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Call For National Climate Legislation

Call your national legislators
There has never been more important climate legislation before our national representatives than the current Build Back Better legislation. As stated in this 7 Oct. 2021 Sierra Club newsletter: “

The Senate and the House are actively negotiating the most important clean energy legislation in a generation. The Build Back Better Act offers historic climate investments that will put our nation on a path to 100% clean energy by 2035.”
     Americans must call, text, email, write, and talk with their national legislators—Democrat and Republican—and pressure them to pass the Build Back Better legislation. People disagree on parts of Build Back Better, and those parts can be worked on later, but the fundamental Build Back Better—with its necessary-to-our-survival national government backed push to revamp our energy system and our economy to one that doesn’t produce greenhouse gases—must occur.

Multiple organizations provide means to contact your legislators. Here are a few:

Continue reading “Call For National Climate Legislation”
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Governor Jay Inslee and the Nez Perce’s Shannon Wheeler at the 14. Oct. Washington Conservation Voters Gathering (virtual) of Environmental Champions to talk about the lower Snake River dams

The following information and the above picture is from https://wcvoters.org/news/governor-inslee-joins-wcvs-gathering-of-champions-on-october-14th/ (accessed 12 Oct. 2021):

“Governor Jay Inslee will join Shannon Wheeler, Vice Chairman of Nez Perce Tribe Executive Committee in a special discussion hosted by WCV CEO Alyssa Macy at WCV’s Gathering of Environmental Champions.
     “Don’t miss this conversation between two Washington state leaders about how removing the lower Snake River dams will impact the health of our communities, our environment, salmon and, in turn, Southern Resident orcas in the Puget Sound.”

Date & Time: Thursday, October 14th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm, Zoom Webinar
Go to the link above to register. The cost for individuals to register for the Zoom webinar is $20.

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Build Back Better. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, email your president and your representatives about the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.

⸺The following is from a 9 Oct. 2021 e-alert from the Sierra Club.

Pres. Biden: Hold strong for the boldest Build Back Better Act!
President Biden and Congress are now negotiating the final details of the Build Back Better Act. This transformative bill would deliver climate action, jobs and justice — so let’s get the boldest version possible across the finish line.

Continue reading “Build Back Better. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram, email your president and your representatives about the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.”
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Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio

Geniuses, tinkerers, theoreticians, self-made engineers, disciplined and methodical men, problem solvers, humble and honest brothers—Orville and Wilbur Wright were all these, as the Wright Cycle Company and Visitor Center (part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park) displays. The Wrights lifted off the ground in Kitty Hawk, but they learned how to make a flying machine—and how to fly—in Dayton.

Continue reading “Wright Brothers in Dayton, Ohio”
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National Museum of the Air Force (near Dayton, Ohio)

Wow, it’s big! Bigger than the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. The National Museum of the Air Force (open to the public) at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base comprises four huge hangars (17 acres of indoor exhibit space) filled with planes and jets, stretching from a Wright Brother’s flyer to the Memphis Belle to a B2 bomber—as well as helicopters, missiles, and more. Plan to wander for hours gazing amazed.

Also see

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Genteel Bike Riding in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (near Cleveland)

My wife insists on comfortable bike riding. For me, who in my younger years had whooshed his ram’s handle, light ten speed with its narrow tires and hard, narrow seat around the cliff-edged curves of the Colorado National Monument, this slow, easy mode of bicycle touring is new—and nice.

She looks good sitting on her bicycle with its upright handlebars and soft seat as she pedals steadily along a level bike path while her ponytail moves gently from side to side. She has a rainbow-colored bell, and as she tells me, adding a basket would complete the ensemble. I like this genteel touring with my wife.

Continue reading “Genteel Bike Riding in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (near Cleveland)”
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Fossil fuel companies doing evil

Call this greed what it is: evil.

Years ago, when I was a medical student and was riding ambulances in New Orleans, we pulled into an alleyway one night to aid a woman who’d been raped and to take her to Charity Hospital. Seeing what someone had done to her, I learned then that mean, evil people exist.

Fossil fuel companies are using their power and money to campaign on Facebook to defeat politicians who support the bill that would—if passed—redirect our nation’s future toward clean energy (and in the same bill, remove taxpayer provided subsidies to fossil fuel companies). For years, these companies used their substantial powers to obfuscate the climate change discussion and to perpetuate the myth that climate change was not happening, and they profited immensely from the resulting delay in action. Now, these companies are campaigning hard to delay our desperately needed rapid transformation to clean energy—and that delay will add to the heat, fire, floods, droughts, and winds that will displace and shatter millions of people and that will extinguish species.

It’s not a man with a knife, but instead a white-collar executive with a company board, but the result of both their actions are ugly and terrible. We know now what will happen if we don’t transition quickly to clean energy—and yet fossil fuel companies, to extend their years of profits from fossil fuels, are actively fighting the transition and are working hard to undermine those courageous politicians striving to ward off destruction and misery for many.

