Category Archives: Stories/News

Harvey is a Particularly Urgent Warning

Satellite Image, Digital Globe

Brookshire, Texas                                                                                                                                           Satellite Image, Digital Globe

Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, deadly monsoon rains in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, mudslides in Sierra Leone . . . these tragedies deserve our kindest thoughts and our aid for the victims.

At the same time, these are grim reminders of the inevitable trajectory of our society’s current energy choices.  If we continue to warm the water and the air, these tragedies can only get worse and more frequent.

This is time to intensify our efforts toward 100% clean energy. Now is the time to impress those in positions of leadership with the urgency of this message-from-the-planet, even if the only language they can understand is monetary. How to confront the titanic economic costs we are incurring on into the indefinite, frightening future?  We must ultimately curb our reliance on fossil fuels. If not now, when?

Hurricane Harvey Response Toolkit

Northern Olympic Peninsula supports Pull Together

North Olympic Orca Pod performs at the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center to raise funding for Pull Together.

Fundraising events last week to support the work of Pull Together against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline have brought in over $6000 in contributions from residents of the North Olympic Peninsula!  Way to go!

  • To find out more about this effort, and to contribute visit RavenTrust.
  • Peninsula Daily News Article
  • From: “Coast Protectors” <info@coastprotectors.ca>
    Subject: New video! Kinder Morgan Construction & Know Your Rights Webcast

    We all have a lot of questions about what will happen with Kinder Morgan’s Transmountain pipeline in September, so in concert with our friends at Stand.Earth we put together a webcast! You can watch it (and share with your friends!) here:
    http://www.coastprotectors.ca/km_construction_know_your_rights_webinar

    The new BC government recently announced that without five or the eight remaining permits related to First Nations and Indigenous consultation being fulfilled, construction cannot start [1].

    But according to the September construction schedule they have filed with the National Energy Board (NEB), Kinder Morgan plans to:

    • Work on the oil tanker loading facility on Burrard Inlet
    • Start expanding their Burnaby Tank Farm
    • Begin tunneling under Burnaby Mountain
    • Construct equipment and supply depots along the entire route of the pipeline

    The situation is changing every day – get the latest details from the webinar: http://www.coastprotectors.ca/km_construction_know_your_rights_webinar

    For more events like these, please become a Coast Protectors monthly ally: www.CoastProtectors.ca/donate_monthly. If donating monthly isn’t for you, consider a one time gift of $10, $25, $50 – whatever you can afford.

    Even $10 a month means the world to our ability to work to stop Kinder Morgan and fight climate chaos. Together, we are many, we are strong – and we will stop Kinder Morgan.

    In solidarity,

    Don Bain
    Executive Director
    UBCIC/CoastProtectors

Another Sad Story…

In a message from 350 we just learned that:

The Trump administration just disbanded a federal advisory committee on climate change.

The US National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee (mostly scientists, public health, agricultural and forests/natural lands experts, oceanographers, biologists, risk, weather and water experts,etc) has been disbanded. They were in the middle of developing the 4th National  Climate Assessment. If the outside Advisory Committee is dismantled,  employees working inside federal agencies and departments are likely to be next–reassigned to ???

Trump’s appointees are busy systematically dismantling, cutting budgets and redirecting or blocking staff from doing climate science and planning.  California has our own climate assessment working with our University of California scientists but the vast majority of states are entirely or largely dependent on climate modeling data, analysis, mapping, tools and guidance coming from this national climate assessment process.    There is still a requirement that the US conduct a climate assessment every 4 years, but it may also be dismantled.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/08/20/the-trump-administration-just-disbanded-a-federal-advisory-committee-on-climate-change/

Forget Shorter Showers

“The problem is that individual action, while admirable, is not adequate given the magnitude and trends of climate change or pollution. Please see the short video Forget Shorter Showers.” poet and climate activist, Scott Starbuck

Three Policy Pillars of the Neo-Liberal Age

“Indeed the three policy pillars of the neo-liberal age—privatization of the public sphere, deregulation of the corporate sector, and the lowering of income and corporate taxes, paid for with cuts to public spending—are each incompatible with many of the actions we must take to bring our emissions to safe levels. And together these pillars form an ideological wall that has blocked a serious response to climate change for decades.”

