Salish Sea Headlines
Each month’s Salish Sea headlines are posted first, and then selected global Climate Change headlines are posted (since Climate Change affects everyone everywhere). Salish Sea environment information and activism events are posted to the Conservation Calendar.
SEPTEMBER 2021 HEADLINES
2021-09-08 Tax Credits to Help Save Local Journalism
Brier Dudley, “Congress close to saving local journalism, maybe,” Seattle Times, 8 Sep. 2021, [no link yet]
2021-09-03 Brier Dudley, “Renew state support for newspapers,” Seattle Times, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/renew-state-support-for-newspapers/
“There is an easy, low-cost way for Washington state to help save local journalism.”
2021-09-01 Brier Dudley, “As skepticism grows, local news remains trusted,” Seattle Times [no link yet]
Earlier Free Press News:
2021-07-30 Brier Dudley, “Sen. Cantwell on local news and keeping Americans informed,” Seattle Times, Senator Maria Cantwell works to strengthen local news
2021-09-12 Jonathan Weisman and Emily Cochrane, “House panels begin writing the $3.5 trillion social policy and climate bill,” New York Times, update 12 Sep. 2021, Social Policy and Climate Bill
2021-09-10 Anemona Hartocollis, “Harvard Says It Will Not Invest in Fossil Fuels,” New York Times, 10 Sep. 2021, Harvard Says It Will Not Invest in Fossil Fuels
21-09-08 Ivan Penn, “From 4% to 45%: Energy Department Lays Out Ambitious Blueprint for Solar Power, New York Times, 8 Sept. 2021, Biden’s plan for solar power
“The Biden administration on Wednesday released a blueprint showing how the nation could move toward producing almost half of its electricity from the sun by 2050 . . .”
2021-09-07 Electric-Car Charging Stations: China and the E.U. are way ahead of the U.S.
Niraj Chokshi, Matthew Goldstein and Erin Woo, “Biden’s Electric Car Plans Hinge on Having Enough Chargers,” New York Times, 7 Sep. 2021, U.S. way behind China and E.U. in number of electric chargers
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,”
2021-09-03 Bellamy Pailthorp, “Activists make a spectacle to keep climate emergency in Tacoma City Council’s sight,” KNKX Public Radio, 3 Sep. 2021, https://www.knkx.org/2021-09-03/activists-make-a-spectacle-to-keep-climate-emergency-in-tacoma-city-councils-sight (read and listen)
2021-09-05 Rebecca Moss, “A year after fire destroyed Malden, a grieving town slowly rebuilds,” Seattle Times, A year after fire destroyed Malden, a grieving town slowly rebuilds
“There was no way to stop that fire.” Listen to first hand accounts of people who went through the Malden fire and what their doing now to rebuild.
2021-09-05 “Evan Bush,” In North Cascades, researchers, climbers watch Washington’s snowpack quickly melt, exposing glaciers’ retreat,” Seattle Times, North Cascades Glaciers are Melting
2021-09-04 Bellamy Pailthorp, Lilly Ana Fowler, and Kevin Kniestedt, “HEATED: A conversation about how, why we reported our summer heat wave series,” KNKX Public Radio, 4 Sep. 2021, https://www.knkx.org/2021-09-04/heated-a-conversation-about-how-why-we-reported-our-summer-heat-wave-series (read and listen)
2021-09-02 Paul Krugman, “Corporate America Is Lobbying for Climate Disaster,” New York Times, Corporate America Is Lobbying for Climate Disaster
AUGUST 2021 HEADLINES
Note: The headlines for climate (which affects all environmental discussions) are at the end of this monthly roundup, since there are so many.
2021-08-09 Emely Salguero, “Kitsap shoppers: State ban on single-use plastic bags is coming,” Kitsap Sun, 9 Aug. 2021, Web, Kitsap shoppers: State ban on single-use plastic bags is coming
The Washington State ban goes into effect 1 Oct. 2021. Though many retailers will not be affected as they already use reusable and paper bags, Walmart, with its checkout wheels-of- plastic-pollution system, which pour out huge numbers of plastic bags, will feel the change.
Climate Action Being Done
2021-08-17 Paul Krugman, “Who Created the Renewable-Energy Miracle?,” 17 Aug. 2021, New York Times, Web, Who Created the Renewable-Energy Miracle
2021-08-03 Kate Brown (governor of Oregon), “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.
2021-08-01 Hannah Furfaro, “Caring for the environment helps South King County kids recovering from trauma or hardship find a sense of purpose,” Seattle Times, 1 Aug. 2021, Web, kids caring for the environment
Climate Crisis: the 2021 IPCC Report
2021.08.10 Many publications reported on the recently released (9 Aug. 2021) update by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). See the links below.
2021 Pep Canadell, Dr Joelle Gergis, Malte Meinshausen, Mark Hemer, and Michael Grose, “This is the most sobering report card yet on climate change and Earth’s future. Here’s what you need to know,” The Conversation, Web, Here’s what you need to know about the recent IPCC report
2021-08-09 Alejandra Borunday, “Some catastrophic changes to the climate can still be headed off,” National Geographic, 9 Aug. 2021, Web, staving off climate catastrophe
Per the article, “‘In order to stabilize climate, we have to stop emitting immediately, full stop,’ says Charles Koven, one of the report authors and a climate scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.
2021-08-09 Brad Plumer and Henry Fountain, “A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us,” New York Times, 9 Aug. 2021, Web, A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us
Jane Lubchenco, deputy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy tells us that now is the critical decade.
