JANUARY 2021 HEADLINES:
Biden generates climate hope with bold climate and environmental actions.
– The United States rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement
– The federal government commits to buying zero-emission vehicles.
– Keystone XL tar-sands pipeline permit revoked.
– National 30 by 30 conservation goal established.
“Protect 30 percent of our wild places by 2030 — the minimum scientists say is needed to protect nature and buffer against the worst impacts of the climate crisis.” (Michael Brune (Sierra Club Executive Director)
– New oil and gas leasings on federal lands paused and a review of existing leasing and permitting practices ordered.
– Plans for future drilling in the Arctic scrapped.
Per Michael Brune (executive director of the Sierra Club), “Our Odds of Solving the Climate Crisis Just Went Way Up,” e-newsletter, 28 Jan. 2021.
“Yesterday, the Biden-Harris administration showed that it was serious about using every tool at its disposal to tackle the climate crisis and environmental injustice. Just a week after Inauguration Day, it unveiled its second major set of executive actions and presidential memoranda. Finally, we have an administration whose actions reflect the fact that we are in a climate emergency, with just a few years left to avert catastrophic climate change. What a breath of fresh air!
“These new executive actions make addressing the climate crisis and environmental injustice a priority in every government agency, as well as in our foreign policy and national security. They reaffirm the Biden administration’s commitment to making our electricity sector carbon-free by 2035, our entire economy carbon-neutral by 2050, and tying climate action to some of this country’s most deeply held values: uprooting injustice, ensuring economic opportunity for all, and protecting our lands, waters, and wildlife.”
Fighting Climate Change Will Change America
— Seth Borenstein (Associated Press), “Fighting climate change in America means changes to America,” Seattle Times, 30 Jan. 2021, Web, Fighting climate change in America means changes to America | The Seattle Times
Published in print as Seth Borenstein (Associated Press), “How Biden’s climate plan will change America,” Seattle Times, 31 Jan. 2021, Print, A1 and A11
Biden and Climate Action
— Aamer Madhani and Zeke Miller (The Associated Press), “On Day One, Biden targets Trump policies on climate, virus,” The Seattle Times, 20 Jan. 2021, Web, On Day One, Biden targets Trump policies on climate, virus
President Joe Biden signed an executive order declaring that the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, and he also signed one that revokes approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The article also says that Biden ordered “a review of all regulations and executive actions that are deemed damaging to the environment or public health.”
— Dino Grandoni and Alexandra Ellerbeck, “The Energy 202: Biden stokes hope among climate scientists,” Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2021, Web, Biden and hope for the climate
Biden’s taking bold climate action provides hope (after four years of despair) to climate scientists, though their hope is tempered by the reality that the fighting the climate crisis remains, as one scientist describes it, “a herculean task.”
Whatever policies are made, they must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions drastically and quickly, as described in this this article referenced Grandoni: Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis, “The world has just over a decade to get climate change under control, U.N. scientists say,” Washington Post, 7 Oct. 2018, Web, One Decade to Control Climate Change
Congress’s Action on Climate
— Scott Corwin, Spencer Gray, and Bryce Yonker, “What the new energy act will bring to the Northwest,” Seattle Times, 26 Jan. 2021, Web, What the new energy act will bring to the Northwest
Per this article, The Energy Act of 2020 “phases out hydrofluorocarbons, a potent greenhouse gas, and authorizes investing $35 billion to advance renewable energy and zero-emission technology.” The article goes on to say that “at the heart of the Energy Act is a set of policies championed by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.” The article lauds the collaboration between Senator Cantwell and Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska as well as the efforts occurring over many years of many senators.
The act will affect the electrical grid, microgrids, storage, electric vehicles, and buildings.
Washington State proposes bold moves to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
— Peter Fairley (Investigate West), “Investigate West: Washington state plan would slash emissions,” Kitsap Sun, 26 Jan. 2021, Print, 1A and 3A. This article is also present on the web in many places, including Investigate West: Washington State plan would slash emissions
This extensive reporting covers how Washington state plans “to make a wholesale shift to renewable energy and meet some of the most ambitious climate-protection goals on the planet.”