Naomi Klein

Naomi Klein

A century of global warming in 35 seconds

Video: A century of global warming in 35 seconds

A revealing animation created by Antti Lipponen.  You are free to copy, adapt, and build on the material.

Truth to Power

Just a few weeks away from the release of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, the new film featuring former Vice President Al Gore.

Check out the powerful video featuring One Republic’s song, “Truth to Power”!

Most Effective Individual Steps to Tackle Climate Change

In an article quoted on sciencedaily.com  Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas write that Schools and Governments are not discussing the most effective individual tactics for tackling climate change.

Four steps their research recommends are:

Eat a plant-based diet

Avoid air travel

Live car free

Have smaller families

You can get more details about the study here.

State & local leaders: It’s time to commit

Bill McKibben writes in the latest Rolling Stone magazine:

How to Tell If Your Reps Are Serious About Climate Change

In the wake of Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, how serious are your elected leaders about fighting back?

Climate Justice Field Manual

http://www.climatejusticenow.earth/

Thank you, Gerald Johnson

geraldjohnson.jpg

Gerald Johnson, recently retired from OCA’s Executive Committee, just finished Climate Reality Leadership Training in Bellevue, WA, and has this to say:

I wanted to express my gratitude for encouraging Ali and I to participate in the climate reality training. This was a truly inspirational and educational opportunity for us both. Here is a resource offered at the training, created by Jill MacIntyre Witt, who coordinates Climate Reality Leaders in the Pacific Northwest:
http://www.climatejusticenow.earth/

Sincerely,
Gerald Johnson
B.A. Sustainable Development, Prescott College

Our thanks to Gerald for his generous and intelligent contributions to OCA.  We bid him farewell and wish all success in his endeavors in Salt Lake City.

Nature Conservancy considering carbon tax proposal for Washington State

“We’ve made a major financial commitment to do all the work that needs to be done,” she added, including gathering about 350,000 signatures to ensure the needed valid signatures.

http://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article155921079.html

Growing alliance of businesses & governments vows to honor Paris accord

Around the world, nations have been reacting to President Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris climate accord with determination to move ahead in spite of the United States government. And here domestically, a growing coalition of state and local governments, tribes, and businesses are signing on to a declaration to continue honoring the Paris accord in spite of the Trump administration:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/govt-business-leaders-to-endorse-paris-climate-deal-despite-trumps-withdrawal-4692482/

Revisiting “Silent Spring”

From The New Yorker magazine:

Fifty-five years ago this week, Rachel Carson published the first part of “Silent Spring” in The New Yorker. Carson exposed, in detail, the dangers of the pesticide DDT; her work jump-started the American environmental movement and helped bring about the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. This week, we’re bringing you “Silent Spring” in its entirety, along with a few recent pieces on the environmental challenges that define our era. Raffi Khatchadourian tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon oil-spill disaster. Elizabeth Kolbert surveys the effects of global warming. And Jane Mayer, in a piece published this week, explains how “a tiny clique of fossil-fuel barons has captured America’s energy and environmental policies,” resulting in Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. These days, we have especially urgent reasons to revisit Carson’s work: the movement that she helped inspire has never been more necessary.

—David Remnick

Silent Spring—I

Some evil spell had settled on the community; mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens, and the cattle and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was the shadow of death.

Silent Spring—II

As man proceeds toward his announced goal of the conquest of nature, he is writing a depressing record of destruction—destruction of the earth he inhabits and destruction of the life that shares it with him.

Silent Spring—III

Can we afford to pour chemicals into the environment that have the power to strike directly at the chromosomes? Is this not too high a price to pay for a sproutless potato or a mosquitoless patio?