Climate Crisis in the Northwest Pacific
2021-08-10 Lynda Mapes, “This tribe has lived on the coast of Washington for thousands of years. Now climate change is forcing it uphill,” Seattle Times, updated 10 Aug. 2021, coastal Washington tribes and climate change
Climate Crisis: Others
2021-08-09 Kathy Castor (chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis), “To Address the Climate Crisis, Focus on More Than Carbon Dioxide,” New York Times, 9 Aug. 2021, Web, Not just CO2 but also methane.
JULY 2021 HEADLINES
2021-07-30 New Fossil Fuel Facilities Prohibited in Whatcom County
“On Tuesday, Whatcom County Council passed groundbreaking land use policies, becoming one of the first refinery communities in the nation to permanently prohibit new fossil fuel facilities!
“This historic step is a powerful example of what’s possible in other Northwest communities to protect health, safety, climate and our futures.
“The policy prohibits new fossil fuel refineries, coal plants, transshipment facilities, piers, and wharfs in the Cherry Point industrial zone ― home to two of the state’s five oil refineries. The regulations also require upgrade projects at existing refineries and terminals to undergo more rigorous environmental review and permitting processes.
“This moment is years in the making. We’re here today because the community came together. Under the Lummi Nation’s leadership, we stopped what would have been the largest coal terminal in North America, we rallied after oil companies put in oil train terminals, and no matter what the fossil fuel industry attempted we never gave up.”
— source: Anna Doty, Fossil Fuel Campaign Manager, Washington Environmental Council e-notice, 30 July 2021
2021-07-30 “Inslee addresses Biden, Harris on challenges of worsening wildfires”
“Gov. Jay Inslee joined a bipartisan group of seven Western governors to address President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on the challenges states face from increasing wildfires.
Wildfires in Washington to date have burned four times more acreage than normal for this point in the calendar year. Inslee talked about the state’s need for additional aerial assets in fighting wildfires; challenges with getting dozers to fire lines; the need to train more firefighters; and fuel supply issues.
“‘The thing I worry most about is if, for some reason, the Congress did not follow your leadership in this reconciliation and infrastructure bills that allowed you to realize your vision of creating millions of jobs while fighting climate change,’ Inslee said. ‘That’s my biggest worry right now. Because the fact of the matter is there is nothing in human intervention against these fires while climate continues to ravage our forest.’
“A transcript of the public portion of the meeting can be found at the White House website. Video of the meeting can be found on the White House YouTube page.
“After the meeting, the governor recorded a video wrapping up what was discussed.”
— source: Gov. Inslee Press Updates, 30 July 2021.
2021-07-30 Lauren Jackson and Mahima Chablani, “Climate Chaos Is Avoidable. Here’s How,” New York Times, 30 July 2021, Web, Climate Chaos Is Avoidable This article doesn’t list solutions, but it does provide some references to climate action discussions. This article also mentions that Exxon has pivoted its marketing strategy from denying climate change to now stating that the climate crisis is your (the individual consumer’s) fault.
2021-07 “Driving the Scenic Pacific Northwest Coast in an Electric Vehicle,” July 2021, American Automobile Association newsletter, Web, Driving the Pacific Northwest Coast in an Electric Vehicle
2021-07 “Top Things to Know About Electric Vehicle Batteries,” July 2021, American Automobile Association newsletter, Web, Top Things to Know About Electric Vehicle Batteries
2021-07-30 Futurewise and Friends of Grays Harbor appealed the Grays Harbor Shoreline Master Program because it does not account for expected climate-change-caused sea level rise that will flood housing there. The Shoreline Hearings Board will decide the appeal in the next few weeks.
– source: 30 July 2021 Futurewise “July Roundup” e-newsletter.
2021-07-29 Jean Mendoza, “A Big Victory for Water,” 29 July 2021, Sierra Club, Washington Chapter e-newsletter, https://www.sierraclub.org/washington/blog/2021/07/big-victory-for-water
snippet summary: The fight against feedlots.
2021-07-27 John Osborne, “Federal Judge Asked to Compel Cleanup of Cancer-Causing Chemicals in Spokane River,” 27 July 2021, Sierra Club, Washington Chapter e-newsletter, https://www.sierraclub.org/washington/blog/2021/07/federal-judge-asked-compel-cleanup-cancer-causing-chemicals-spokane-river
2021-07-27 Bill Arthur, “Northwest Tribes Lead on Salmon Recovery – Salmon and Orca Summit, and More,” Sierra Club Washington chapter e-newsletter, 27 July 2021, https://www.sierraclub.org/washington/blog/2021/07/northwest-tribes-lead-salmon-recovery-salmon-and-orca-summit-and-more
2021-07-23 Todd True, “How the Courts Are Keeping Salmon Alive,” Earthjustice, 23 July 2021, https://earthjustice.org/from-the-experts/2021-july/how-the-courts-are-keeping-salmon-alive
snippet summary: Increased spill [of water over dams] during certain times of the year helps flush baby salmon past the dams in their journey to the ocean. We are also asking the Court to require lower reservoir levels above each dam, which can also speed up seaward migration.”
2021-07-17 The big picture: Biden’s and Congress’s actions for the planet.
Editorial Board, “Joe Biden’s Monumental Environmental Gambit,” New York Times, 17 July 2021, Web, Joe Biden acts for the planet
[The sentences in quotes are from the editorial.]