Washington’s bold moves toward renewable fuels and decarbonization are discussed in detail. Measures by Washington’s Cascadia neighbors (British Columbia and Oregon) are touched upon; and Canada’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline, which negates some of the climate progress accomplished by the other measures, is lamented.
Fossil Fuel Facilities in Washington State Challenged
— Damon Motz-Storey, Press Release, “Washington Attorney General Filed Amicus Brief in Support of Lawsuit Challenging the Tacoma LNG Facility,” Power Past Fracked Gas, Web, Washington AG files brief against Tacoma natural gas facility
— Tony Brynelson (Oregon Public Broadcasting), “Washington State Regulators Deny Key Permit To Kalama Methanol Refinery,” Northwest Public Broadcasting, 20 Jan. 2021, Web, https://www.nwpb.org/2021/01/20/washington-state-regulators-deny-key-permit-to-kalama-methanol-refinery/
Kitsap County’s Action on Climate
Citizens Climate Lobby members from Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, and Kingston have been working to get the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act passed. The Act would put a fee on carbon emissions and rebate money back to citizens. Representative Derek Kilmer co-sponsors this bill.
— Steve Powell, “Citizen’s Climate Lobby works with feds to reduce carbon emissions,” North Kitsap Herald, 22 Jan. 2021, Print, 4.
Ice melting accelerates
— Chris Mooney and Andrew Freedman, “Earth is now losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice each year. And it’s going to get worse. Ice is melting faster worldwide, with greater sea-level rise anticipated, studies show,” Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2021, Web, Earth is now losing 1.2 trillion tons of ice each year. And it’s going to get worse.
Climate 2020: Hot around the world
— Henry Fountain, Blacki Migliozzi and Nadja Popovich, “Where 2020’s Record Heat Was Felt the Most,” The New York Times, 14 Feb. 2021, Web, Where 2020’s Record Heat Was Felt the Most
Spin the Earth around in this graphical-representation article and see, via the whites, pinks, and reds, where the planet did not warm, where it warmed, and where it warmed a lot.
— Story by Chris Mooney, Andrew Freedman and John Muyskens, Design by Jake Crump, “2020 rivals hottest year on record,pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold,” The Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2021, Web, 2020 rivals hottest year
CARS: THE FUTURE IS ELECTRIC
— Brad Plumer, “Electric Cars Are Coming, and Fast. Is the Nation’s Grid Up to It?” New York Times, 29 Jan. 2021, Web, Electric Cars Are Coming, and Fast
Some major auto manufacturers are going electric (GM, for example). Some states are mandating electric. This article talks about what that means for the electrical grid.
— “GM bets big on electric, says it will sell only zero-emission vehicles by 2035,” The Week, 29 Jan. 2021, Web, https://theweek.com/speedreads/963810/gm-bets-big-electric-says-sell-only-zeroemission-vehicles-by-2035 (And GM announced a plan “to be a completely zero-emission company by 2040.”)
SOME LEGISLATION NOTES
Audubon Washington’s 2021 legislative priorities.
The truncated forms are listed below. To see details, please go to https://wa.audubon.org/news/policy-priorities-2021
1. Conservation Works
Audubon Washington supports full funding of both natural resource agency budgets and state grant programs such as the Washington Wildlife and Recreation program and the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund.
2. Tackling greenhouse gas emissions
Clean Fuel Standard [HB 1091]
3. Climate resilience
HB 1099: Updates the Growth Management Act to plan for climate change.
For additional information on this bill, please go to the Futurewise site at
Additional Audubon WA legislative priorities:
– Green Recovery Bonds
– Healthy environment for all (HEAL) Act- Shoreline Armoring (removal of armoring or replacing it with ecosystem-friendly alternatives)- Transportation for All
Accessing the 2021 legislative session in Olympia.
Pilling’s article tells how to access and contribute to this year’s legislative session in Olympia.
— Nathan Pilling, “As Kitsap’s lawmakers ready for a remote legislative session, here’s how to keep up,” Kitsap Sun, 8 Jan. 2021, Web, As Kitsap’s lawmakers ready for a remote legislative session, here’s how to keep up
PRESS, LOCAL FREE
— David Nelson (Editor of the Kitsap Sun), “What the Sun should be known for,” Kitsap Sun, 3 Jan. 2021, Print, 1C and 3C: Web, What the Sun should be known for
As Nelson notes, “We are always encouraged by the evidence that when significant news happens this community turns to us.”