Look at the actions and the damage it does to people and species.

Call this greed what it is: evil.

⸺ MRM

See

– Hiroko Tabuchi, “In Your Facebook Feed: Oil Industry Pushback Against Biden Climate Plans,” New York Times, 30 Sep. 2021, In Your Facebook Feed: Oil Industry Pushback Against Biden Climate Plans

– Henry M. Paulson Jr., “We’re Living Through One of the Most Explosive Extinction Episodes Ever,” 30 Sep. 2021, New York Times, explosive extinction         
Snippet synopsis: We’re in terrible extinction times; Mr. Paulson presents ways to get out of them.

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Two strikes and we’re out. Call Republicans.

“Only the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.”

The future of my grandchildren can’t be all about what Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema do. Call Republicans, too.

————————————————————————————————-

Two strikes and we’re out.

As Bill McKibben noted in a recently released webinar (see references) that hosted multiple fighters for climate-action, the United States tried to pass a climate bill in 2009 but failed. Strike one.

Twelve years later (it’s taken that long to put together another such bill), the U.S. Senate is deciding whether a second significant climate legislation will live. If we don’t pass the reconciliation build back better bill in the next week, then it’s strike two to our efforts to stave off severe climate chaos.

Climate scientists tell us bluntly that we must halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (only eight years from now). Earth doesn’t suffer fools. We have no strike three.

Passage of the reconciliation bill can’t be all about Democratic senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Some Republicans (two, three, or more) want a climate future for their grandchildren, and some will vote for this bill—even if it costs them their Senate seat. We’re told to telephone Manchin and West Virginians to emphasize that this is our last chance to use the powers of the United States government to rapidly accelerate America’s transition to clean energy—a rapid acceleration that must occur for us to survive.

I can’t believe that my grandchildren’s future depends on two Democratic senators’ votes. Yes, there is spending in this big reconciliation bill that individual senators of both parties object to, but there is also in this bill the only significant setting-the-direction-of-America climate legislation that we will see in years—and we have no other years left. There is no other national climate bill coming soon, and Earth won’t allow for us anything but soon.

This bill is it. Senators, work the things you object to later—but pass this bill. We need a survivable planet upon which to work.

Passing the reconciliation bill will redirect in a strong way America’s course toward clean energy. It will send a strong signal to other countries as we meet with them in Glasgow in November to determine the world’s energy direction. So much is determined by passage or failure of this reconciliation bill. As Mike Tidwell of Chesapeake Climate Action Network said in the webinar, this is “only the most important climate legislation ever proposed in America.”

Some Republicans (two, three, or more) want a climate future for their children and grandchildren, too, and they will act. This is a faith-and-strength-of-Abraham-Lincoln, foresight- and-audacity-of-Theodore-Roosevelt moment for our national representatives.

So telephone Republicans, too.

Two strikes and we’re out. It’s not a forgiving game we’re playing.

⸺MRM

——————————————————————————————————

References:

⸺ webinar “Build Back Better. Biden Climate Plan,” 24 Sep. 2021, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPKw_Ahf7M
     [This webinar hosted climate action champions Jay Inslee, Leah Stokes, Bill McKibben, and Lennox Yearwood, as well as CCAN members Mike Tidwell, Clinton Scott, and Jamie DeMarco. They ask you to call your senators and representatives at 202-951-7780 or by going to https://www.call4climatenow.com/ to demand that the reconciliation build back better bill (which contains most of the climate legislation) be passed.]

⸺ Mira Patel, “Explained: How two Build Back Better bills have put the Democrats in a tight spot,” Indian Express, 25 Sep. 2021, https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/us-joe-biden-build-back-better-bills-explained-7530969/
     [A well-written explanation of the reconciliation process]

Featured

Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park planning occurs tomorrow

Lots of fine planning—ecological restoration, trails, information kiosks, access for handicapped persons and small children—has gone into what the park’s future will be. You can learn and contribute to that future by attending the third public meeting on the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan, which will be held as a webinar on 29 Sep. at 6 p.m. Pacific time. Please go to http://portgambleforestpark.com/ to see details and to register for the webinar.

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Parks in many states

We hear of the big parks: Yellowstone, Glacier, Crater Lake, Grand Tetons, Rocky Mountain—and I had a misguided prejudice that most of the special lands are in the West. And then we began our year-long trailer travel journey east from Washington State, and I saw how each state has its parks, forests, wildernesses, wildlife refuges, national lakeshores, national seashores, national historical and cultural sites, and national battlefields.

Continue reading “Parks in many states”
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Richard Brocksmith to be awarded by Washington Wild on 30 Sept.

[Note: The following is pasted from a 22 Sep. 2021 e-announcement from Washington Wild.]

