened and took a 13 year old away in handcuffs.

“Most sadly three more Blackfish just starved to death.”

Says Paul Chiyokten Wagner:
“I believe the sacred words of our
ancestors. Duwamish prophecy: “If the Blackfish were ever to be absent from the Salish Sea, so would the humans
be absent from the land”.
Most sadly three more Blackfish
just starved to death.

We can do this together my family, rise up, make yourself strong for all of the
children of Mother Earth
and their livable future.
O si,am”


One whale from each pod of the
Southern Resident killer whales
has been determined dead by the
Center for Whale Research.

Author: KING5 Staff Published: 08/08/19

Three more Southern Resident killer whales have been determined dead by the Center for Whale Research. That brings their total population down to 73. 
The deceased orcas are J17, K25, and L84; that’s one killer whale from each pod of the resident orcas. 

Continue reading

Climate crisis reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity, says IPCC

UN report finds ecosystems never before under such threat and restoration is urgent

The Guardian, Aug 8, 2019 by Damian Carrington, Environmental Editor

‘However, action now to allow soils and forests to regenerate and store carbon, and to cut meat consumption by people and food waste, could play a big role in tackling the climate crisis, the report says.’

U.S. Oil Refinery, Tacoma Water Quality Permit Renewal

Tell Ecology: No oil terminal expansion in Tacoma!

Fact Sheet for this Permit Renewal

Frequently Asked Questions about Effective public commenting

Comment Online

Use the online comment form

Comment by mail

Greg Gould
Industrial Section
P.O. Box 47600
Tacoma, WA 98504

Attend a related event

Aug. 7, 2019, 6:30 p.m. – U.S. Oil Refinery, Tacoma

Questions

Angie Fritz
Communication and outreach lead
angela.fritz@ecy.wa.gov
360-407-7393

Bonneville, the Northwest’s biggest clean-power supplier, faces promise and perils in changing energy markets

 July 21, 2019 at 6:00 am

By Hal Bernton  Seattle Times staff reporter

GRAND COULEE DAM — When workers started pulling apart the three largest hydroelectric units in North America — capable of supplying more than enough power for all of Seattle — they found the damage far worse than expected.

They encountered large cracks, worn-out bearings and a defect in a critical weld that, if left in place, could fail, unleashing catastrophic flooding inside the powerhouse that risked killing workers and destroying the 7 million-pound generator-turbine units.

That last discovery halted work for 10 months to give engineers time to come up with a fix that would ensure a crucial covering would hold fast.

“How do we deal with the unexpected? It definitely keeps you up at night,” said Brian Clark, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation manager for the project, which got underway in 2013 when work began on the first turbine.
Continue Reading

Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly prefer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal to Joe Biden’s climate plan

Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly prefer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal to Joe Biden’s climate plan

Eliza Relman & Walt Hickey

‘Democratic primary voters much prefer the more ambitious plans to fight climate change proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee over former Vice President Joe Biden‘s relatively less aggressive proposal, according to new INSIDER polling.’

‘And a Child Shall Lead Them,’ or: How This Boomer Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Green New Deal

‘And a Child Shall Lead Them,’ or: How This Boomer Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Green New Deal

Ross Macfarlane

‘I am talking to my peeps: those of us who get the science, care deeply about the environment and the need for climate action, and are filled with both disgust and determination at our current course as a nation. But many of us have well-earned scars and deep concerns that make us reluctant to join a children’s crusade that might lead us off a cliff. I get it; I share your fears. This piece articulates some reasons that I believe following these young leaders and embracing the Green New Deal might be our best and perhaps only hope to mobilize action at the pace and scale needed to avert the worst impacts of the gathering climate crisis.’

View at Medium.com

Leah Stokes on Biden’s Climate plan

Leah Stokes is a professor of PoliSci Prof at UCSB wrote this assessment of Biden’s Climate plan. 

Where is your 2020 candidate on Climate?

Where is your 2020 candidate on climate? Greenpeace has analyzed public record, actions, and responses to their climate survey and used the results to grade the candidates.