Regarding some noteworthy local stories told in the Sun in 2020: “These stories dug deeper into the community, in ways both serious and fun, to help you better understand Kitsap and what it means to live here.” Nelson added that “community journalism should be about empowering people, and that happens in many ways.”
— Brier Dudley (Seattle Times Free Press editor), “Save another endangered species: the free press,” Seattle Times, 17 Jan. 2021, Print, D2; 15 Jan. 2021, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/save-another-endangered-species-the-free-press/
— Frank Blethen (Seattle Times publisher), “From the publisher: Reuniting our divided country, saving our local free press,” Seattle Times, 27 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/inside-the-times/from-the-publisher-reuniting-our-divided-country-saving-our-local-free-press/
— Dean Ridings (CEO, America’s Newspapers), “Googles Monopoly Isn’t a Game for Newspapers, Seattle Times, 17 Jan. 2021, Print, A15.
This regards Google’s near monopoly in the search and local advertising world—and the subsequent effect on local news.
— Kitsap Sun Journalism Fund
In the current misinformation world we live in, it’s essential to have journalism-standard local news and information, such as that provided by the Kitsap Sun. For those wishing to keep local news strong, there is now a means to support the Sun (besides the usual and desired methods of purchasing a subscription to the Sun or buying advertisement space from it). As described in the 10 Jan. 2021 article referenced below, you can now contribute to a nonprofit journalism fund, created through the Kitsap Community Foundation. As described in the article: “Money raised will go to fund a reporter to cover a specifically outlined topic area that we feel is clearly in the public’s interest, at a time when such reporting continues to be expensive and at risk.”
The article says that you can contribute by going to the Kitsap Community Foundation website and then following the “Donate to a fund” link , then selecting “Kitsap Sun Journalism Fund,” or you can mail a check to P.O. Box 3670, Silverdale, WA 98383. [The easiest way that I found to get to the donate button at the Foundation’s website was to type kcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list into my browser and then enter into the search block (at the end of the list) Kitsap Sun Journalism Fund.]
— see David Nelson, “A new effort to help grow local news,” Kitsap Sun, 10 Jan. 2021, Print, 1C and 3C; Web, A new effort to help grow local news
Other January 2021 News
Development’s Cost to Kitsap Residents
Ann Barbillon notes in her letter to the editor that the new fast ferries have brought Seattle residents to Kitsap which has raised apartment rents and property values [and property taxes] and developers have built expensive apartments in Bremerton to serve commuters in Seattle. She notes that development has made Kitsap more expensive for the people who are already living here.
— see Ann Barbillion, letter, “What’s development costing us,” Kitsap Sun, 25 Jan. 2021, Print, 6A; Web, What’s development costing us
Associated Press, “Bill to increase state gas tax introduced in Washington state House,” Kitsap Sun, 23 Jan. 2021, Web, Bill to increase state gas tax introduced in Washington state
Per the article, the funding would “pay for transportation projects, help convert diesel ferries to electric and upgrade salmon culverts under a federal order to redesign hundreds of fish culverts by 2030.”
Growlers over the Olympic Mountains
— Josh Farley, “Scientists studying impact of Growler’s growl over Olympics,” Kitsap Sun, 4 Jan. 2021, Print, 1A and 5A; Web, Scientists studying impact of Growler’s growl over Olympics
Mitigating for harm to salmon caused by nearshore construction
“In a first for our state, NMFS [National Marine Fisheries Service] is requiring property owners, ports, marinas and others to mitigate for their impacts to protected salmon caused by the maintenance of their bulkheads, docks, and other nearshore construction.”
—Lorraine Loomis, “A big step toward accountability for habitat impacts,” North Kitsap Herald, 8 Jan. 2021, Print, 4.”
— Jessie Darland, “New Seabeck bridge opens to vehicle and salmon traffic,” Kitsap Sun, 12 Jan. 2021, Print, 1A & 4A; Web, New Seabeck bridge opens to vehicle and salmon traffic
A culvert at Seabeck Holly Road NW was replaced by a bridge; now, salmon are swimming past it to spawn upstream.
— KUOW-FM, “Report: Time running out for Northwest salmon species,” Kitsap Sun, 19 Jan. 2021, Print, 1A and 5A.