Each year Washington Wild presents the Karen M. Fant Founder’s Award to a volunteer activist who exemplifies the organizing passion and spirit of our co-founder, Karen Fant.

Past recipients include Olympic Peninsula activist Connie Gallant, Climbing advocate Matt Perkins, and Washington Outdoor Women Founder Ronnie McGlenn. This year, we are very excited to honor Richard Brocksmith with this award.

     Karen M. Fant Founder’s Award Winner
     Richard Brocksmith, Executive Director, Skagit Watershed Council

As a valued member of the Skagit Watershed Coalition, coordinated by Washington Wild, Richard made a significant impact in 2021 by spearheading the coalition’s effort to reach out to local Skagit County government and land use authorities to oppose the pending mining permit in the Skagit Headwaters. He volunteered his time to successfully organize 10 resolutions and letters from the Skagit County Board of Commissioners, Skagit Public Utility District, Port of Skagit, Samish Tribe, and the cities of Anacortes, Mount Vernon, Burlington, Sedro Wooley, Concrete, Hamilton, and La Connor.

We just over a week away from Wild Night Out! Your support and contributions to Washington Wild keep our state wild and green for all of us. We hope to see you next Thursday, September 30th at 6pm

You can learn more about Washington Wild’s Wild Night Out annual fundraising gala and awards ceremony (virtual this year) at https://wawild.org/wno.

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News deserts: bad for America

Save our communities and our country’s democracy: subscribe to a local newspaper and to a credible national/international news source.

As my wife and I trailer-travel about the country, I make it a point to read the local paper from the towns where we stay to see what the local concerns are and to see what the local journalism is like.

Local news is so different than national/international news (which has its own value).

Continue reading “News deserts: bad for America”
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Aldo Leopold’s Center and shack—for those touring the history of conservation greats

I’d not realized the significance of Aldo Leopold until my recent exploration of the Leopold Center and the Aldo Leopold shack near Baraboo, Wisconsin. I’d read commentators who said that his book A Sand County Almanac was a pivotal book in American environmental writing, along with Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and I’ve enjoyed my way through three quarters of the pleasant-to-read and conversationally insightful Almanac.
     But it was at the Leopold Center where

Continue reading “Aldo Leopold’s Center and shack—for those touring the history of conservation greats”
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Port Gamble Forest Planning, 29 Sept.

PORT GAMBLE FOREST HERITAGE PARK MASTER PLANNING

WEDNESDAY, 9/29 | 6:00-8:00 PM
PUBLIC MEETING #3:
DRAFT PARK ALTERNATIVES

You are invited to join the Kitsap County Parks Department for the third virtual community meeting to discuss the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park Master Plan Project. This meeting will focus on alternative park and trail plans that have been developed. The plans include recreational and educational facilities that were identified during the master planning process and ongoing community engagement. The event will include a presentation followed by breakout groups in which attendees will have the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions.

To register for this event, please visit
https://oacsvcs.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0lcOyuqTwoGdHMSVhLkQFhLhGwgP75ZfXd

⸺source: 14 Sep. 2021 e-announcement from Judy Sawin, Senior Project Coordinator, E: jsawin@oacsvcs.com, D: 206.384.6815, http://www.oacsvcs.com

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Gray Green: that’s me!

I love it—a term for who I am. An identity that provides me and others of my generation another means to act for Earth during this double-whammy time of climate change and mass extinction.
     Newspapers recently reported (see references below) about gray-haired folks standing next to young people during their Extinction Rebellion climate protests.
    Also, Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, recently announced that he is putting together a gray-green climate advocacy group called the Third Act (see the article and the website below) that will be made up of “experienced” (another term I love) Americans.

Yay for climate-protesting, extinction-rebelling gray greens! If I had hair, I’d be waving it proudly now.

REFERENCES

2021-09-06 Karla Adam, “Meet the ‘Grey Greens’ joining Extinction Rebellion on the streets,” Independent, 6 Sep. 2021, Meet the ‘Grey Greens’ joining Extinction Rebellion on the streets

2021-09-04 Karla Adam, “‘Gray greens’: Grandparents are being arrested in London climate protests,” Washington Post, 4 Sep. 2021, “‘Gray greens’: Grandparents are being arrested in London climate protests,”  

2021-09-02 Emma Cotton, “Bill McKibben launches ‘Third Act’ to rally older Americans around climate change,” VTDIGGER, 2 Sep. 2021, https://vtdigger.org/2021/09/02/bill-mckibben-launches-third-act-to-rally-older-americans-around-climate-change/

Welcome to Your Third Act. See https://thirdact.org/ (accessed 14 Sep. 2021)

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Climate Protest in Bremerton, 25 Sept.

When: 25 Sept. 2021, 11 a.m.
Where: Meet at the Manette Bridge in Bremerton, WA.
What: speakers, music, booths and more. Plan to march from the Manette Bridge to Evergreen Park.