“The world needs to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels in order to avert irreversible planetary damage ”
Setting the direction:
“Biden pledged to cut America’s emissions in half by 2030, eliminate fossil fuel emissions from power plants by 2035 and zero out all greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury . . . that, in turn, would require a vastly different energy landscape.” Recent actions by Biden and some in Congress:
– The proposed $3.5 trillion dollar budget package includes key climate provisions: “One is billions in tax incentives for electric cars and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The other is a national clean electricity standard, a mandate requiring electric utilities to steadily reduce emissions.”
– Regulation of hydrocarbon refrigerants (potent greenhouse gases) proposed ,
– Controlling methane emissions (another potent greenhouse gas) from wells drilled for oil and gas.
– Mandating reductions of tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases and working to move American automakers “to move more swiftly to a largely electric fleet.”
As stated in the article: “Climate scientists have long argued that the world cannot meet its increasingly ambitious climate targets without a lot of help from forests, fields and oceans.” Biden’s “America the Beautiful” conservation agenda “would align the United States with more than 50 other countries that have pledged to work toward preserving 30 percent of the world’s lands and oceans in their natural or close-to-natural state by 2030.”
2021-07-12 Senator Patty Murray, “Congress must make a landmark investment in climate action,” Seattle Times, 12 July 2021, Web, Congress must make a landmark investment in climate action
2021-07-15 Steven Erlanger and Somini Sengupta, “Europe Unveils Plan to Shift From Fossil Fuels, Setting Up Potential Trade Spats,” New York Times, 14 July 2021, updated 15 July 2021, Web, Europe acts on climate
2021-07-14 Brad Plumer, “Energy Department Targets Vastly Cheaper Batteries to Clean Up the Grid,” New York Times, 14 July 2021, Web, Energy Department’s Earthshots Initiative
2021-07-03 Catrin Einhorn, “What Technology Could Reduce Heat Deaths? Trees,” New York Times, updated 3 July 2021, Web, These Superheroes Could Sharply Reduce Heat Deaths
As this trees-for-cities article states, we need to think of (and fund for and plan for) trees as city infrastructure rather than just as amenities. The article states that “in addition to reducing heat, trees filter out air pollution, suck up storm water, store carbon, nurture wildlife and even improve people’s mental and physical health.” Einhorn’s article quotes Brian Stone Jr., a professor of environmental planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who says, “Trees are, quite simply, the most effective strategy, technology, we have to guard against heat in cities.”
2021-07-30 Michele L. Norris, “Opinion: Mother Nature is ticked off. Can you blame her?” Washington Post, 30 July 2021, Web, Mother Nature is ticked off
2021-07-24 Sarah Kaplan and Brady Dennis, “Amid summer of fire and floods, a moment of truth for climate action,” Washington Post, 24 Jul. 2021, Web, Amid summer of fire and floods, a moment of truth for climate action
2021-07-15 Ezra Klein, “It Seems Odd That We Would Just Let the World Burn,” New York Times, 15 July 2021, Web, Letting the World Burn
2021-07-14 Joseph O’Sullivan, “Gov. Inslee declares drought emergency as wildfire conditions worsen in Washington,” Seattle Times, 14 July 2021, Web, Gov. Inslee declares drought emergency in Washington
2021-07-12 Catrin Einhorn, “Like in ‘Postapocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse,” New York Times, 9 July 2021, updated 12 July 2021, Web, An early estimate points to a huge die-off along the Pacific Coast
2021-07-12 Jason Samenow (Washington Post), “Death Valley had planet’s hottest 24 hours on record Sunday amid punishing heat wave,” Seattle Times, 12 July 2021, Web, hottest on Earth
2021-07-11 Ivan Penn and Clifford Krauss, “More Power Lines or Rooftop Solar Panels: The Fight Over Energy’s Future,” New York Times, 11 July 2021, Web, power lines or rooftop solar
2021-07-07 Alexandra Feller (Herald and News), “Wells run dry in many Klamath Basin homes,” The Oregonian, 7 Jul 2021, Web, https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2021/07/wells-run-dry-in-many-klamath-basin-homes.html
2021-07-18 Charles M. Blow, “As the Press Weakens, So Does Democracy,” New York Times, 18 July 2021, Web, No press, no democracy
Kitsap County’s Environment
2021-07-23 The story of Kitsap County’s recycling rubbish
— Josh Farley, “‘It never ends:’ Where Kitsap’s recycling rubbish goes to find a new life, Kitsap Sun, 23 July 2021, Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2021/07/23/where-does-recycling-kitsap-county-actually-go/8033558002/ [for Kitsap Sun subscribers only].
Note: This article provides a great description of how the different kinds of recyclable materials are separated using air blasts, magnets, size sorters, and other technology.
2021-07-22 Grant received for the North Kitsap Divide Forest
Great Peninsula Conservancy Facebook post, 22 July 2021
“Another win for conservation on the peninsula! This grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office brings us one step closer to protecting The Divide forest from development. This forest’s 490 acres of habitat are a critical part of a larger 1,800 acre wildlife corridor. Eventually it will also host a “human corridor,” as part of the Sound to Olympics Trail planned by the North Kitsap Trails Association. We’re so excited to see this project moving forward!”