Per this news piece, “The 2020 State of Salmon in Watersheds report by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office found the state’s salmon are ‘teetering on the brink of extinction’ Northwest News Network reported.”
Besides glaciers melting away due to climate change (thereby taking away the cold water source for salmon streams), habitat is being lost faster than it’s being restored.
DECEMBER 2020 HEADLINES
—Christopher Dunagan, “Hotly debated national permit for shellfish farms could be passed to Biden administration,” Puget Sound Institute, 31 Dec. 2020, Web, Hotly debated national permit for shellfish farms
Inslee’s Climate Legislation for 2021
[The following is pasted from a 29 Dec. 2020 Jay Inslee for Washington e-newsletter.]
Combating climate change is part of our bold policy & budget proposals”
Bold climate action can’t wait. I wanted to share with you our plan that we’ll be aggressively pursuing during next year’s legislative session in Washington.
We need to put environmental justice and equity at the forefront of our climate policy, and that’s exactly what our plan does.
Our legislative and budget proposals would create a bold climate program to make sure Washington state meets our climate goals:
– Establish a Clean Fuel Standard, which reduces transportation pollution through electrification of cleaner fuels for ferries, transit, and passenger vehicles.
– Pass the Climate Commitment Act, which caps statewide greenhouse gas emissions and invests in clean energy, transportation, and climate resilience projects, and funds part of the Working Families Tax Credit.
– Pass the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act, which requires new buildings to use carbon-free space and water heating by 2030, and puts the state on a pathway to fully decarbonize existing buildings by 2050.
– Require an environmental justice assessment for all climate-related investments, and create an Environmental Justice and Equity Advisory Panel to analyze how climate investments impact those most vulnerable to climate change.
– Invest $428 million in clean transportation, clean buildings, and clean energy projects.
Climate change is an existential threat. But, fighting climate change is also an opportunity to support good-paying jobs, make our infrastructure cleaner and more resilient, and invest in our communities to ensure a more equitable future for our kids and grandkids.
This might feel like a lot of work to do in one legislative session, but we can’t afford to wait. Will you join me in supporting bold action on climate in Olympia this year? If you want to get started, share the news about our budget and policy proposals with your friends and family on Facebook right now.
As we get to work next year, we’ll keep you updated on our work — thanks for supporting bold proposals and progressive plans. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.
Very truly yours,
— Camila Domonoske & Jeff Brady, “Climate Action for Christmas? Omnibus bill includes biggest policy shift in years,” NPR, 22 Dec. 2020, Climate Action For Christmas? Omnibus Bill Includes Biggest Policy Shift In Years | KUT Radio, Austin’s NPR Station
Per this article, “The massive spending package just passed by Congress includes the most significant climate legislation in more than a decade, along with significant changes in energy policy.”
— Joseph O’Sullivan, “Inslee proposes his latest climate-change package as part of Washington budget,” The Seattle Times, updated 16 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/inslee-proposes-his-latest-climate-change-package-as-part-of-washington-budget-proposal/
The following three articles are from “The Year in Climate,” The New York Times, 23 Dec. 2020 (as part of the Climate Fwd newsletter), Web, https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/climate/2020-climate-change.html, accessed 25 Dec. 2020.
1. John Branch and Brad Plumer, “Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial,” The New York Times, 22 Sep. 2020, Web, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/22/climate/climate-change-future.html, accessed 25 Dec. 2020.
My Summary: Because of inaction, global warming damage is now baked in, and we’ve not see the worst of it. Because the damage is visible, and because it affects even the rich now, the rich are now looking at taking action. Aggressive action now could lessen the damage that’s coming, but ours has been a history of inaction.
2. Hiroko Tabuchi, Michael Corkery and Carlos Mureithi, “Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic,” The New York Times, 22 Aug. 2020, Web, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/30/climate/oil-kenya-africa-plastics-trade.html, accessed 25 Dec. 2020.
My Summary: As the world pivots away from fossil fuels to renewable fuel, the fossil industry is racing to make more plastic (which comes from fossil fuels). One problem: more and more countries don’t want plastic trash, so the answer, per the fossil fuel industry, is dump it in Africa.