(addendum: See this letter to the editor about climate action and the upcoming climate march in Bremerton: Marty Bishop, letter, “Join our efforts to promote climate action,” Kitsap Sun, 15 Sep. 2021, Join our efforts to promote climate action)

More information: This from 350 West Sound Climate Action
“Fridays For Future is hosting a Global Climate Strike on September 24. https://fridaysforfuture.org/september24/  In solidarity, Sunrise South Kitsap, 350 West Sound Climate Action, and Mason County Climate Justice are planning a Global Day of Climate Action on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:00 on the Manette Bridge with a march to Evergreen Park.  At Evergreen Park we’re planning on having music, speakers, and booths.”

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Bison success, a new mindset, and climate success

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, near Medora, North Dakota, 2021-08

Bison: they’re here. They weren’t going to be, but they are!
Bison restoration represents a great conservation success story, and it should inspire us as we battle to transform our greenhouse gas making ways. Bison—the big mammal that filled North America prairies and forests in the millions—were within a whisper of extinction, but then they were saved, and now their numbers are growing. Bison’s salvation occurred because Americans in the early 1900s evolved a new way of thinking about the natural world, and then they took action to save large mammals and their habitat. That new view continues per our continuing creation of national and other parks, wildlife reserves, wild and scenic rivers, and other habitats.

Continue reading “Bison success, a new mindset, and climate success”
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Say No to Commercial Air Tours over Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park

I love the national parks, and I agree that they are America’s Best Idea. I greatly appreciate the tough but wonderful job that the National Park Service does.

It pains me to hear of the current proposal to start commercial overflights of Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and other parks.

Planes and helicopters shouldn’t be buzzing our parks. We need places for quiet and introspection. We’re trying to get away from cities, highways, and airports. Planes—as you know—monopolize large areas of territory with their noise. When a plane or helicopter is overhead, everyone for miles around knows it.

If you’d like to protest this proposal, your comment must be submitted by 28 August 2021. For more information, please go to https://wawild.org/take-action-tell-the-national-park-service-to-protect-our-parks-from-commercial-overflights-and-noise-pollution/

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A commercial aquaculture facility will be built in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

I’d written a letter to the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands and to the Department of Natural Resources in which I’d objected to a commercial aquaculture facility being built in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
(see https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/08/17/dont-build-aquaculture-in-the-dungeness-national-wildlife-refuge/).

I received an email letter of reply on 20 August (pasted below) stating that approval has been given to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe to build the facility.     MRM

Continue reading “A commercial aquaculture facility will be built in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge”
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Clams, the RVs of the Beach. [and a shout out for Salish Magazine]

Seeing the title “Clams: the RVs of the Beach,” and with me and my wife being in an RV this year, I had to see what the post on John Williams’s outstanding online Salish Magazine (https://salishmagazine.org/) said. Though only loosely connected with RVs (clams move their homes with them), this article (https://salishmagazine.org/rvs-of-the-beach/) by Tom Noland about bivalves is full of the science details and good pictures of beach creatures that you expect from Salish Magazine.

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Update on where to go for quality national news

First, regarding local news:
     Today’s blog is about quality national news, but before delving into that, a brief mention about local news. As the Seattle Times article referenced below mentions, “most states lost half their working journalists.” The loss of so many reporters threatens communities with not having accurate and comprehensive news about what’s going on in their communities, and it also compromises the ability to hold local officials, agencies, businesses, and other groups accountable. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington State recognizes the risk to communities and democracy, so she’s striving to strengthen local journalism. You can read more in this article: Brier Dudley, “Sen. Cantwell on local news and keeping Americans informed,” Seattle Times, 30 July 2021, Web, Senator Maria Cantwell strives to strengthen local news

Now, regarding quality national news:
     I posted “Where to go for quality national news,” to this blog on 16 Apr. 2021 (see https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/16/where-to-go-for-quality-national-news/) , referring to reliability ratings of the national news media that were made by Ad Fontes Media (which describes itself as a “public benefit corporation with a mission to make news consumers smarter and news media better”). Its Media Bias Chart can be accessed at https://www.adfontesmedia.com/.

The Factual also ranks news sources, and it’s ratings of which are the most objective can be found at https://blog.thefactual.com/most-objective-news-sources. To determine these ratings, The Factual reviewed 828,00 articles from 53 sources, covering the period from 1 Jan. 2020 to 18 May 2021. For those wanting to know how the analyses were done, The Factual’s browser extension and the microsite IsThisCredible.com lets you drill down into the details.

[Note: This list does not include “local” papers (such as the The Seattle Times) which report lots of national news, though it does list The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.]

Per The Factual, these are the Top Ten most objective national news sources:

                                               Percentage Score
Factcheck                                86.2
Smithsonian Magazine          82.7
Undark                                    80.9
The Conversation                   76.4
Grist                                       76.0
The Intercept                          75.3
FiveThirtyEight                     74.0
Lawfare Blog                         73.3
Politifact                                 73.2
National Geographic             72.9

These are the objectivity ratings of those news sources after the Top Ten.