The Kitsap Sun’s coverage of the event can be found at Jessie Darland, “Great Peninsula Conservancy receives grant for North Kitsap Divide Block Forest,” Kitsap Sun, 19 July 2021, Web, grant received for North Kitsap Divide Forest
JUNE 2021 HEADLINES
2021-06 “2021 Brings Bold Climate and Environmental Progress in Washington, Making History with Clean Fuel Standard & Environmental Justice,” no date listed on this article (I think it was written June 2021—MRM), Washington Environmental Council press release,” Web, https://wecprotects.org/news/2021-brings-bold-climate-and-environmental-progress-in-washington-making-history-with-clean-fuel-standard-environmental-justice/ (accessed 3 Aug. 2021)
2021-06-30 Ian Leahy and Yarna Serkez, “Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?,” New York Times, 30 June 2021, Web, Since When Have Trees Existed Only for Rich Americans?
2021-06-29 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.”
2021-06-28 Marty Bishop, Letter, “Each one of us can help slow climate change,” Kitsap Sun, 28 June 2021, Web, Each one of us can help slow climate change
Marty informs us of some of the personal actions we can take to fight climate change and of some of the groups in Kitsap County that are advocating for climate action that we can join (Kitsap Environmental Coalition, 350 West Sound Climate Action, Climate Action Bainbridge, or Citizens’ Climate Lobby, South Kitsap Sunrise Movement).
2021-06-28 “U.S. Supreme Court dismisses last legal appeal for Washington state coal export proposal,” Washington Environmental Council press release,” 28 June 2021, Web, https://wecprotects.org/news/u-s-supreme-court-dismisses-last-legal-appeal-for-washington-state-coal-export-proposal/
2021-06-11 “Victory Over Massive Fracked Gas Refinery,” Washington Environmental Council press release,” 11 June 2021, Web, https://wecprotects.org/news/amidst-strong-opposition-and-legal-defeats-developers-end-pursuit-of-worlds-largest-fracked-gas-to-methanol-refinery/
– Michael E. Mann and Susan Joy Hassol, “That Heat Dome? Yeah, It’s Climate Change,” New York Times, 29 June 2021, Web, That Heat Dome? Yeah, It’s Climate Change
– Charlie Warzel, “Opinion: It’s not the heat. It’s the existential dread,” Washington Post, 29 June 2021, Web, Opinion: It’s not the heat. It’s the existential dread 2021-06-27
– Neil Vigdor, “Pacific Northwest Heat Wave Shatters Temperature Records,” New York Times, 27 June 2021, Web, Pacific Northwest Heat Wave Shatters Temperature Records
– Ezra Klein, “What if American Democracy Fails the Climate Crisis?” New York Times, 22 June 2021 Web https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/22/magazine/ezra-klein-climate-crisis.html
A five-person panel discussion of climate actions and results.-
– David Horsey (Seattle Times cartoonist), “Humans do not have the mental bandwidth to confront climate change,” Seattle Times, 18 June 2021, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/humans-do-not-have-the-mental-bandwidth-to-confront-climate-change/
We futz over while the world heats.
Development, Kitsap County
– Cary Bozeman (Port of Bremerton Commissioner and former mayor of Bremerton), Letter, “Planning for growth can’t wait any longer,” Kitsap Sun, 23 June 2021, Web, Planning for growth can’t wait any longer
With rapidly accelerating development occurring in Kitsap County, Bozeman suggests “creating a Kitsap 2040 committee made up of community leaders from all sectors of the community” and developing a strategic action plan.
– 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
– Gene Bullock, “Housing growth and policy isn’t helping wildlife,” Kitsap Sun, 14 June 2021 Web Housing growth and policy isn’t helping wildlife (kitsapsun.com)
– West Sound Conservation Council’s History https://michaelmaddoxconservation.com/2021/04/05/west-sound-conservation-councils-history/
– Brier Dudley, “Q&A on Microsoft’s expanding journalism initiative,” Seattle Times, 23 June 2021, Web, Q&A on Microsoft’s expanding journalism initiative
– Brier Dudley, “Congress, pay heed: Aussie policy working to save news,” Seattle Times, 21 May 2021, Web, Australia knows how to save its free press
APRIL 2021 HEADLINES
2021-04-16 Michael Maddox, Letter, “Pleased with Olympia’s action on climate issues,” Kitsap Sun, 16 Apr. 2021, Print, 6A.
Key points: Washington State Senator Christine Rolfes has been a climate leader who, as Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, played a powerful role in overcoming resistance to the Clean Fuels Standard Bill (HB 1091) and the Carbon Cap Climate Commitment Bill (SB 5126).
2021-04-08 Jessika E. Trancik (The Conversation), “Technology can alter emissions outlook,” Kitsap Sun, 8 Apr. 2021, Print, 8A.
Key points: Government policies can accelerate advancements in solar energy, wind energy, lithium-ion batteries, and other clean-energy technologies.
2021-04-03 Associated Press, “Demo hydrogen fuel cell electric bus hits the road at Kitsap Transit,” Kitsap Sun, 3 Apr. 2021, Print, 1A and 2A.
2021-04-13 Lisa Friedman, “Executives Call for Deep Emission Cuts to Combat Climate Change,” New York Times, 13 Apr. 2021, Web, Executives Call for Deep Emission Cuts to Combat Climate Change
“More than 300 corporate leaders are asking the Biden administration to nearly double the emission reduction targets set by the Obama administration.”
2021-04.09-Doyle Rice (USA Today), “CO2 levels highest in over 3 million years,” Kitsap Sun, 9 Apr. 2021, Print, 3A.
2021-04-16 “Inslee signs legislation to add Billy Frank Jr. statue to U.S. Capitol,” Washington Governor Jay Inslee e-newsletter, 16 Apr. 2021.