Exclusive: United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push

Exclusive: United States sets sights on China in new electric vehicle push

Ernest Scheyder, April 5, 2019

Reuters

“Creating a domestic electric vehicle supply chain is the perfect blueprint to make America great again,” said Jesse Edmondson, chief executive officer of U.S. Critical Minerals, a start-up firm buying lithium mineral rights in the U.S. Southeast.

Late Night Cram: Green New Deal (ft. Rhiana Gunn-Wright)

Late Night Cram: Green New Deal (ft. Rhiana Gunn-Wright)

39 minute podcast about the Green New Deal talking to Rhiana Gunn-Wright who was a policy lead in developing the deal.

“I think it’s also about being able to bring these issues to the places where people are actually encountering them in the ways they actually impact their life.”- Gunn-Wright

Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment

Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment

From now, house style guide recommends terms such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘global heating’

Jay Inslee is writing the climate plan the next president should adopt

Jay Inslee is writing the climate plan the next president should adopt

More than a campaign document, it’s an instruction manual.

Deep decarbonization: How? Who?

LEGAL PATHWAYS TO DEEP DECARBONIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES: SUMMARY & KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

Deep decarbonization pathways summary

This is a summary of a larger report by the Environmental Law Institute, posing the question of what laws & policies could lead to an 80% reduction (or more) of net greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. There are short chapters on every sector of GHG emissions and sequestration.

Resources on the Green New Deal

Green New Deal resources from by David Barnhill, a local 350.org leader from Wisconsin:

What’s the Deal with the Green New Deal? – slide presentation 

Facebook page: “Green New Deal in the News,” key daily articles

Annotated list of articles featuring quotes: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1665bf5GXeueoj1OovVPiSP6Ty5iJJ47rKiUGHmly90w/edit

Climate and America’s endangered rivers

Endangered Rivers

“Falter”: In New Book, Bill McKibben Asks If the Human Game Has Begun to Play Itself Out

All three parts of the interview can be accessed from this page link.

Thousands are taking to the streets in London today to demand radical action to combat the climate crisis. Protesters with the group Extinction Rebellion have set up encampments and roadblocks across Central London and say they’ll stay in the streets for at least a week. It’s just the beginning of a series of global actions that will unfold in the coming days, as activists around the world raise the alarm about government inaction in the face of the growing climate catastrophe. The London protests come just days after schoolchildren around the globe left school again on Friday for the weekly “strike for climate” and as the push for the Green New Deal continues to build momentum in the United States. The deal—backed by Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey—seeks to transform the U.S. economy through funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. We speak with climate activist and journalist Bill McKibben, who has been on the front lines of the fight to save the planet for decades. Thirty years ago, he wrote “The End of Nature,” the first book about climate change for a general audience. He’s just published a new book titled “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”

Port Townsend GND Town Hall Meeting

Learn about the Sunrise Movement, Green New Deal, and ways to get involved around local environmental & climate issues. 

How to make the world affordably carbon-free

April 12, 2019 Author Gero Rueter DW News – DW.COM

If the world is to quit coal and gas for renewable energy sources, they have to be reliable and affordable. Is that realistic? Researchers have crunched the numbers and come up with some surprising answers.

Sheep graze on grass in front of solar panels on a sunny day

How much sun and wind is available in different areas of the world? How high is the energy demand? How do we set about cutting costs for renewable energies and their storage?

These are just some of the questions put forward by researchers from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) in Finland and experts from the Energy Watch Group (EWG). They have used their answers to compile the first detailed global energy scenario.

Thestudy, which has just been published, outlines strategies for 145 different regions around the world, with the ultimate aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 — and even save money in the process.

“This energy system costs less than our current one and ensures that global warming remains under 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit),” says study coordinator and Professor for Solar Economy at LUT, Christian Breyer. On average, the renewable energy system would be about two percent cheaper globally.

Read more: Paris Agreement: What needs to happen for climate action to succeed?

Titled ‘Global Energy System based on 100% Renewable Energy,’ the study simulates the most cost-effective energy mix for each region and shows how the energy requirements for electricity, heat and transport can be replaced by renewable alternatives.