                                              Percentage Score
Vox                                        72.4
ABC News                            72.0
CNBC                                    71.5
ProPublica                              71.4
New Republic                        71.0
Business Insider                    70.7
Science Magazine                  70.4
Washington Examiner          69.6
Reason                                    69.0
New York Times                    68.4
MarketWatch                          67.6
The Norton                             67.4
NPR                                        67.2
Wired Magazine                    67.2
CBS News                              67.2
Mother Jones                          66.9
LA Times                                66.9
The Atlantic                            66.7
Washington Post                   66.1
Tech Crunch                           66.0
BBC                                         65.7
Daily Beast                             65.6
Politico                                   65.5
Quillette                                  65.1
The Guardian                         65.1
Cato Institute                         64.3
New Yorker                           63.0
Reuters                                   62.9
USA Today                            62.6
Real Clear Politics                 62.3
Wall Street Journal                61.8
Financial Times                     60.3
Voice of America                  58.8
The American Conservative  57.8
Popular Science                     56.7
Fox News                               55.3
The Federalist                        55.3
Al Jazeera                              54.3
CNN                                        53.6
Breitbart                                 52.8
National Review                    50.3
Washington Times                 50.3
Forbes                                    49.3

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Don’t build aquaculture in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

This is the letter I mailed today to Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands, Hilary Franz:

From: Michael Maddox
(previously of Poulsbo)

Continue reading “Don’t build aquaculture in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge”
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Medora, North Dakota: What a fun surprise.

Medora Musical

My wife and I had come to Medora, North Dakota to explore the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, to see the Badlands and its animals and plants, and to see where TR attained solace after family tragedy, and where he established and then failed at two ranches. Those places and things  we saw, and we had a wonderful nature- and vista-filled experience in the park, but the unexpected surprise for us was the entertainment and learning to be had in the town of Medora. North Dakota residents know about Medora (for there were many natives at the Medora Musical the night we attended it), but many of us out-of-staters don’t. The combination of national park hikes and panoramas, and the shows and shops in Medora, made for an activity-filled five days.

Continue reading “Medora, North Dakota: What a fun surprise.”
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We need climate leaders, infrastructure, and systems.

Kate Brown, “The West Is on Fire. It’s Past Time to Act on Climate Change,” New York Times, 3 Aug. 2021, Web, Governor Kate Brown, climate fires, climate action      

As Oregon governor Kate Brown relates in the opinion piece above, the West is on fire (my wife and I see smoky skies most days as we trailer travel around Oregon and Washington). She lists climate action measures that Oregon is instituting, and she demands that Congress act, too.
     In this climate crisis, it’s critical that we have insightful, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders like Brown and Washington governor Jay Inslee. We have some in Washington, DC (such as Biden, Murray, Cantwell, and others), but we also have many (much to our detriment) politicians there who are blocking desperately needed greenhouse gas controlling measures.
     As anyone who hikes, hunts, or fishes knows, nature has many blessings, but her hard reality does not suffer fools—and to not put in place now the United States infrastructure and systems that will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be foolishness on a grand scale. We need wise, courageous, and strong climate-action leaders in state, federal, and city government positions, and in business too, and we need infrastructure and systems that will allow us to have a future.

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Trees, trees, and more trees

“Trees, trees and more trees” was Golden Gate Park Supervisor John McLaren’s motto when he helped design the shaded, pleasant, walkable, and popular Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon. Trees, we know, besides making our neighborhoods cooler and more pleasant, are part of the solution to the climate crisis.

Continue reading “Trees, trees, and more trees”
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Learning about God, not only in his church but also in his nature

God gave us the minds, hearts, and souls to experience and learn from both his word and his nature. It’s good to learn about God in church (through worship, fellowship, and study) and while engaging in service and striving to walk in his ways. It’s also good to explore beyond human-built walls, within the miracle of God’s creation, appreciating not only its big beauty (the vistas) but also the details of Earth’s wondrous variety of life.
     Among the cornucopia of plants and animals, or while appreciating the beauty of seashores, sunsets, and stars, we contemplate not only God’s timelessness, but also our own mortality. Surrounded by circles of life, we inevitably think of our own life and death . . . and life again. Within nature, the sights, sounds, feelings, odors, and tastes of being suffuse our senses. We see that the great I am (who obviously likes life and variety of life, since he made so much of it) accomplishes life via complex webs of large-and small-species interactions in countless niches. Ecosystems are how God does life.
    