“Gov. Jay Inslee signed HB 1372 on Wednesday, which will place a statue of tribal leader Billy Frank Jr. in the National Statuary Hall.”
2021-04-11 Brier Dudley, “Indiana publisher irrigates the news desert,” Seattle Times, 11 Apr. 2021, Print, D2.
Key point: Many communities no longer have a local newspaper since so many have gone out of business in recent years; however, some civic-minded investors are stepping in to save some of the papers.
2021-04-04 Eric Wagner, “Protect Mount St. Helens’ Volcanic Landscape,” Seattle Times, 4 Apr. 2021, Print, D1 and D4.
The U.S. Forest Service plans to build a road over the Pumice Plain of Mount St. Helens to Spirit Lake to lower the level of the lake so it doesn’t cause a mudflow on towns downstream from it. Building the road will damage (via the road, introduced invasive species, disturbance by humans) a rarely seen laboratory in the regeneration of life after a volcanic eruption. Advocates to preserve Pumice Plain want the Forest Service to use a less destructive method to lower the water in the lake.
Maureen Cervinsky (League of Women’s Voters-Kitsap), Letter to the editor, “Learn more about how plastics pollute,” Kitsap Sun, 12 Apr. 2021, Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/opinion/readers/2021/04/12/learn-more-how-plastics-pollute/7195344002/
webinar will be 21 April, 5 p.m. “Plastic: The Big Picture, Local Insights, and What You Can Do!” Hosted by the League of Women’s Voters-Kitsap and Olympic College.
MARCH 2021 HEADLINES
2021-03-28 Somini Sengupta (New York Times), “Farmed fish are eating more vegetables,” Seattle Times, 28 Mar. 2021, Print, A7.
2021-03-24 Somini Sengupta, “That Salmon on Your Plate Might Have Been a Vegetarian,” New York Times, 24 Mar. 2021, Web, vegetarian salmon
Key points: Twenty years ago, farmed fish were fed lots of wild fish, like anchovies, a process that was contributing to the decline of wild fish. Now, according to this article, farmed fish are being fed more plants, like soy, which is a cheaper feed.
2021-03-29 Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, “Biden administration launches major push to expand offshore wind power,” Washington Post, 29 Mar. 2021, Web, Biden pushes wind power
2021-03-23 Lisa Friedman and Jim Tankersley, “Biden’s Recovery Plan Bets Big on Clean Energy,” New York Times, 23 Mar. 2021, Web, Biden Bets Big on Clean Energy
2021-03-21 Lynda V. Mapes, “Saving Washington forests for carbon storage, not logging,” Seattle Times, 21 Mar. 2021, Print, A1, A12 and A13.
Excellent article about Washington State’s forests, timber revenue and jobs, and whether more forests should be set aside as ecological reserves in the fight against climate change and extinction.
2021-03-18 Editorial Board Opinion, “Opinion: The danger of climate change is imminent. The Senate must approve a strong policy, Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2021, Web, Congress must go big on climate change
21-03-14 Editorial, the newspaper’s view, “Strike deal for infrastructure, environment, and jobs,” Seattle Times, 14 Mar. 2021, Print, D3.
An article about pairing the need to repair and improve infrastructure in Washington State with the billions of dollars that would be raised by “cap-and-trade carbon limits and allotments for companies to purchase,” as proposed by Senate Bill 5126.
2021-03-11 Biden has fulfilled several of his environmental pledges during his first days in office.
— Alexandra Jaffe (Associated Press), “50 days in: Where Biden stands on key promises,” Kitsap Sun, 11 Mar. 2021, Print, 3A.
– “Signed an executive order that revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.”
– “Halted the development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
– “Halted new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters.”
– Biden rejoined the U.S. into the Paris climate accord.
– “Biden pledged to establish enforceable commitment from other nations to reduce emissions in global shipping and aviation and to convene a climate world summit. The U.S. will hold such a summit on April 22, Earth Day.”
2021-03-10 Braela Kwan, “Fighting British Columbia’s Pipelines to the Last Mile,” Investigate West, Web, 10 Mar. 2021, https://www.invw.org/2021/03/10/fighting-british-columbias-pipelines-to-the-last-mile/
2021-03-07: Gene Bullock, letter, “Clean Fuel Standard way overdue,” Kitsap Sun, 7 Mar. 2021, Print, 6A; Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/opinion/readers/2021/03/05/clean-fuel-standard-way-overdue/4600869001/
2021-03-05 Governer Jay Inslee Update about Climate Action at the Washington Legislature
The following is from a Jay Inslee for Washington e-notice, 5 Mar. 2021:
“Here in Washington state, we’re taking huge steps toward making our bold climate agenda a reality.
“Last weekend, our effort to enact a statewide Clean Fuel Standard moved forward — with the Washington House of Representatives passing our Clean Fuel Standards bill, HB 1091! A huge thank you to all the legislators who are showing such leadership on this important issue and to all of you who have been calling and emailing asking for action.
“This is huge progress, so I’m hoping you’ll join our team fighting for more: Will you add your name right now in support of our bold climate plan as it moves to the State Senate? “A Clean Fuel Standard will cut air pollution by requiring cleaner transportation fuels to power vehicles and investing in communities most impacted by transportation pollution.
“This is critical because transportation pollution is Washington state’s largest source of air pollution and is linked to asthma, lung cancer, and other respiratory diseases. This pollution causes serious health problems, like premature death in people with heart or lung disease, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, increased coughing, and difficulty breathing. And now with the added impact of complications from COVID-19 and “smoke seasons,” we need to act now more than ever.
