Tag Archives: climate change

OCA Endorses the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

THE FOSSIL FUEL
NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY

An initiative to phase-out fossil fuels and fast-track solutions

Climate change, like nuclear weapons, is a major global threat.

Bold and immediate action is needed to address the climate emergency.

The main cause of the climate emergency is fossil fuels.
Coal, oil and gas are responsible for almost 80% of all carbon dioxide emissions
since the industrial revolution.

Phasing-out fossil fuel production,
and fast-tracking progress towards safer and more cost-effective solutions,
will require unprecedented international cooperation in three main areas.

Noam Chomsky, Democracy Now 4/10/20

Amy Goodman interviews Noam Chomsky

“[Climate change] is a far more serious threat than the coronavirus, [which] is bad and serious, but we’ll recover somehow. We’re not going to recover from the melting of the polar ice sheets. . . .  Just recently, there was a very interesting leak, a memo from JPMorgan Chase, America’s biggest bank, which warned that, in their words, ‘the survival of humanity’ is at risk if we continue on our present course, which included the funding of fossil fuel industries by the bank itself.”

COVID-19, Capitalism, and Climate Disruption

How will the coronavirus change perceptions
of climate change

By Krestine Reed

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

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

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

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.

The terrible truth, in one graph

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

Extinction Rebellion: “The Emergency”

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

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.

Two worthy events this weekend

Orca forum Friday 1-4 pm in Port Angeles

Celebrate science & technology Saturday at PA City Pier

Climate and America’s endangered rivers

Endangered Rivers

Hot Off the Wire -2/26/2019

Take Action

Regional Action

Webinar to discuss initial reflections on the 1631 campaign
via Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy

Climate Solutions 11th Annual Breakfast
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 – 7:30am to 9:00am

Please support Beaver Lake Cree’s historic tar sands trial.
via Raven Trust

Support the Oil Spill Prevention Bill
via Washington Conservation Voters

Support healthy shorelines and healthy orcas
via Washington Conservation Voters

Have your gift matched for Washington Conservation Voters!

Please tell your legislators that climate is a top issue for you.
via Climate Solutions

Tell your State Senator: Support 100% Clean Electricity
via Washington Conservation Voters

National Action

Green New Deal Week of Action Drop-By Visits
via Sierra Club

Join a Congressional office visit around a Green New Deal
via Sunrise Movement

URGENT: DON’T LET TRUMP OPEN OUR COASTS TO BIG OIL!
via Sierra Club

Sign Bernie Sanders’ petition for the Green New Deal
via Daily KOS

Tell your senators and representative: Support the ANTIQUITIES Act of 2019
via NRDC Action Fund

Tell the Senate: Bernhardt is a walking conflict of interest
via MoveOn

Climate News

Local/Regional News

Demystifying Clean Energy for Washington State
via Sierra Club Washington State

Been wondering what’s happening with climate action in 2019?
via Climate Solutions

How Google, Microsoft, and Big Tech Are Automating the Climate Crisis
via Gizmodo

Calling Natural Gas a ‘Bridge Fuel’ is Alarmingly Deceptive
via Sightline Institute

National/International News

After 40 Years of Government Inaction on Climate, Have We Finally Turned a Corner?
via Yes! Magazine

Strategies and Stories from the German Climate Justice Movement
via Facebook-Portland Rising Tide

The End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate Disruption
via Democracy Now!

Drilling towards Disaster Report 2019
Partner Share Pack with sample language and graphics
via OilChange International

The Future In Store
A quick primer in energy storage via Medium.com

Inspiration

How a 7th-grader’s strike against climate change exploded into a movement
via The Washington Post

The Transformative Power of Climate Truth
A Collective Awakening In the Age of Trump

An Action Guide for The Uninhabitable Earth
via The Climate mobilization

By Reconnecting With Soil, We Heal the Planet and Ourselves
via Yes! Magazine

Pioneering Black Scientist to Win Nobel Prize of Climate Change
via The Years Project

Just an environmental issue? Not!

Where will we find the political will to do what we know needs to be done in the time we have? Here’s an essay in the Sequim Gazette by OCA board member Ann Soule, who also serves as Resource Manager for the City of Sequim:

In our small corner of the globe, the biggest threats are drought, wildfire, and severe storms. . . . Like all wicked problems, solutions to climate change won’t be pretty, fun, or quick. But it will be much easier if it is recognized as a “quality of life” and a “community health” issue, and not strictly an “environmental” issue.

http://www.sequimgazette.com/opinion/water-matters-climate-meltdown/

Their future is in our hands

Please pay attention…please get involved in this most important decision-time for this nation…please get everyone you know to do the same.
A plea from our kids:
And a plea from our brothers and sisters under the sea:

Who is the “we” in “We are causing climate change”?

(Hint: If you’re reading this, probably not you!)