We thank God for the spark he put inside us, that we’re able to comprehend the preciousness of this blue-green Earth and of our time on it. We ask for his wisdom and love (which so manifestly comprise the one who engineered this miraculous biosphere) to be within us to guide our stewarding of nature.
     Church, the word, fellowship, and service are important, and so is regularly getting out into the garden, where we can be one-on-one with our creator. There, while thinking and praying, surrounded by miracles, we may learn some of his love, wisdom, glory, and life.
— MRM

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David Frederick and Coffee Oasis: Goodness Embodied

The Coffee Oases in Kitsap County, created by David and Cindy Frederick, provide refuge, hope, and work skills for youth, many of whom are from troubled homes or who are in troubled situations. Dave died recently, and celebration of his life will be on 24 July 2021 at 2 p.m. at Crossroads Neighborhood Church [7555 Old Military Rd NE, Bremerton, WA 98311]

To learn more about David and Cindy and about Coffee Oasis, please go to the following newspaper articles and announcements:

Continue reading “David Frederick and Coffee Oasis: Goodness Embodied”
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“I need water,” said the duck.

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me, too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.

Tule Lake dries and cracks.
South Klamath Lake? Well . . . it was.
Flyway for Pacific waterbirds?
Hmmm.

Money for the farmer, the fish, and the duck.
Money doesn’t make water.
Sadly true.

Farther south, California’s Central Valley dries.
Away goes nectarines, avocadoes, and lettuce.
South Klamath and Tule Lakes too.
Away goes the duck, the fish, and the man.
Sadly true.

Bigger than they (duck, fish, and man)
is this hot, unfathomable, unstoppable thing
they call global warming.

That’s a lie.
They is the man, and the man knows.
Truly he knew and knows,
and he could have done, and he can do,
but he didn’t and doesn’t.

The duck, the fish—
they don’t fathom, nor can they stop.
They will die, no lie—
maybe the man too.
Who can fathom?

“I need water,” said the duck.
“Me too,” said the fish.
“I must have water,” said the man.
     — MRM

Some notes on men, ducks, and fish of the Klamath Basin:

Continue reading ““I need water,” said the duck.”
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Netting Zero: Solutions for the Climate Crisis

Netting Zero is a New York Times series of virtual events that discusses climate solutions. This series can be reached at https://www.nytimes.com/article/netting-zero.html. You can also to go to the same link to sign up to virtually attend the next Netting Zero event which will be

“Transport and Logistics for a Post-Covid, Net-Zero World,” Thursday, September 16, 2021.

1:30 p.m. E.T. | 10:30 a.m. P.T. | 6:30 p.m. B.S.T.

Go to https://www.nytimes.com/article/netting-zero.html to RSVP to virtually attend this event.

Continue reading “Netting Zero: Solutions for the Climate Crisis”
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You and I need local news

From the reporters on the ground who know their turf, we learn what local issues, politics, concerns, and proposals are at play. By reading local news regularly, we can peruse the reporters’ news articles, the opinion writers’ opinions, and we can read and write letters to the editor.

On this first day after the July 4th celebration of our nation’s freedom, consider this: Whatever reputable national news you subscribe to, ensure that you also subscribe to your local newspaper so it can do the democracy- and civilization- supporting job that it does.

Sign up for a print or digital subscription to your local newspaper and find out (and continue to have the ability to find out) what’s going on in your neighborhood.

       — MRM

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Face-to-face with God . . . in his nature

In the quiet of nature, we find ourselves face-to-face with God’s love of life and variety of life, his cycles of life and death and life again, the immensity of his time and space, and with the wonders and wisdom by which he created the universe. At the seashore, on a mountaintop, in a forest, in a garden—away from human busyness and presumed priorities, but instead surrounded by the big, little, and everywhere of his miracles—we fathom our relationship with our maker, and we thank him for allowing us, even for a short time, to be part of his wonder and variety of life on Earth.
            — MRM

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Wonderful, accessible Oregon coast

Oregon state, with its many and long sandy and rocky beaches, makes its coastline accessible to the public, unlike in my home state of Washington, where people can own the shoreline, so no-trespassing signs litter the beach (that said, there is much pretty to see in Washington). But in Oregon, as my wife and I drive along Highway 101 through Newport, Waldport, Yachats, Florence, and Reedsport—we’re greeted by state park after state park, all places where we can stop, take a short walk to the shoreline, revel in the ocean view, picnic, and often walk the beach.

Continue reading “Wonderful, accessible Oregon coast”
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Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State on Climate Action: Keep the Heat Up

Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, “Let’s keep up the heat on urgent action in climate crisis,” Seattle Times, 29 June 2021, Web, Let’s keep up the heat on urgent action in climate crisis

 We cannot hide from climate change. To prevent a terrible future we must aggressively pursue climate action, which Washington State is doing. As Inslee notes in this piece, “Washington has proven that we will not wither in a desultory vacuum of inaction.”

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Accentuating the positive: Hope is in climate-change action, and it’s happening in Washington State.

Today in Medford, OR, where my trailer-traveling wife and I are staying this week, the temperatures will reach 101°F today, 107 tomorrow, and 113 on Monday. I’d experienced 113 in Iraq, but not in the Pacific Northwest. Near here (Ashland, Talent, Butte Falls) fires swept last summer, burning hillsides and homes.