3. Henry Fountain, “A crash course on climate change, 50 years after the first Earth Day,” The New York Times, 19 Apr. 2019, Web,
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/19/climate/climate-crash-course-1.html, accessed 25 Dec. 2020.
Local Free Press
The following is an August 2020 article, but I included it here because it narrates well the importance of the local free press in having boots on ground to do follow-up and obtain accurate news:
— David Nelson, “Going local to get the full story,” Kitsap Sun, 30 Aug. 2020, Web, Going local to get the full story. David Nelson is the editor of the Kitsap Sun.
Local Free Press, Funding for
I strongly support a local free press for at least three reasons: a local free press is essential to know what’s happening in my hometown, it’s essential to the survival of our democracy, and it’s essential to know what environmental threats are occurring or that are proposed. We need the local free press to shine the light to keep our towns, democracy, and environment healthy,
The 27 Dec. 2020 Seattle Times published three great articles about efforts to resuscitate the local free press in America.
— Frank, William, and John Blethen,“Reuniting our Divided Country, Saving our Local Free Press,” The Seattle Times, 27 Dec. 2020, Print, A10 and A11, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/inside-the-times/from-the-publisher-reuniting-our-divided-country-saving-our-local-free-press/
This two-page “year-end message from the publisher” details the dangers to democracy of a degraded local free press, and it outlines needed solutions.
— The newspaper’s view editorial, “Financial Relief on Way for Free Press, But More Work is Needed,” The Seattle Times, 27 Dec. 2020, Print, D3; 25 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/editorials/much-work-remains-to-save-the-free-press/
This “newspaper’s view editorial” reports on the funding recently approved in Congress (and strongly championed by Washington State’s Senator Maria Cantwell) to support America’s imperiled newspapers, and then it discusses how the demise of many American newspapers is creating news deserts where accurate, local reporting no longer occurs.
— Christian Trejbal, “Congress remembers the local free press this time,” The Seattle Times, 27 Dec. 2020, Print, D2; 24 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/congress-remembers-the-local-free-press-this-time/
Trejbal, the free press reporter and columnist for The Seattle Times, talks of events that have led more than 60 local newsrooms to close in 2020, and of how Congress’s recently passed coronavirus relief bill is so important to thousands of newspapers and broadcasters.
Some Regional Environmental News
Ancestral land in Oregon returned
— Cassandra Profita (Oregon Public Broadcasting), “Clatsop-Nehalem tribes plan after return of ancestral land [in Seaside Oregon],” Kitsap Sun, 20 Dec. 2020, Print, 9A; Web, 17 Dec. 2020 at AP https://apnews.com/article/native-americans-oregon-22b2bff0bf0c7a17968132bbf99e89ce
Kalama Methanol Refinery
— Emily Washines, “Why the Kalama methanol refinery would hurt the Yakama tribe,” Crosscut, 31 Dec. 2020, Web, Why the Kalama methanol refinery would hurt the Yakama tribe
— Hal Bernton, “Proposed Washington state methanol plant would likely slow rise of global greenhouse gas emissions, says new study,” The Seattle Times, 26 Dec. 2020, Web,
Also see Hal Bernton, “Federal judge knocks down two permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant,” The Seattle Times, 24 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/federal-judge-knocks-down-two-permits-needed-for-proposed-2-billion-kalama-methanol-plant/
Southern Resident Orcas
— Al Bergstein, “Lawsuit launched over stalled habitat protection for endangered west coast orcas,” Olympic Peninsula Environmental News, 17 Dec. 2020, Web, https://olyopen.com/2020/12/17/lawsuit-launched-over-stalled-habitat-protection-for-endangered-west-coast-orcas/
Pillaging America’s Open Lands— Eric Lipton (The New York Times), “Federal agencies race to give energy mining firms access to public lands,” The Seattle Times, 20 Dec. 2020, Print, A4; “In last rush, Trump grants mining and energy firms access to public lands,” 19 Dec. 2020, Web, In last rush, Trump grants mining and energy firms access to public lands | The Seattle Times
December 2020 Headlines (as of 15 Dec.)