BY RACHEL CARSON

The Climate of Man—I

Donald Perovich offered a comparison that he had heard from a glaciologist friend. The friend likened the climate system to a rowboat: “You can tip and then you’ll just go back. You can tip it and just go back. And then you tip it and you get to the other stable state, which is upside down.”

BY ELIZABETH KOLBERT

The Gulf War

BP estimated that a thousand barrels per day were flowing out of the Deepwater Horizon well—a provisional number that, NOAAannounced, would be verified when the weather allowed. But the estimate, obviously inadequate, drew heavy criticism.

BY RAFFI KHATCHADOURIAN

On Climate, the Koch Brothers Are No Longer Covert

Now that they have been flushed from the shadows, the Koch brothers and their political operatives have proudly taken credit for obstructing the U.S. government from addressing climate change.

BY JANE MAYER

While Feds fail, locals step up

President Trump’s withdrawal from our country’s commitment to the Paris climate accord has engendered both dismay and determination around the globe, and here on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic Climate Action has joined that chorus.  Around the country, groups are now calling for their state and local governments to fill in the void of federal leadership by committing to meet the goals of the Paris accord.  Members of Olympic Climate Action have worked for more than four years to educate North Olympic Peninsula communities regarding climate change, and we have seen our Peninsula governments respond with serious efforts undertaken at the tribal, county, and city levels to incorporate sustainability into their operations and come to grips with the challenge of climate change.  While there is more work to be done, we want to take the opportunity at this critical point in history to applaud these local efforts and commit ourselves to facilitate them in any way we can, to, in the words of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

We invite concerned individuals to join OCA’s Local Climate Action Planning Committee to help move these efforts forward.  Contact us at https://olyclimate.org/contact-us/.

Here are some links highlighting Peninsula governments’ actions to protect us from climate change:

Climate adaptation grant for North Olympic Peninsula

Sequim adopts sustainability resolution

Port Angeles adopts climate planning policy

Clallam commissioners adopt climate change work plan

Ozias commits to climate action

Climate activists & Peninsula officials react to Trump’s pullout from Paris

Jefferson County/Port Townsend Climate Action Committee

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe study of climate impacts and adaptation

Climate activists & Peninsula officials react to Trump’s pullout from Paris

This Peninsula Daily News story in the wake of Donald Trump’s announced withdrawal from the Paris climate accord includes reactions from OCA members, the Local 20/20 sustainability group in Port Townsend, and officials from Clallam County and the Jamestown S’Klallam, Quileute, and Quinault Tribes:

https://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/peninsula-reacts-to-trumps-decision-to-pull-u-s-from-paris-climate-accord/

Earth mourns

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-announces-withdrawal-from-paris-climate-accord-but-says-us-will-begin-negotiations-to-re-enter-agreement/ar-BBBLeti

Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers on Scott Pruitt

Video: Scott Pruitt Will Make America Great — For Polluters
In this exclusive web essay, Bill Moyers takes on President Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has a track record of putting the business interests of the energy sector before the environmental and health interests of the public. He has spent his career fighting the rules and regulations of the agency he is now being nominated to lead. His expected confirmation threatens to make America great for polluters again. Continue reading

Port Angeles adopts climate planning policy

On January 17, 2017, Resolution #02-17 was finalized after OCA appealed to the City Council for action following up on the climate adaptation plan. Here is a paraphrase of that resolution:

“It is incumbent on all local government agencies on the Olympic Peninsula to prepare for natural disasters, sea level rise and potential emergencies related to climate change.  In 2015 representatives of the City of Port Angeles participated in a regional effort to consider climate change impacts on the Northern Olympic Peninsula.

“In 2016, with input from OCA and dozens of jurisdictions, agencies, businesses and residents across the Northern Olympic Peninsula, the City adopted a new Comprehensive Plan that includes 18 new policies around climate change and adaptation to sea level rise. Areas of the new policies include climatic impact on land use, conservation, capital facilities, and economic development.