“But this is just one of the bills targeting the climate crisis here in Washington state this session: The legislature is focusing on cutting pollution from the building sector, clean and just ways to fund transportation, prioritizing environmental justice (through the HEAL Act), and investing in a just recovery.”
2021-03-01: Low-carbon fuel bill [HB 1091] passes state House
— Joseph Claypoole (WNPS News Service), “Low-carbon fuel bill [HB 1091] passes state House,” Bainbridge Island Review, 1 Mar 2021, Web, https://www.bainbridgereview.com/news/low-carbon-fuel-bill-passes-state-house/
2021-03-03 Mark Reynolds and Ted Larson Freeman, Opinion, “Climate is on the agenda. A carbon tax should be too,” Kitsap Sun, 2 Mar. 2021, Print, 5A.
“A carbon tax can quickly slash our emissions and save lives—plus, when designed right, it can eventually pay people and benefit American business.” Reynolds and Larson also quote the 2018 report by the Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change (the report which tells us that the world must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050) says that “carbon pricing is a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies.”
Climate Change Effects
2021-03-07 Michael Crowe, “Washington facing massive loss of kelp, study finds,” King 5 TV, 4 Mar. 2021, updated 7 Mar. 2021, Web, https://www.king5.com/article/tech/science/environment/washington-kelp-loss-department-natural-resources-study/281-82ef5a84-6d11-478c-a0cd-6603a6b0da0a
2021-03-28 press release from Haselwood Automotive Group, “West Hills Honda [in Bremerton, WA] earns Honda environmental leadership award for improving the environmental performance of its operations,” Kitsap Sun, 28 Mar. 2021, Print, 4C. 2021-03-10 Associated Press, “State House approves bill for Billy Frank Jr. statue,”Kitsap Sun, 10 Mar. 2021, 2A, Print.
When: Wednesday, 31 Mar. 2021, 8 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Where: KCTS 9 Public Television
Description: “With a million species at risk of extinction, Sir David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, threatening food and water security, undermining our ability to control our climate, and even putting us at greater risk of pandemic disease.
— source: KCTS 9 Viewer Guide, March 2021, p. 2.
2021-03-28 “Keep watch on the future of the free press,” Seattle Times, 28 Mar. 2021, Print, A-11.
This column presents in tabular form proposed legislation (as well as litigation cases filed and regulation and reform proposed) meant to safeguard our free press. The legislation listed (along with the details and sponsors of each) are these: Local Journalism Sustainability Act (H.R. 7640), Future of Local News Commission Act of 2020 (S. 4772), Competition and Antitrust Enforcement Reform Act (S. 225), Journalism Competition and Preservation Act (no number posted).
To read the Seattle Times Free Press coverage, go to st.news/freepress.
2021-03-14 Brian Dudley (Seattle Times Free Press editor), “Next for Congress: Saving the nation’s local free press,” Seattle Times, 14 Mar. 2021, Print, D1 and D4.
Dudley’s article discussed antitrust legislation now being processed in Washington, D.C. to enable the free press to bargain collectively with platforms like Google and Facebook. Congress is starting to take action because as House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, D-RI said, “The crisis in American journalism has become a real crisis in our democracy and civic life.”
2021-03-12 The importance of local news—wonderfully worded
— Niran Al-Agba, MD, “How local news actually can make us healthier,” Kitsap Sun, 7 Mar. 2021, Print, 1C and 3C; Web,
Pediatrician and Kitsap Sun columnist Niran-Al-Agba, MD, writes a clear and useful column about health issues. This 7 March article talks of the importance of local news and of how having local newspapers available to us, with their reporters out in the community, affects our health.
2021-03-23 Marcus Eriksen, “Opinion: I thought I’d seen it all studying plastics. Then my team found 2,000 bags in a camel” Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2021, Web, 2,000 plastic bags in a came
Key points: U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said last month that the “oceans are filling with plastic <Plenary, Opening – Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly>” Erikson says that statement doesn’t tell the extent of our plastic deluge. He says that plastic pollution is everywhere (land and air, too), not just the sea, and that it’s clogging and strangling creatures in all those environments. He adds that plastic recycling is not working and that consumers are subsidizing plastics through cleanup costs.
2021-03-02: “Washington state’s bag ban on hold during COVID-19,” Kitsap Sun, 2 Mar. 2021, Web.
FEBRUARY 2021 HEADLINES
Aquaculture: Federal Greenlight of industrial shellfish aquaculture unlawful
2021-02-11 Centers for Food Safety press release at https://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/6264/court-of-appeals-backs-environmentalists-federal-greenlight-of-industrial-shellfish-aquaculture-unlawful
Summary: Industrial aquaculture has been inexorably replacing shoreline habitat in Washington State, aided and abetted by an Army Corps of Engineers blanket approval (Nationwide Permit 48) of most shellfish aquaculture facilities, thereby adding to the death of the Salish Sea by a thousand cuts.
A just announced U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling affirmed a previous court ruling that such blanket approval violates the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act, and that the cumulative effects of the tens of thousands of acres of aquaculture must be considered by the Corps.
Per the Center for Food Safety press release referenced below, Amy van Saun, senior attorney at the Center for Food Safety, and counsel in the case, said, “The Court confirmed what we have argued for years: Industrial aquaculture has seriously harmful environmental impacts and regulators must rigorously evaluate them when deciding whether or not to allow it.”