Tires kill coho
— see Christopher Dunagan (Puget Sound Institute), “Scientists identify deadly chemical killing coho salmon,” Kitsap Sun, 6 Dec. 2020, Print, 1A and 8A; 4 Dec. 2020, Web, Scientists identify deadly chemical killing coho salmon (kitsapsun.com)
— see Lynda V. Mapes, “Tire dust killing coho salmon returning to Puget Sound, new research shows,” The Seattle Times, 3 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/tire-dust-is-killing-salmon/
Extinction News: Plastic and other stuff
— see Katherine Khashimova Long, “Last year, Amazon made enough plastic “air pillows” to encircle the globe 500 times, report says, The Seattle Times, 15 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/amazon-plastic-waste-could-encircle-the-globe-500-times-report-says/
—Dino Grandoni (with Alexandra Ellerbeck), “Human-made materials may now equal the weight of all life on earth,” The Energy 202 blog, The Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2020, Web
The article that Grandoni refers to is
Emily Elhacham, Liad Ben-Uri, Jonathan Grozovski, Yinon M. Bar-On & Ron Milo, “Global human-made mass exceeds all living biomass,” Nature (2020), 9 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-3010-5?gsBNFDNDN=undefined&utm_campaign=wp_the_energy_202&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_energy202#citeas
Per this Nature article, our human-made mass (everything we are and that we make) doubles every 20 years, and by 2020 it will have surpassed that of natural living biomass on Earth. Pair this realization with previously published news that by mid-century the weight of plastic in the sea will be more than the weight of fish in the sea. With these two facts in mind, and knowing that we’re rapidly eradicating habitat, it’s easy to see why the numbers of fish, birds, and lots of other creatures are plummeting during this Sixth Mass Extinction.
Bainbridge Island adopts a climate plan
— see Bobbie Morgan and Deb Rudnick, “Hopeful climate for the change we need,” Kitsap Sun, 6 Dec. 2020, Print, 2C; 5 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2020/12/05/hopeful-climate-change-we-need/3819862001/
Per Morgan and Rudnick: “The City of Bainbridge Island recently adopted a Climate Action Plan that lays out a path forward for reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and working to become resilient to climate changes we know are coming.”
Biden announces that the U.S. will rejoin the Paris Climate Accord
— see Dino Grandoni (with Alexandra Ellerbeck), “World leaders committed to new climate targets,” The Energy 202, The Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2020, Web.
— see Frank Jordans and Jeff Schaeffer (AP), “World leaders set fresh climate goal,” Kitsap Sun, 13 Dec. 2020, Print, 4A.
Habitat, animals, birds, and the environment—all better under Biden
— see Andy McGlashen (Associate Editor, Audubon Magazine), “Five Threatened Places That Could Be Spared Under Biden: From coastal Alaska to a Georgia swamp, public lands that lost protections in the Trump years may get a reprieve,” National Audubon Society, 4 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.audubon.org/news/these-5-threatened-places-could-be-spared-under-biden
— see Megan Burbank, “What will a Biden presidency mean for environmental protections and public lands — in Washington and beyond? Seattle Times, 1 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/what-will-a-biden-presidency-mean-for-environmental-protections-and-public-lands-in-washington-and-beyond/
— see Megan Burbank, “What will Biden’s tenure mean for the outdoors,” The Seattle Times, 6 Dec. 2020, Print, E3.
— see Lynda V. Mapes (Seattle Times), “What Biden’s agenda on the environment could mean for Pacific Northwest,” Kitsap Sun, 29 Nov. 2020, Print, 9A.
Rejecting voters; seizing power
— see Jeremy Roebuck, “Texas asks U.S. Supreme Court to throw out election results in Pa., three other states,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.dailyitem.com/news/texas-asks-u-s-supreme-court-to-throw-out-election-results-in-pa-three-other/
— see Ruth Marcus, “These Republicans may not be capable of shame, but you should know who they are,” The Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/11/these-republicans-may-not-be-capable-shame-you-should-know-who-they-are/
Marcus lists the names of the many Republicans who signed the lawsuit that was presented to the United State Supreme Court by the state of Texas that tried to toss out the votes of voters in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. This despicable attempt to retain power by negating the votes of swing states that voted for Biden was rejected by the Supreme Court. Thank you founding fathers—you who had the wisdom (informed by the centuries of abuses by kings and popes in Europe) to build checks and balances into our democracy. The Washington State Representatives who signed this shameful lawsuit were Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse.