“The City should utilize the Climatic Change Preparedness Plan in attracting businesses, to demonstrate a proactive approach to climatic change inthe area.

“The City affirms its dedication to planning for climate change and for the needs of our community as we face these changes.  Its planning will be founded on the Comprehensive Plan.  The City will support a regional, co-operative approach and it directs City staff to ensure that new development, both public and private, take into account and  proactively mitigate changing environmental effects.”

To read the whole of Resolution 02-17, click here.

Ozias commits to climate action

At Tuesday’s Clallam County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner Mark Ozias committed to taking further steps with his fellow Commissioners in 2017 to prepare for climate change and reduce Clallam County’s climate impact.

“I’m looking forward to moving into next year with a much more firm sense of where we’re at and where we would like to go,” Ozias said.

We thank Commissioner Ozias for his leadership on this vital community issue and look forward to working with the Commissioners and others in 2017.

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/news/clallam-county-looks-at-climate-change-plans/

POTUS candidates on climate change

from sciencedebate.org

Climate Change

The Earth’s climate is changing and political discussion has become divided over both the science and the best response. What are your views on climate change, and how would your administration act on those views? Continue reading

Sequim adopts sustainability resolution

Belated kudos to the City of Sequim!  This is a far-sighted resolution unanimously adopted on July 25 calling for incorporating climate into all planning instruments, working with other regional parties, learning and educating, and monitoring and evaluating.  Thanks to OCA members Bob Sextro and Brian Grad, who testified before the City Council.

Here is the resolution:  sequim-sustainability-resolution-2016

“Occupy” endorses I-732

Occupy.com has posted a story about “6 ballot initiatives to watch in 2016.” Author Matt Stannard calls I-732 “absolutely the most important initiative in the country.”

From the story: “At the top of the list is the first and only carbon tax and rebate initiative in the United States, an idea championed by a variety of advocates across a wide ideological spectrum. Over a two-year period, Initiative 732 would institute a $25 per metric ton of CO2 consumed in the state. The proposal also reduces state sales taxes across the board by 1 percent; this makes sense because sales taxes are regressive for no socially defensible reason, while the carbon tax at least has a purpose. Even better, the proposal provides up to $1,500 per year in the form of a tax rebate to 400,000 of the lowest-income Washingtonians – the people most likely to fear a post-carbon transition for legitimate economic reasons.”

http://www.occupy.com/article/climate-justice-ground-6-ballot-initiatives-watch-2016

I-732 will benefit Clallam County $$$

In a presentation to the Dungeness River Management Team, CarbonWA executive board member Mike Massa made the case for the I-732 revenue-neutral carbon tax and refuted the statements that the Clallam County PUD had made opposing the initiative at a previous DRMT meeting.  Here are his slides in Powerpoint and PDF format.

Note the projected economic impacts:

Continue reading

Raves for I-732 and putting a fair price on carbon

“If there was one thing I would like to see, it would be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions.”

* That’s President Obama responding to a question from Thomas Friedman about the single most important thing we can do to solve climate change, from a forthcoming episode in the new season of Years of Living Dangerously, which will begin airing in October and which focuses on their new #PutAPriceOnIt campaign.  That episode will feature Carbon Washington and I-732.

More raves:

OCA comments on Port Angeles Comprehensive Plan

Urges consideration of climate change in guiding the City’s future

OCA delivered these comments to the Port Angeles Planning Commission, which is charged with taking public input and drafting a periodic required update of the Port Angeles Comprehensive Plan.  This plan guides decision-making of the City as it strives to meet its mission to enhance the quality of life of its citizens, now and into the future.

OCA members believe it is critically important for the City to come to grips with climate change, both to help mitigate its impacts and to proactively deal with the impacts we will not be able to avoid.  Going into the future, we can expect longer and more intense fire seasons, droughts, and floods, as well as sea level rise and ocean acidification.  Now is not the time to put our head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening.  While this past year of drought, wildfire, flood damage, and the dead zone off our coast was an anomaly, it was a good illustration of what the climate models predict for our area in the coming decades.