Infografik CO2 Reduktion im Energiesektor EN

Based on its findings, the most important source of energy is solar power (70 percent), followed by wind power (18 percent), biomass (5 percent) and hydropower (3 percent).

Keep on reading!

Students strike for climate on the Olympic Peninsula

Joining a round-the-world movement started by Greta Thunberg, students on the Olympic Peninsula walked out of classes to call attention to the greatest challenge to their future.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/port-angeles-students-take-part-in-climate-protest/

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/port-townsend-students-strike-for-change/

Students at Port Angeles High School
Students from Port Townsend High School

Rep. Kilmer: listen to science, our young people, and your heart

It was back-to-back activism yesterday at Rep. Derek Kilmer’s office in Port Angeles.

First, the North Olympic Orca Pod hosted a die-in and delivered a letter outlining 23 scientific articles supporting the immediate breaching of the lower Snake River dams.

OCA members delivered our own letter to Kilmer and described the promise offered by the Green New Deal to remake the Lower Snake River watershed into a showcase for clean energy, green jobs, restorative agriculture, recreation, and carbon sequestration, rather than a cesspool for salmon mortality and methane production.

Orca Kilmer die-in
OCA delivers letter to Kilmer re LSRDs

Then, the new Sunrise Movement Olympic Peninsula hub hosted a meeting at Kilmer’s office to express concern that our Representative has had several months to ponder what Congress should be doing to solve the climate crisis, and has yet to speak or act. Time to step up!

Both groups asked to meet with Kilmer next time he’s home.

Several youth asked Sen Feinstein to support a Green New Deal

Her response was disturbing. If you would like to contact Sen Feinstein to comment on her response, her office number is (415)393-0707.

How Google, Microsoft, and Bit Tech are Automating the Climate Crisis

Author: Brian Merchant

Source: Gizmodo

‘These deals, many of which were made just last year, at what may be the height of public awareness of the threats posed by climate change, are explicitly aimed at streamlining, improving, and rendering oil and gas extraction operations more profitable.’

Full Article: How Google, Microsoft, and Bit Tech are Automating the Climate Crisis

 

Fantastic Thread On a Green New Deal

Rhiana Gunn-Wright addresses the question of whether the GND is simply a “Progressive laundry list”.

Continue reading

Trump energy policies save billions for industry at a cost of human lives

…not to mention the other critters out there…this per the Trump administration’s own figures:

https://www.nola.com/environment/2019/01/trump-rollbacks-on-fossil-fuels-will-save-industry-money-but-cost-lives.html

Voice from time immemorial

This “letter from an orca” was published in today’s Seattle Times, with a thought-provoking twist at the end:

https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/orcas-and-a-way-of-life/

 

 

Dr. Guenther Twitter Thread

On talking about climate change

Continue reading

Greta Thunberg’s full speech

Greta Thunberg in Davos

and this

Climate crisis is “existential threat” house democrats say – But Protecting Turf Comes First

Climate crisis is “existential threat” house democrats say – But Protecting Turf Comes First

by Kate Aronoff

December 30, 2018  

‘THE NEW HOUSE committee being created to confront the climate crisis is being stripped of authority in order to accommodate the parochial concerns of senior Democrats in the caucus, protecting their pieces of turf.’

Conservation International Presents

Nature is Speaking

Featuring short films personifying Nature, narrated by folks we know well.

Moving the Country Towards Emergency Climate Mobilization, Together

Dear Olympic Climate Action,  thank you so much for supporting The Climate Mobilization!