Pillaging the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
— Danny Westneat, “News from up north: They’re holding a ‘going out of business sale’ in the Arctic,” The Seattle Times, 6 Dec. 2020, Print, C1 and C4; 4 Dec. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/news-from-up-north-theyre-holding-a-going-out-of-business-sale-in-the-arctic/
As Westneat relates, Trump is rushing to sell oil-drilling leases in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge while he still can.
Local Press Update: the local press’s struggle to survive in the digital age
Five myths about the news business
1. ‘Clicks’ pay for newsrooms
2. Subscriptions alone will pay for journalism.
3. Newsrooms depend financially on coverage of Trump.
4. Billionaires will save the news business.
5. ‘Spotify for news’ will rescue journalism.
— see David Chavern, “Five myths about the news business,” The Washington Post, 3 Dec. 2020, Web,
(referred to by Christian Trejbal, Voices for a Free Press, The Seattle Time, 10 Dec. 2020, Web)
Nez Perce tribe, Snake River, dams, salmon, and a culture
— Lynda V. Mapes, “The Salmon People: A heritage trapped behind barriers,” The Seattle Times, 29 Nov. 2020, Print, A1, A10–A13. ;
Janet Yellin and America’s climate agenda.
— Dino Grandoni (with Alexandra Ellerbeck), “The Energy 202: What the Janet Yellen pick for Treasury means for climate policy,” The Washington Post, 25 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/11/25/energy-202-what-janet-yellen-pick-treasury-means-climate-policy/
Grandoni notes that Janet Yellen, as Biden’s pick for Treasury Secretary, will be one of his most important cabinet choices for moving forward his climate agenda.
The climate plan of the Swinomish tribe
— Jim Morrison, “An ancient people with a modern climate plan,” The Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/11/24/native-americans-climate-change-swinomish/
Per Morrison’s introduction: “After a brutal storm in 2006, the Swinomish tribe off the coast of Washington state [on Fidalgo Island] launched a strategy to deal with the effects of a warming planet. Now, 50 other native tribes have followed suit.”
No gold mine on Bristol Bay, AK
— Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis (The Washington Post), “Army Corps says no to massive gold mine proposed near Bristol Bay in Alaska,” The Seattle Times, 25 Nov. 2020, Print, A3; Web,
Mass transit measures approved around the U.S.
— Jenni Bergal (Stateline.org), “Transit triumphs at ballot box across nation,” Seattle Times, 25 Sep. 2020, Print, A23.
Oklahoman, Iowans, and Southern Resident orcas
— Jessie Darland, “Project introduces inlanders to endangered species,” Kitsap Sun, 25 Sep. 2020, 1A & 2A.
Towns in Oklahoma and Iowa are seeing connections between events occurring where they live and the health of the Southern Resident orcas of the Salish Sea.
Puyallup River pollution
— Lynda V. Mapes, “U.S. Justice Department sues over Puyallup River pollution,” Seattle Times, 25 Nov. 2020 (updated 26 Nov.), Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/u-s-justice-department-sues-over-puyallup-river-pollution/
Tires shed rubber
Tires shed rubber, which is another reason to have effective stormwater programs and programs that control rain runoff.
— see Laura Trethewey, “When Rubber Hits the Road—and Washes Away,” Hakai Magazine, 24 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.hakaimagazine.com/features/when-rubber-hits-the-road-and-washes-away/ [Note: I was alerted to this article by the blog Olympic Peninsula Environmental News by Al Bergstein.]
Kalama methanol plant
— Hal Bernton, “Federal judge knocks down two permits needed for proposed $2 billion Kalama methanol plant,” The Seattle Times, 24 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/federal-judge-knocks-down-two-permits-needed-for-proposed-2-billion-kalama-methanol-plant/
This article echoes what is being reported in many places: Plastic is everywhere, and the widespread use of plastic has put sea life at risk. The article cites a Science Advances report which says that “the United States has generated the largest amount of plastic waste of any country.” The article offers part of the solution as being that “people should mind their own plastic litter” and there need to be “local policies limiting the use of ‘needless’ single-use plastic.”
E-bikes in Port Gamble Park
—Jeff Graham, E-bike trail proposed for Port Gamble park,” Kitsap Sun, 23 Nov. 2020, Print, A1 and 5A.