As with most efforts to protect our plants, animals, and habitat, lots of sweat, time, and money by lots of people was required to achieve this success. As Laura Hendricks of the Coalition to Protect Puget Sound Habitat (Laura is the David who has for years slung stones against the aquaculture industry Goliath) said after this victory, “Citizens have been trying for decades to limit the environmental destruction of our shorelines by the shellfish industry. . . . we look forward to finishing this story with limits on shellfish industry expansion. We still have work to do to make sure the Army Corps does their job to protect our treasured Puget Sound and Willapa Bay/Grays Harbor, but the message from the Federal courts is clear!”
This court decision is a victory for Washington’s shoreline environment, all the creatures that depend on it, and for the many people who don’t want our beaches and waters transformed into a mass of plastic.
2021-02-26 Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis (Washington Post), “Biden is hiking up the cost of carbon. It will change how US tackles global warming,” Seattle Times, 26 Feb. 2021, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/biden-is-hiking-up-the-cost-of-carbon-it-will-change-how-u-s-tackles-global-warming/
2021-02-19 America is All In (https://www.americaisallin.com/)
See the blog posting, dated 10 Mar. 2021, on this website, regarding the 19 Feb. 2021 webinar of the announcement of America Is All In. At this webinar (as recorded on the blog posting) were comments by
• Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies
• John Kerry, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate
• Gina McCarthy, White House National Climate Advisor
• Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
• Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte, North Carolina
• Lloyd Dean, CEO, CommonSpirit Health
• Other speakers include representatives from tribal nations, higher education, and faith institutions
2021-02-18 Dino Grandoni (with Alexandra Ellerbeck), “The Energy 202: Democrats eye climate in big infrastructure push,” Washington Post, 18 Feb. 2021, Web, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/02/18/energy-202-democrats-eye-climate-big-infrastructure-push/
2021-02-16 Ledyard King (USA Today), “Bill Gates on Climate Change: ‘We need a plan,’” Kitsap Sun, 16 Feb. 2021, Print, 6A.
Summary: Bill Gates believes we can achieve, per the article, “President Joe Biden’s ambitious goals of decarbonizing the energy sector by 2035 and attaining net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.” He says that Biden is doing the right things, but that we need a national plan. He relates that without government involvement, we won’t succeed, and that the effort needs to come from many areas: government, universities, national labs, and the private sector.
Gates’s book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs,” went on sale recently.
2021-02-05 Steven Powell, “Poulsbo student wins 3 awards for environmental film,” North Kitsap Herald, 5 Feb. 2021, Print, 5.
Summary (from the news article and from watching the documentary):
Abirami Subramanian, a 14-year-old sophomore at West Sound Academy in Poulsbo, teamed up with students Serena Griffin, Cambria Bartlett, and Mercy Gilniy to create an award-winning documentary about how our education system fails to adequately teach youth about the environment and the health of our planet. In the documentary, Abi and her colleagues (with guidance by teacher Nisa Frank) suggest that a solution to the lack of education about our planet’s health—and an antidote to misinformation—is project-based learning. Watch the documentary and feel inspired about the upcoming generation.
To see the nine-minute documentary, Youth Misinformed, please go to https://myhero.com/youth-misinformed
2021-02-09 Brady Denis, “Countries must ramp up climate pledges by 80 percent to hit key Paris target, study finds,” Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2021, Web, countries must ramp up climate pledges
Democracy needs an Educated, Engaged Citizenry
2021-02-28 “Case violates the rights of the free press,” Kitsap Sun, 28 Feb. 2021, Print, 1C. This editorial was first printed in the Des Moines Register.
2021-02-07: Brier Dudley (Seattle Times Free Press editor), “U.S. needs infrastructure of democracy plan,” Seattle Times, 7 Feb. 2021, Print, D1 and D4; Seattle Times, 5 Feb. 2021, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/u-s-needs-infrastructure-of-democracy-plan/
My comments: The Seattle Times has published many articles in its Save the Free Press series discussing the importance of the local free press to an informed democracy. A point I’d like to highlight from the above article (which discusses other worthy measures for strengthening our democracy) is that an educated, civically engaged citizenry is important to sustaining our democracy. It sounds obvious and mundane, but like exercising regularly and brushing our teeth, if we don’t do them, we fall apart and suffer pain.
As Dudley’s opinion piece explains, for years our nation’s schools have not invested in civics education, and that deficiency is now showing up in students’ test scores and in Americans’ susceptibility to misinformation about elections. To try to remedy this undereducation, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Sen. Joh Cornyn, R-Texas have proposed an Educating for Democracy Act that would authorize $1 billion a year for civics and history education.
2021-02-16 Nathan Pilling, “Historic build to start in Poulsbo,” Kitsap Sun, 16 Feb. 2021, Print, 1A and 5A.
Summary: 468 housing units, a community center, pool, and possibly a senior care center will be built.
2021-02-15 Christian Vosler, “159-home subdivision planned on Waaga Way” Kitsap Sun, 15 Feb. 2021, Print, 1A and 4A.
2021-02-04 Clear Creek land across from Saint Michael’s won’t be developed.
— Jessie Darland, “Ridgetop parcel plans moving slowly,” Kitsap Sun, 4 Feb. 2021, Print, 1A and 7A.