We are a small but fierce organization that advocates the strongest, fastest, sanest approach to the climate crisis. Because of your support, we are moving the country toward mobilization. A few highlights:

  • April 16, 2016 Bernie Sanders calls for WWII scale climate mobilization in Brooklyn Debate with Hillary Clinton
  • July 22, 2016: Need for WWII climate mobilization officially adopted into the official Democratic party platform 
  • November 1, 2017: Hoboken, NJ city council unanimously passes a resolution declaring climate emergency and committing to a decade transition to zero emissions brought by local TCM Hoboken chapter. 
  • December 5, 2017: The county council of Montgomery County, MD unanimously supports a resolution declaring a climate emergency and committing to an end to all emissions by 2035. The move and TCM’s participation is covered in the Washington Post and picked up by the Associated Press, reaching over 50 outlets.  
  • January, 2018: Inspired by our success in Montgomery County, Seattle 350 and a coalition of Washington state climate groups launch the “Climate Countdown,” demanding an immediate halt to all fossil fuel infrastructure, and 100% renewable energy in ten years or less.
  • May 4th, 2018, LA City Council Unanimously votes to explore Climate Emergency Mobilization Department (CityWatch LA).


Your support has made this possible. Sincere thanks,

Margaret,

Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD
Founder and Director, The Climate Mobilization
Climate change is an emergency. Let’s treat it like one. Let’s mobilize.

The Climate Mobilization
275 9th Street, Suite 150387
Brooklyn, NY 11215
United States

Jan. 10 webinar to provide update on Governor’s proposed budget and policy for Orca Task Force recommendations

From the co-chairs of the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force:

Please join us on Thursday, January 10, from 10 to 11 a.m., for a Governor’s Office budget and policy update webinar to address questions from members of the Governor’s Southern Resident Orca Task Force.

The following panelists will participate in the discussion:

  • Jim Cahill, Senior Budget Assistant, Office of Financial Management
  • JT Austin, Senior Policy Advisor, Governor’s Office

Task Force and Working Group members are encouraged to participate and ask questions, but no deliberations will take place, and no actions will be taken. The goal of the webinar is for Task Force and Working Group members to better understand this topic and help members formulate their perspectives on how these budget and policy updates will affect Task Force work in 2019.

The public is welcome to listen to the webinar, which will be recorded for later viewing.

How to join the webinar:

By phone
855-929-3239 (toll free)
+1-240-454-0887 (US toll)

Meeting number (access code): 808 330 011

Online
When it’s time, click to start your meeting.

From a video system or application
Dial 808330011@watech.webex.com
You can also dial 173.243.2.68 and enter meeting number 808 330 011

Need help joining the meeting?

  • Get online help from WebEx
  • Get phone help from Puget Sound Partnership staff, at 360.628.005

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that this WebEx service allows audio and other information sent during the session to be recorded, which may be discoverable in a legal matter. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to being recorded, discuss your concerns with the host or do not join the session.


Alt text

Gov. Inslee calls for Climate Plan

Story in Crosscut

State Democrats are confident they’ll pass the $268 million clean energy plan.

He suggested more efficient hydroelectric dams and grids, a lot more electric cars, and four electric-hybrid ferries. A decade or more from now, he said, there should be a high-speed rail line from Vancouver, B.C., to Seattle to Portland. There was more, as the governor detailed one of the highest priorities of his proposed budget.

Greta Thunberg’s speech

You should watch Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN plenary session at COP24 if you haven’t seen it yet. Or if you have, watch it again. It is that powerful.

 

Shell Oil Executive Boasts that His Company Influenced the Paris Agreement.

Kate Aronoff with one of the most important pieces you will read this year.

https://theintercept.com/2018/12/08/shell-oil-executive-boasts-that-his-company-influenced-the-paris-agreement/

National Climate Assessment

This past Friday government released the 4th National Climate Assessment, clearly they were hoping people would be too busy with post Thanksgiving madness to notice. It is a stark report of how climate change is already impacting life in the US and how it will continue to get worse, and much much more expensive, if we don’t implement bold solutions. Included was a chapter by chapter breakdown of how each region of the country will be impacted. Below is a synopsis of the chapter on the Northwest tweeted by Vlad Guttman-Britten who is the Washington Director of Climate Solutions.

OCA members have their say

Now that most of the dust has cleared on the 2018 election, OCA members should be acknowledged for having their say about climate in the public sphere. In these fractured times, there’s a need for citizens to state plain truths out loud, and OCA members are to be congratulated for stepping up to the democratic (small-d) plate.