 

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

Climate hope lectures

The Climate Reality Project: Hope for the Future

Thursday, March 1, 6-7 p.m., Peninsula College – Port Townsend

Thursday, March 15, 6-7 p.m., Sequim Public Library, south meeting room

Wednesday, April 18, 6:30 -7:30 p.m., Peninsula College –  Forks

Cost: Free, registration not required. Open to the public

“We’re going to win this thing, but first we have to understand what it is.” With seas rising, global heat records falling, and storms becoming more and more devastating, the reality of climate change has never been clearer. With clean energy solutions like wind and solar getting more affordable, batteries getting better, and buildings becoming more efficient every year, we can see the way forward. The good news doesn’t end there. Thanks to 195 countries signing the historic Paris Agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions planet-wide, the world is united in working for a safe and sustainable future with net-zero carbon emissions by the second half of this century. Climate Reality is working to accelerate the global shift from activities driving climate change to renewables so we can power our lives and economies without destroying our planet. But we can only do it together with a deep understanding of the current global situation and the science behind it.

Presenter: Dr. Adelia Ritchie

Sponsored by Western Washington University & Sierra Club

Trump flushes out his ignorance

Opinion: Monetized foreign policy leads to climate change

From OCA member Bob Vreeland:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/letters/letter-monetized-foreign-policy-leads-to-climate-change/

Clallam shoreline plan needs to consider climate change more seriously

At today’s hearing on Clallam County’s Draft Shoreline Master Program (September 2017, Ed Chadd submitted the following comments on behalf of OCA, urging greater consideration of climate change in shoreline planning in order to protect both the public and County government (news article here):

I am here representing Olympic Climate Action, a group of local citizens dedicated to researching, educating, and acting on the issue of climate change, with a distinctly local focus. We have a mailing list of more than 700, and our monthly meetings consistently draw 15-20 Clallam County residents concerned about climate change education, adaptation, and mitigation.  These comments on the County’s draft Shoreline Master Program reflect the consensus of our group, developed at these monthly meetings over the course of more than two years.

We believe one goal of the SMP should be to inform Clallam County residents of potential climate change impacts.  In a prior draft, Goal #13 was “To protect people and property from adverse impacts related to climate change and to promote resiliency in responding to climate change impacts.” We note with concern that this goal has been removed from the current draft, and we would like a clearly-stated reason as to why. Continue reading

Climate-related podcasts

Here’s a list of some good ones, which you should be able to access through collector services such as iTunes, Pocket Casts, or Stitcher:

  • Warm Regards
  • Stepping Up
  • Generation Anthropocene
  • Climate Conversations
  • Trump on Earth
  • Terrestrial

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

Think about it: heating up?

Column in the Sequim Gazette by local columnist Bertha Cooper:

http://www.sequimgazette.com/opinion/think-about-it-heating-up/

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

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.

On Climate Change, Interconnectedness, and Tolerating Risk

boltcutters

by Emily Johnston. Cross-posted from the Climate Defense Project.  The Climate Defense Project is part of the legal team providing support to Emily and the other valve turners.

______

A certain kind of anxious question comes almost every time we give a talk as “the Valve Turners”: Why would you take such a risk? What brought you to this? One interviewer was sure that I was leaving something out in my answers; he thought for sure some moment in my childhood had primed me for this.

I could tell it that way, if you wanted. It’s true that when I was twelve or thirteen, my brother told me about global warming. We lived on a low-lying island each summer, a place where the manmade causeway would sometimes be dramatically reclaimed by the sea in a big storm: swallowed by waves, just like that. The island was the place I loved most in all the world, and it disturbed me deeply to suddenly imagine it under the rising seas—my father’s vegetable garden, my mother’s flowers, the trees and their dappled light. It gave me an uncomfortable awareness of impermanence.

But the truth is that my love for the natural world often gave me that feeling of vulnerability: extinctions, factory farming, the clubbing of baby seals—all of these were wounds to my sense of connection and continuity. It’s a susceptibility I shared with a lot of sensitive kids. Which is to say, with a lot of kids—not to mention adults. Continue reading

Climate change is a justice issue

Heat waves that have office workers reaching for the air conditioning will have farm workers facing heat stroke. Rising food prices that hit the rich in the wallet will hit the poor in the stomach. And storms that rattle windows in affluent homes will sweep away poor homes entirely.   –environmental economist Jonah Busch

Rally vs Trump Nominees

image

That pin in the upper left is us, not Victoria…in the entire Pacific Northwest, we and Seattle were the only places to hold “First 100 Hours” rallies to begin the resistance against the Cabinet nominees of Donald Trump.

Twenty-eight hardy souls were out in the middle of the street early this morning to spread the word, and we got much support from passersby.  More support than from the Port Commission, who said it was inappropriate to lobby other government bodies such as the U.S. Senate. This was just prior to a long discussion of whether they should lobby state government to extend the halibut fishing season!  Oh well, Profiles in Courage it wasn’t.

But the good news is that two out of three Port Commissioners acknowledge that human-caused climate change is a serious problem that must be seriously addressed.  That’s a good thing for our local community, as the Port controls some of the most vulnerable assets in Clallam County under the threat of climate change.

Pictures from the rally are on our Facebook page.