Fortunately, our area has been able to complete a scientifically rigorous and community-based Climate Preparedness Plan recently published by the NOP Resource Conservation & Development council, with help from community groups such as OCA.  This plan can serve as an excellent guide to our community as to how best to prepare for what’s to come.

One quick way to show your support for a proactive climate stance in the City’s Comp Plan is to answer their short survey:  “Speak Up PA!” Questionnaire.

Climate can’t see forest for trees !!!!

No problem. Palm trees are beautiful and we can develop a love for the stark beauty of the Saguaro cactus. This is what we get when the developed world’s sense of entitlement leads it to a per capita carbon footprint 17 times larger than than the 2 billion food and water starved.

American forests face major changes

May 5, 2016, by Tim Radford

CROP--cascade mountains

Clallam commissioners adopt climate change work plan

(Peninsula Daily News 4/12/16) PORT ANGELES — Clallam County commissioners have approved a work plan to adapt to potential impacts of climate change.

After hearing testimony from a split group of public speakers Tuesday, county commissioners voted 3-0 to pass a resolution directing six county departments to consider impacts and strategies contained in a North Olympic Peninsula Resources Conservation and Development Council report on climate change.

“The point of this resolution is to try and give our county staff some tools to try and plan for the future,” Commissioner Mark Ozias said.

(Full article here.)

To view the Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula, go to www.tinyurl.com/PDN-climatechangereport.

OCA notes gap in draft County shoreline plan

Last month, OCA sent a letter to the Clallam County Department of Community Development noting a gap in the Department’s analysis of threats in its proposed update to its Shoreline Master Program (SMP), required under the state Shoreline Management Act – namely, the lack of any reference to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s study of probable climate impacts in the eastern part of Clallam County–arguably the most recent scientific study of climate impacts relative to shorelines in Clallam County.  We plan to submit more extensive and detailed comments about the draft SMP during public hearings in February.

OCA signs group letter opposing Keystone XL pipeline

Measure fails by bare filibuster-proof margin

In the last hours of the debate over the Keystone XL pipeline bill in the U.S. Senate, a group of climate-activist organizations, including OCA, sent a letter urging opposition to KXL bill S2280.  It’s time to get over the paradigms, technologies, and excesses of the past, and to build the framework for a clean-energy future.  The Canadian Tar Sands simply aren’t worth it from any rational accounting.

In spite of election setbacks for climate action, leaders who want to be able to look their children and grandchildren straight in the eye have been stepping up to the plate, first with an historic climate-mitigation agreement between the U.S. and China, and now with the rejection of Keystone XL.  What happens in the next few years will be critical to our civilization’s future, so it is no time to crawl into a corner.  It’s time for action, not for whimpering in the face of Big Oil and Coal.

Climate adaptation grant for North Olympic Peninsula

Olympic Climate Action helped develop this grant , “Planning for Climate Change on the North Olympic Peninsula Summary” and serves as a partner on it.  We will encourage local elected bodies to implement the changes recommended in the report, which will be developed with reference to the best available science and in discussion with the community at large.  Part of the responsibility of government is to look at emerging trends and plan for them, and no trend will be as important in this century as climate change.

Climate adaptation grant announced in PT Leader

This commentary piece in the Port Townsend Leader describes the grant on which OCA is collaborating with the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation & Development Council, to study the probable impacts of climate change on the North Olympic Peninsula and work with local governments to develop strategies to take those impacts into account.