Yes on I-1631:

Cindy Jayne in the Port Townsend Leader

Diane Lombardo in the Peninsula Daily News

Robert Sextro in the Peninsula Daily News

Dan Burdick in the Peninsula Daily News

Bob Vreeland in the Peninsula Daily News

Pat Milliren in the Peninsula Daily News

Judy d’Amore in the Peninsula Daily News

Melinda Gelder in the Peninsula Daily News

Clallam County Commissioner:

Jerry Estberg vs. Bill Peach on climate

Clallam County Public Utility District:

Paul Hansen for Jim Waddell

Richard deBusman for Jim Waddell

Carrol Hull for Jim Waddell

Brian Grad on embracing the future

Majority favors action on climate, both here and nationally

The people of the Olympic Peninsula, like the people of Washington State and the United States, want to address climate change. $32 million of Big Oil money does not deny that fact!

From Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018:

Sample survey question: “Congress should do more to address global warming.”

6th Congressional District (Olympic & Kitsap Peninsulas): 62%

Clallam County: 62%

Jefferson County: 65%

Washington State: 64%

United States: 62%

I-1631 could save billions in health costs

Washingtonians could save billions in health costs just by cleaning the air

Kristin EberhardLaura Skelton and Sarah Cornett of the Sightline Institute

Negative emissions technologies overview from NAS

From the National Academies of Science:

Negative emissions technologies, which remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it, will be an important part of the portfolio of climate responses.

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, “negative emissions technologies” (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change. Unlike carbon capture and storage technologies that remove carbon dioxide emissions directly from large point sources such as coal power plants, NETs remove carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or enhance natural carbon sinks.  Storing the carbon dioxide from NETs has the same impact on the atmosphere and climate as simultaneously preventing an equal amount of carbon dioxide from being emitted.

Four land-based negative emissions technologies are ready for large-scale deployment at costs competitive with emissions mitigation strategies.  These technologies include reforestation, changes in forest management, and changes in agricultural practices that enhance soil carbon storage, and “bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration” – in which plants or plant-based materials are used to produce electricity, liquid fuels, and/or heat and any carbon dioxide that is produced is captured and sequestered.

Two other negative emissions technologies could be revolutionary, because they have high potential capacity to remove carbon.  Direct air capture employs chemical processes to capture carbon dioxide from the air, concentrate it, and inject it into a storage reservoir.  However, it is currently limited by high cost.  Carbon mineralization – which essentially accelerates “weathering” so carbon dioxide from the atmosphere forms a chemical bond with reactive minerals – is currently limited by lack of fundamental understanding.

Although climate mitigation remains the motivation for global investments in NETs, the report determined that advances in NETs also could have economics rewards, as the intellectual property rights and economic benefits will likely accrue to the nations that develop the best technology. The report found that NETs have not yet received adequate public investment despite expectations that they might provide approximately 30 percent of the net emissions reductions this century.

Get the Report

Download a Report Summary

View an Interactive Infographic

First American PAC promotes I-1631

First ad features Quinault Tribe executive director

The first commercial produced by the First American Project PAC, a coalition of Washington’s Tribes and allies, stands in support of I-1631. This unedited, long-form commercial features President Fawn Sharp of the Quinault Tribe. Multiple other leaders will be featured in the next two weeks in ads.

Continue reading

White House response to IPCC climate report: “Lalalalala”

“This disaster is going to be as bad—as very, very bad—as we make it.”

From Elizabeth Kolbert at the New Yorker:

What Is Donald Trump’s Response to the U.N.’s Dire Climate Report?

The U.N.’s scientific advisory board sounds a piercing alarm on climate change, but the President doesn’t seem to hear it.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/what-is-donald-trumps-response-to-the-uns-dire-climate-report

More New Yorker coverage of the IPCC report:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-dire-warnings-of-the-united-nations-latest-climate-change-report

Poll: 1631 has Big Oil on the ropes!

This Elway poll has some good news for making carbon polluters accountable:

https://crosscut.com/2018/10/poll-nations-first-carbon-fee-leading-among-voters

This poll shows that:
 
1) I-1631 is leading among voters, and it’s clear that Washingtonians don’t trust big oil despite their $21 million in fancy advertising.
 