Burnt hillside near Butte Falls, OR

Greta Thunberg bluntly observed, regarding climate change, that hope is created through action. What heartens me during these hot, must-stay-inside days is that Washington State is taking action to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to lessen the impact of climate change damage, as is reported in this 25 June 2021 newsletter by Senator Christine Rolfes, the senator from my county of Kitsap. Her newsletter is pasted below:

Continue reading “Accentuating the positive: Hope is in climate-change action, and it’s happening in Washington State.”
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Zero Waste Washington reports on this year’s legislative successes.

Heather Trim, of Zero Waste Washington, says this regarding this year’s Washington State legislative actions: “What a session!”

Continue reading “Zero Waste Washington reports on this year’s legislative successes.”
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My comments regarding the Kitsap Growth Management Act

These were my comments to PublicInfo@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org regarding the Kitsap County Growth Management Act. The public comment period ends 25 June.

Continue reading “My comments regarding the Kitsap Growth Management Act”
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Nature’s Rights

Free Screening of INVISIBLE HAND and Panel Discussion on June 27

Who will speak for Nature?


INVISIBLE HAND is a “paradigm shifting” documentary about the Rights of Nature movement– the defining battle of our times. Nature, democracy and capitalism face off in rural America. Narrated by Mark Ruffalo.

Here’s the registration link for the FREE screening of INVISIBLE HAND and the panel discussion that follows on Sunday, June 27th, from 5-8:00PM.

Panelists include:

  • Elizabeth Dunne, Director of Legal Advocacy with Earth Law Center
  • Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, Councilmember for Port Angeles & Attorney with Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF)
  • Cindy Black, Executive Director of Fix Democracy First
  • Rayne Ellycrys Benu, Award-winning filmmaker of the documentary, The Hundred-Year-Old Whale, & Producer of the Skaana Podcast – MODERATOR

The primary sponsor of this event is Everett Meaningful Movies.

Movie Trailer: https://youtu.be/zzDFF0y-O9w

— source: Kitsap Environmental Coalition newsletter, 19 June 2021

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Comment on Kitsap Growth Management Plan by June 25

Make your voice heard about the importance of attending to
changing climate conditions and prioritizing the environment
when addressing growth in Kitsap.

 

The Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council (KRCC) is currently updating the framework for growth management in Kitsap County. These policies relate to urban growth, rural land use, development patterns, public facilities, transportation, housing and more. They involve collaboration among city, county, tribal, and federal government. You can view the draft of the countywide planning policies (CPP) at this link: https://michaelmaddoxconservation.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/bbf2a-20210504krccpublicreviewdraftcpps.pdf

Public comments are due by email on Friday, June 25th.
Send email comments to: PublicInfo@KitsapRegionalCouncil.org

There will also be a public hearing (online) on the draft policies on July 6 from 3-5 pm. Go to http://www.kitsapregionalcouncil.org/calendar for more information & Zoom link.



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Messy in nature

Umpqua Beach (near Winchester Bay, Oregon)
Oregon Dunes beach

It’s messy sometimes–writing while in nature. I’ve sand on my shorts and sand on the bike bag that I’m using as a writing surface. Rain drizzle smears the lines on wide-ruled notebook paper as my blue pen attempts to scribble this morning’s thoughts.

Words don’t appear on the wet paper, so I skip a few lines to find dry. It’s part of the messiness of being here, alongside the broken clam shells and crab parts that litter the beach.

But straightness and order exist here too—enough to pleasure any geometrist’s heart. Blue sky (after the dark drizzle clouds have cleared) layers on top of white clouds, on green ocean, on white waves, and finally onto tan sand, all extending in parallel lines from far left to far right on either side of the point of my pen as it touches to paper to try and record the wonder of it all.

My detritus will scatter about someday (this image occurs more at age 63 than it did at 23), for that’s what membership in the circle of life mandates. But for now, I enthusiastically engage in seeing, hearing, and doing, and in praying thanks. Trees and seaweed lived and died to make the driftwood and seaweed clumps scattered on the beach. Mountains erupted and their stones tumbled into the river to form the bits of sand on which I’m sitting. Hydrogen combined with oxygen, per a neat chemical equation, to form the mass of water that makes up the vast ocean I see beyond my stretched-out feet. Order and mess are both here, wonderfully real and occurring for always—irrespective of whether I’m penning, and part of it; or composting, and part of it. Life regenerates, and the waves roll on.