IPCC warns that we must get serious

U.N. Climate Panel Working Group 3 Warns Speedier Action Is Needed to Avert Disaster

OCA helps land climate-impacts grant

A consortium led by the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development Council, including Olympic Climate Action in Clallam County and the Local 2020 Climate Action Group in east Jefferson County, has been awarded a $152,000 grant from the National Estuary Program’s Watershed Protection & Restoration Fund, administered by the the WA State Dept. of Ecology.  The project, pending finalization of a contract, will consult extensively with local stakeholders and scientific experts to produce a study summarizing expected climate impacts and adaptation needs for the North Olympic Peninsula, and then reach out to the public and local governments about changes to land use plans that would help to protect people and resources.

Seattle calls for moratorium on oil-by-rail infrastructure

Seattle just became the first city to call for a statewide moratorium on all new oil by rail infrastructure.

Senators pull off all-nighter for climate

30 U.S. Senators stayed up all night to talk about the challenge of climate change

OCA joins U.S. Climate Action Network

Today Olympic Climate Action joined the U.S. Climate Action Network, part of the worldwide Climate Action Network.  This move puts OCA in touch with other climate activists, the better to collaborate with our colleagues worldwide.

Warmth in Alaska, Cold in the Midwest – Signs of a Shifting Climate?

NASA authors explore the cause for the recent enormous avalanche that blocked the only land link between the ice-free oil port of Valdez and the rest of Alaska.  What does this have to do with the rest of us?  In essence, Alaska’s warmth is the “flip side of the coin” to the Midwest and Northeast’s frigidity, and the drought in the Southwest.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/fromthefield/2014/02/05/alaskapipeline/

4-H environment club forming

4-H-environment club flyer

PDN story on vigil vs. Keystone

Peninsula Daily News: OCA vigil Feb. 3 to protest Keystone XL pipeline

Scientific case for radical emissions reductions

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in England just hosted a conference underscoring the point that we need to get very serious very quickly about reducing our greenhouse-gas footprint.  The conference website includes videos of all the talks, including a keynote address by Naomi Klein.

Climate disasters are already taxing us

Crop losses. Floods. Wildfires. Climate change and extreme weather are fundamentally changing the United States, and American taxpayers are paying a huge, and growing, cost.  LINK

National Geographic on rising seas

“By the next century, if not sooner, large numbers of people will have to abandon coastal areas in Florida and other parts of the world. Some researchers fear a flood tide of climate-change refugees. ‘From the Bahamas to Bangladesh and a major amount of Florida, we’ll all have to move, and we may have to move at the same time. We’re going to see civil unrest, war. You just wonder how—or if—civilization will function. We think Miami has always been here and will always be here. How do you get people to realize that Miami—or London—will not always be there?” LINK

Whatcom County votes against coal export

In a council election unlike any other in the history of Whatcom County, voters sided with representatives believed to be against a proposed coal export facility.   READ MORE »

Greenhouse gases soar to record levels

The amount of planet-warming greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2012, with rapid growth in both carbon dioxide and methane concentrations, according to a report released by the World Meteorological Organization.

World economic leader calls for broad energy policy reform

In a speech last week, the Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) called for immediate worldwide reform of economic and political policies to avert climate disaster.  Included in his speech was the imperative that we leave most existing reserves of fossil fuels in the ground and provide a credible and stable path to a zero-emissions energy economy.

Study points to spreading unlivability

Urgent time frame seen for climate change

Researchers at the University of Hawaii have developed a “climate departure” index:  the year when the mean climate of any given location on Earth will shift completely outside the most extreme records experienced in the past 150 years.

NBC News story

Full article in the journal NatureClimate Departure - Nature

Bold words from climate scientists

The International Panel on Climate Change (a body of the UN) today released their summary of the entire science underpinning climate change. This summary is aimed at policymakers.

“The IPCC called the evidence of climate change “unequivocal” and that the “human influence is clear” and goes a step further to endorse “substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Let’s make sure this latest report encourages our elected leaders to make good choices based on scientific consensus on what causes global warming.

climate scientists consensus

Illustration of the scientific consensus that 97 out of 100 actively publishing climate scientists agree with the overwhelming evidence that humans are causing global warming. Courtesy of Skeptical Science.