2) This election is going to be close, but we CAN win and defeat big oil and their money.
 
3) Undecided voters will come down to who they trust, and every conversation we have with our neighbors, our friends, and at the doors we knock on is essential to help us win.
 
This is a moment for us all to step up.  We have a lot of work to do in the next 25 days to connect with voters and remind them of the vision we all share for this state. With your help and all of our hard work, we can do this!

We can’t do this without YOU. Here are some of the ways you can help: 

Volunteer door knock – It is powerful democracy in action!  Big Oil is already spending more than $20 million to defeat us, but we have the Power of the People.  Please sign up for a shift here.

Calling voters who might need a nudge to vote – this is a huge priority for the campaign, and we need lots of help. We need to ensure these registered voters turn in their ballots. Here is the link for you to schedule yourself for a phonebanking shift (Human-to-human calls are a very powerful tool!) Here is the link to our dialer toolkit.  If you want to call from downtown Seattle this link has all of Washington Environmental Council’s phone banks for 1631, Sunday-Thursday.

Texting – We are doing texts to help Get Out The Vote. You can sign up for a texting shift here.

Small Business Endorsements -Do you know a small business owner you can ask? Maybe your favorite coffee shop? If you get a yes, be sure to fill out this form and we can get them a sign for their window.

If you want to help in a more substantial way by volunteering full or part time for the campaign, let me know! Or if you can host an organizer from out of town, please sign up here.

Go here to learn more about the YES on 1631 campaign, and its endorsers.

We Can. We Must. We Will!

The laws of thermodynamics…beyond the power of the veto

One might say the melting is like weeping,
glacial tears upon the cheek of the sea.
Our lament is an embarrassment;
no excuse can set us free.
Memories of ancient times slipping through our grasp;
what once we thought forever has now become the past.
–OCA member Brian Grad

The story of a Tar-Sands tanker

Follow this story of a Tar-Sands supertanker as it takes on its cargo in Burnaby and heads out through the Salish Sea to the Pacific. The City of Vancouver estimates a very real chance of a major spill during the expected lifetime of the project…if the project comes to fruition. The results could be devastating to the people and other life of our region.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/kinder-morgan-trans-mountain-pipeline-bc-coast/article35043172/

http://salishseaspillmap.org/

https://www.sightline.org/2017/05/22/the-tar-sands-threat-to-northwest-waters/

J-50 presumed dead

When do we finally say, “Enough”?

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/orca-j50-declared-dead-after-search-southern-residents-down-to-74-whales/

Rise for Orca and Climate Justice

* Part of a National day of observance sponsored by 350.org.
Prelude to the Global Climate Summit
being held in San Francisco September 12-14

* Beach Party, meet and greet, potluck/picnic

* Kids activities all day long

* Story telling and music

* Orca Vigil

* Kayaktavists Invocation ceremony asking protection for our waters and Orca

* Featured speakers: Ken Balcomb, Center for Whale Research.
Eric de Place, journalist, researcher
on fossil fuel impacts to Puget Sound, Verner Wilson of Friends of
the Earth, Gavin Wukttken of Point Defiance Zoo.

* Evening program at Elwha Klallam Heritage Center. Multi-media
presentation of The Road To Athabasca. A chronicle of an epic
bicycle journey along the route of the Trans Mountain pipeline.
401 E First St. Port Angeles. Doors 6:30. Show@7pm

This event is free. Please RSVP here so we can add our numbers to the overall count of people who are gathering on this day for Climate Justice internationally.  You can also keep up to date on this event on our facebook page.

#2 Final---12x18-Poster---Rising-for-Orca-&-Climate-Justice---8-16-18-new-proof copy.

Candidate forums available online

Candidate Forum videos are going up on Peninsula Area Public Access’s YouTube channel as they become available. If you have not had a chance to see the candidates speak in person, check these out! Here is a link where you can check periodically to see when one a new comes online:

Peninsula Area Public Access – YouTube

Primary ballots went into the mail today!