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Blessed and Cursed: Our Power over Nature

Earth brims with life. God obviously likes life and variety of life, since he put it in everywhere. Upon this blue-green jewel he put us, too, and he chose to impart some of him into us so that we may witness the wonder of his being and of his creation. But with that spark of God in us—that freedom to see or not to see, to hear or not to hear, to do good or not to do good—comes power: the power to safeguard or destroy the garden around us.
     Sometimes we act as God desires, with wisdom and love. Frequently, though, we’re selfish and short-sighted, and so the blessing of being made in his image—with the privilege to be part of and to give thanks for the beauty and wisdom of his nature—is transmuted into the curse of being its destroyers.
    
With great power comes great responsibility. We pray for enlightenment and guidance. We pray that we look, listen, and love. We pray that we rise to our better angels and so protect the goodness of God’s nature—the animals, plants, and the miracle of their interconnectedness—a connection that we’re part of.
    
— MRM

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Engaging for a Liveable Kitsap

This letter regarding development in Kitsap County, WA, and the need for people to engage to fight unrestricted development was printed and posted in the Kitsap Sun as Michael Maddox, Letter, “Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County,” Kitsap Sun, 11 June 2021 Print; 10 June 2021 Web Get involved to ensure we have a liveable Kitsap County

The letter references the accomplishments of members of the West Sound Conservation Council to protect open spaces, vegetation, and wildlife in Kitsap County. That history is at https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/05/west-sound-conservation-councils-history/

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Nothing I Have to Do Today

Travel Journal, 2021-05-23: Wallowa Lake State Park, Joseph, OR.

Situation: Sitting on the grass at Wallowa Lake, my back resting on a log, and me hearing the ripples of the Wallowa River to my right. No one else around. Here I can snooze, look, think, and write.

Nature rolls on at the lake year after year, like the waters of the river that flow into it, and I’m in that nature and part of it—this log behind me, the grass around me, the trees beside me. Birds fly, fish swim, bugs buzz, and I’m lucky to be able to witness, write and pray. Nothing else I must do on this pleasant spring day, except give thanks to God for his creation and his wonders: my heart pumping blood through my arteries, my eyes seeing the blue lake ahead and the blue sky above, my ears hearing the creek rippling to the right, and my mind thinking about the variety of life all around, such as the trees, fish, robins, Canada geese and their goslings. It’s a fine job, this job of giving glory to God. I could do it every day for the rest of my life.

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Layers of Time Lived Through Travel and History: Nez Perce, Naples, and Okinawa

Travel Journal, 2021-05-19, Lewiston, ID

My wife and I recently toured the Nez Perce Reservation, east of Lewiston, Idaho. Here, members of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery passed through in 1805, Nez Perce Indians (they call themselves Nimiipuu) have lived for thousands of years, and mammoths once foraged, more than 10,000 years ago.

Continue reading “Layers of Time Lived Through Travel and History: Nez Perce, Naples, and Okinawa”
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God’s Natural Wisdom

God, in his wisdom and through the millennia, has evolved and woven together a rich web of creatures and plants that sustains and propagates life and the variety of life that he obviously loves—because he made so much of it. We’re blessed to be able to explore, understand, appreciate, and care for (when we rise to our role as stewards) that web of life. To study the relationships and inter-dependencies within the natural environment is to witness God’s wondrous work, and to care for and steward God’s nature is to inculcate some of his spirit into ourselves.

References: Prov. 8:22–31; Ps. 8:104

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Palouse Falls, WA

Travel Journal: Palouse Falls, WA, 2021-05-13.

A massive flood created Palouse Falls in western Washington State when a half-mile high dam of ice holding back glacial Lake Missoula broke (and it broke many times) more than 13,000 years ago. The flood(s) sent billions of tons of water raging across western Washington. Now the Palouse River pours over a basalt precipice and makes for pleasant cliffside viewing. We know the history because geologists studied and determined the cause. Wherever we’re at, that place has a history.

            — source: “Washington State Parks, Palouse Falls State Park flyer, a information posters at the park.

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Off the Grid and in the Stars

(2021-05-13 Travel Journal: Tucannon River RV Park, near Palouse Falls, WA.)

When you read this, Judy and I will have rejoined the internet-connected world, but as I type this on my computer, no web or phone signals arrive or leave our campsite in the Palouse hills of western Washington. However, we’re overlain by a sky gloriously full of stars.

Last night, I lay in the quiet of the dark night and easily saw the Big Dipper, Arcturus, Spica, the Corona Borealis, Vega, and Leo. There were many more, and I will learn their names during our cross-country exploration of dark-night places, but those were the campsite friends I recognized to whom I said hello last night.

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Writing, like praying, is nice.

Wherever I’m at, and whatever situation I’m in—beautiful places, not so nice places—I can write about them and explore my thoughts. It’s a bit like praying. My thoughts and being are always wherever I am. Likewise, God is always here and everywhere, including when I look at the sunrise or when falling asleep in my bed, but he’s also far beyond my short-life mortality: in the sunrise, sunset, mountains, ocean, trees, birds, deer, and bugs—in inspired texts and in my nightly prayers. Wherever I am and in whatever time I’m in, I can write and pray.