Summary: That forest land that we hike in that’s across the highway from St. Michael’s Hospital . . . the forest that we get to from the Clear Creek Trail near the dog park—well, that was going to developed into 600 units, but now it’s not. That’s because of the public outcry over the plan to pave some of the little remaining open space in the concrete-and-building-filled town of Silverdale that can still be preserved for hiking and birding. Considerations for what to do with the land have been slowed during the COVID-19 epidemic, but they are still active. You can read the details in the Sun article below.
2021-02-28 Electric Chargers Still Scarce
— Christopher Mims, “The Electric-Car Revolution Needs More Plugs,” Wall Street Journal, 27 Feb. 2021, Print, B4.
As per the title, Mims makes the point that fast-chargers for electric vehicles are still scarce.
2021-02-20: Norman Mayersohn, “Thinking of an Electric Car? Take Your Choice,” New York Times, 20 Feb. 2021, Web, Thinking of an Electric Car
Many electric cars models are now available for sale.
2021-02-19 Changing what we drive
— Charlie Michel, letter, “Changing the status quo on what we drive,” Kitsap Sun, 19 Feb. 2021, Web, Changing the status quo on what we drive
Per the Hal Bernton article in the Seattle Times (see that 9 Feb. entry below), the Washington Attorney General say that a Clean Cars 2030 bill will not survive in court. Michel points out in his letter to the editor that climate change is changing the status quo. I agree. As the parts per million keeps climbing upward, and our skies fill with smoke, we will find that the need for certain actions (like converting to electric vehicles from gas vehicles) will become bluntly obvious.
2021-02-09 Regarding the proposed gas car ban (House Bill 1024 and Senate Bill 5256)
[posted to MMC blog on 2021-02-21]
— Hal Bernton, “Washington state’s proposed ban on registration of new gas passenger cars prompts pushback from attorney general,” Seattle Times, 9 Feb. 2021, Web, Washington State’s proposed ban on gas cars–pusback from the state’s attorney general
Kitsap Environment News
2021-02-16 Funding Community Forests
— Nathan Daniel, “Community Forest Program will benefit Kitsap,” Kitsap Sun, 18 Feb. 2021, Print, 5A; 16 Feb. 2021, Web, Community Forest Program
Nathan Daniel, the executive director of Great Peninsula Conservancy, notes in this letter to the editor that funding of the new Community Forests Program is now being considered in the Washington legislature. If approved, it could help purchase for our community a 500-acre block of forest (“The Divide”) in the North Kitsap. The Kitsap Audubon Society has written to the legislature advocating for full funding of this program
[Note: In 2011, Senator Rolfes submitted the bill that eventually created the Community Forests Program. She, Representative Drew Hansen, and Representative Tara Simmons support funding it.]
2021–2-26 “Kitsap County Shoreline Master Plan Comment Period and SEPA Review are closing next week,” 26 Feb. 2021, Kitsap Electronic Notification System
How to Submit Comments
- Online: https://reviewsmpkitsap.participate.online/
- Email: ReviewSMP@co.kitsap.wa.us
- Mail: 614 Division Street – MS36, Port Orchard, WA 98366
- Join Public Hearing: Join remotely on March 2, 2021, at 5:30 p.m. by going to:
- Meeting ID 826 6783 3221 Password 588757
- Phone +1-253-215-8782
- “Timber harvesting underway at Kitsap County’s Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park,” Kitsap County News, 26 Feb. 2021, Kitsap Electronic Notification System,
Check the Kitsap County Parks Department website for updates at https://www.kitsapgov.com/parks. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-337-5350.
— Team Cantwell e-notice, 11 Feb. 2021
Summary: Senator Cantwell is officially chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation — the first woman to ever hold the position! After 20 years of serving on the committee, making sure Washingtonians and all Americans are looked out for, she is breaking barriers serving in the head position.
Migratory Bird Protection
— National Audubon Society, “Rollback of Migratory Bird Protections Delayed by New Administration: The decision to delay implementation of this rule change offers an opportunity to reinstate and strengthen the 100-year-old law, 4 Feb. 2021, Web, Migratory Bird Protection Continues
For democracy—Microsoft supports a free press and independent journalism
— Brier Dudley (Seattle Times Free Press editor), “Q&A: Brad Smith of Microsoft,” Seattle Times, 21 Feb. 2021, Print, D1 and D4; Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/qa-microsofts-brad-smith-on-saving-the-press-and-democracy/ As Smith, the president of Microsoft, says in this article, “For some time we’ve appreciated that you can’t have a healthy country or any kind of healthy democracy without healthy journalism.” He goes on to describe a two-sided disease occurring in America : “one is the spread of disinformation on social media, and the other is the financial weakening of more traditional and independent journalism.” To read how Microsoft recently supported the free press in Australia, please go to the above article.
Salmon and Dams
— Lynda V. Mapes, “A new day for the Columbia Basin?,” Seattle Times, 7 Feb. 2021, Print, A1 and A12, A13; “GOP congressman pitches $34 billion plan to breach Lower Snake River dams in new vision for Northwest,” Seattle Times, 7 Feb. 2021, Web, New vision for NW dams and salmon
My brief summary of this comprehensive three-page article by Mapes:
Dams supply power, provide irrigation, and enable transport of goods along rivers in the Columbia Basin. Wild salmon are headed toward extinction because of dams on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Consequently, the Northwest has been embroiled in expensive litigation and programs for decades.
Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson proposed a paradigm-shift solution to the dam/salmon conflict. He proposed breaching functioning dams while replacing their important functions by other means—and funding this solution through a $34 billion federally supplied Columbia Basin Fund.
Simpson say his proposal is meant to spur regional conversation for a new vision for the Northwest.