A climate game of chance–literally

Developed by the Thurston County Regional Planning Council:

http://www.trpc.org/844/Resilience-Road—Board-Game

Tribes uniting to support I-1631

http://knkx.org/post/pacific-northwest-tribes-pushing-climate-action-launch-new-political-action-committee

A new coalition of tribal leaders, The First American Project, has come together to promote policies that protect the environment and human rights, and their first order of business is to pass I-1631, which would put a price on carbon in the effort to slow global warming.

Theresa Sheldon, a member of the coalition and former councilwoman with the Tulalip Tribes, says the people of Washington State “can show the country how we can make that difference for Mother Earth – and for all of our children who have yet to come – to ensure that they actually have rivers they can swim in, that they can fish in; air they can breathe in.”

On the board of the First American Project is chairwoman Frances Charles of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

I-1631 seems headed to the ballot

State initiative would put a fee on carbon and devote the proceeds to clean energy and climate protection

Olympic Climate Action has endorsed I-1631, the Protect Washington Act initiative. OCA joins Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Audubon, a coalition of Native American tribes and 200 other statewide organizations in our endorsement.

We cannot continue to treat our atmosphere as a sewer without incurring a deadly cost, one much greater than the cost of an emissions fee.

Links for more information:

Port Angeles commits to a climate plan

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/port-angeles-aims-for-climate-plan-in-2019/

In a 6-0 vote, the Port Angeles City Council at its meeting on 6/19/18 committed to devising a climate action plan in 2019 with help from a citizens’ committee.

Council member Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin noted that Port Angeles has heard from citizens [including OCA members] for many years on this issue, with little response, and has missed out on funding opportunities because of its lack of a climate action plan.

Port Angeles Community and Economic Development Director Nathan West committed City staff to full engagement in this process in 2019, noting a full plate of commitments already in place for 2018.

Schromen-Wawrin suggested that “we do this collaboratively with community stakeholders taking the lead with support from city staff and council.”

Once again, local communities are stepping in where the federal government has failed to act.

Clallam County Commissioners unanimously pass climate resolution

At their June 19th meeting, the Clallam County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted Resolution 2018-62, reinvigorating planning and action on climate, shepherded by Commissioner Mark Ozias.

In this resolution, the Commissioners note local impacts of climate change including “increased likelihood of storm surge and coastal flooding…low snowpack resulting in drought and water shortages…major fires…advance of invasive species, and ocean acidification.”

Clallam County had previously passed a Climate Action Plan in 2009, calling for an 80% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from County government operations by 2050, and a climate-preparedness resolution in 2016, but neither has led to significant action in recent years.  This resolution puts life back into County action on climate by:

  • Focusing on land-use planning via the County Comprehensive Plan
  • Updating the County’s 2009 Climate Action Plan and putting wheels under it
  • Engaging the broader community in a conversation about climate change and what to do about it at the local level.

OCA member Bob Sextro spoke in favor, saying, “The past 30 years have been very kind to us on climate change; the next 30 years probably won’t be. This resolution will help the County continue the dialogue, continue the action, and move forward.”

Thanks to Commissioner Ozias, the other Commissioners, and the OCA members who helped shape this resolution and move it forward. We look forward to working with the Commissioners and the community on these issues.

Clallam County Commissioners to consider climate resolution

At their regular meeting of June 19, 2018, starting at 10 a.m., the Clallam County Board of Commissioners will consider a resolution long in the making, shepherded by Commissioner Mark Ozias, to reinvigorate a Climate Action Plan passed in 2009. The draft of the resolution is here.

Passage of this important resolution is not guaranteed; your input may help sway the Board of Commissioners to support it. You can provide input:

  • In person, at the beginning or end of the meeting (agenda here–please note the instructions for speaking given at the end), limiting your comments to three minutes.
  • In writing, either by presenting it to the Clerk of the Board prior to or at the meeting (where you can also read it aloud), or by sending an email to the Commissioners by the prior business day.

BACKGROUND: Clallam County passed a Climate Action Plan in 2009, and a climate-preparedness resolution was passed in 2016 with OCA support, but neither has led to significant action in recent years.  Commissioner Ozias hopes to put life back into the CAP to quantify the actions the county needs to take and to engage citizens in dialogue about their concerns related to climate impacts and mitigation.

GUIDELINES FOR COMMENTS:

  • Speak from your own experience:  Why are you concerned about climate change? What would you like to see County government do about it?
  • The resolution itself has great talking points and is a good place to start.
  • It’s helpful if you can think of ideas that will motivate individual council members to pass the resolution and implement the CAP. In what various ways will the resolution help their constituents?
  • Commissioner Ozias reported that many County department heads are anxious to investigate ways they can help the county save money and reduce our carbon footprint. Getting climate back on the agenda should help to serve both goals.

Climate change is going to occur no matter what we do, but planning ahead can minimize its severity and maximize our resiliency.  Let’s do our part here to come to grips with this reality.

BPA faces stiff financial challenges

Energy market changes may spell its doom

BPA financial threats

BPA & Lower Snake River Dams

Stop Kinder Morgan: Kickoff March 10

Indigenous-led resistance to the Kinder Morgan tar-sands pipeline will begin March 10 in Vancouver.

From: Victoria Leistman-Sierra Club [mailto:victoria.leistman@sierraclub.org]

(NOTE: Victoria helped organize our local Pull Together events last August in Chimacum and Port Angeles, to raise funds for the fight vs Kinder Morgan.)

ON MARCH 10th, KWEKWECNEWTXW BEGINS
An Indigenous-led Mass Mobilization to Stop Kinder Morgan

As you know, oil giant Kinder Morgan has been pushing a tar sands pipeline that would threaten the land and waterways of dozens of communities and First Nations. The proposed project would make the Kinder Morgan pipeline bigger than Keystone XL, and increase tanker traffic through the Salish Sea by 700 percent.

As Kinder Morgan’s expected construction date inches closer and closer, it’s time to continue to stand with the Indigenous communities that have been protecting this land since time immemorial – and put a stop to this project for once and for all. We have been invited by Coast Salish members, spiritual leaders, and youth to join with them on the land and to use our presence to stop Kinder Morgan for good!

Join them on March 10

Spiritual leaders and members are launching a point of frontline resistance in the escalating struggle to stop Kinder Morgan. Called Kwekwecnewtxw, which means “a place to watch from”, it will be grounded in Coast Salish spirituality and culture.

On Saturday March 10th, they’ll kick things off with a mass mobilization supporting Kwekwecnewtxw in the Metro Vancouver area. They are calling on us to join this action and send a clear message to Prime Minister Trudeau that he does not have consent to build Kinder Morgan.

Will you join on March 10th in a historic stand to protect the inlet and say no Kinder Morgan?

The details are still being finalized so make sure you sign up so we can get you all the information you will need for the day!

Last year, we partnered with First Nations who need help with the legal actions they’ve filed in federal court to stop Kinder Morgan on the Pull Together effort. Together with organizations in British Columbia and Washington state, YOU helped us to organize events, and bring communities together to raise these funds. We were successful in raising that money, and now Washingtonians have another opportunity to show up on the 10th!

Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker project poses unacceptable risks to our oceans and waterways, our climate, economies, and communities. If the project is allowed to move forward, it would threaten tribal rights, resident orcas, and salmon population.  It must never be built.

Join together with Coast Salish Water Protectors, allies and people from all walks of life as we challenge Kinder Morgan on the land together, in a powerful and creative non-violent action on March 10th.

See you in BC!

Victoria Leistman, Sierra Club
Organizing Representative – Dirty Fuels campaign

Bring: Make sure to bring your passport for when crossing the border. Dress for the weather and possible changes. Bring plenty of water, some snacks for the day, a hot drink in a thermos and anything else you think you might need to be prepared to be outside for a full day.

Carpool: Coordinate getting up there with other folks in your area via this carpool link:https://www.groupcarpool.com/t/h4j0ai

Note: Carpool transportation is at the sole risk of the participants.

More info

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