Biden and the Pacific Northwest
— Lynda V. Mapes and Hal Bernton, “What Biden’s agenda on the environment could mean for the Pacific Northwest,” The Seattle Times, 22 Nov. 2020, Print, A1 and A13; 22 Nov. 2020 (updated 23 Nov.), Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/what-bidens-agenda-on-the-environment-could-mean-for-the-pacific-northwest/
What does Biden’s agenda mean for the Pacific Northwest’s environment? Well, lots positive in proportion to the lots negative that’s been done by the Trump administration; the many details (science, climate, energy, public lands, mining, forests, rivers and dams, endangered species, birds, pollution, and others) in this Seattle Times article make it well worth your reading. Also of note, Trump currently is trying to hamstring Biden from being able to counter Trump’s climate-damaging, species-extinction, and environment-damaging actions
— also see Michael D. Shear, “Trump using last days to make Biden’s work difficult,” The Seattle Times, 22 Nov. 2020, Print, A1 and A6; 21 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/trump-using-last-days-to-lock-in-policies-make-bidens-task-more-difficult/
Reusable bags allowed in Kitsap County
— Christian Vosler, “Grocery stores allow reusable bags as ban on plastic bags loom,” Kitsap Sun, 22 Nov. 2020, Print, 1A and 4A.
Microplastic pollution on Mount Everest
—Doyle Rice (USA Today), “Microplastic pollution discovered in snow atop Mount Everest, Kitsap Sun, 22 Nov. 2020, Print, 8A.
Microplastics were found in every snow sample that was collected during a 2019 National Geographic expedition.
Bezos launches climate-action push
—Jon Talton, “Bezos launches his own climate action push as U.S. policy faces potential gridlock,” The Seattle Times, 22 Nov. 2020, Print, C1 and C9; 20 Nov. 2020, Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/business/jeff-bezos-launches-his-own-climate-action-push-as-u-s-policy-faces-potential-gridlock/
Talton reports that Jeff Bezos this week became the biggest private supporter of climate action, and he then goes over some of the pro-environment, pro-climate, and anti-extinction steps Bezos has taken already (Talton also reviews Amazon’s greenhouse-gas footprint). Also mentioned in the column is the petroleum industry’s multi-decade climate misinformation campaign that has contributed to much of the intransigence regarding climate action that we witness in politics now.
Kids in Kitsap explore cedars and salmon.
— Chris Henry, “Outdoor schools a draw as pandemic drags on,” Kitsap Sun, 18 Nov. 2020, Print, 1A and 4A.
Washington State: How citizens can testify in Olympia in 2021.
Citizens will be able to testify from home to Olympia lawmakers during the 2021 Legislative Session.
— Jason Mercier, “Zoom session may offer you more of a say,” Kitsap Sun, 12 Nov. 2020 Print, 5A.
— Joseph O’Sullivan, “Empty Capitol building, public hearings by Zoom: Washington Legislature plans for virtual session,” The Seattle Times, 5 Nov 2020 Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/empty-capitol-building-public-hearings-by-zoom-washington-legislature-plans-for-virtual-session/
Hood Canal and a proposed gravel mine
— Jessie Darland, “Grump gravel mine cases head to federal court, Kitsap Sun, 12 Nov. 2020, Print, 1A and 6A.
These cases may determine whether there will a 66.5-gravel mine near the Hood Canal in Belfair.
Hood Canal bridge blocks fish
— Nathan Pilling, “Hood Canal Bridge is a problem for fish,” Kitsap Sun newspaper, 9 Nov. 2020 Print, 1A and 2A; also as “Report: Half of juvenile steelhead that reach the Hood Canal bridge die there,” 9 Nov. 2020 Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/11/09/report-half-juvenile-steelhead-reach-hood-canal-bridge-die-there/6073997002/
Key points: A recent study found that half the juvenile steelhead that migrating into the Hood Canal don’t get past the bridge, but instead die there. Juvenile steelhead swim mostly near the surface, but the pontoons of the 1.5-mile bridge extends 15 feet under water, blocking the steelhead and trapping them to be eaten by seals especially, and by marine birds and porpoises. Getting past the bridge is also a problem for chum and chinook salmon.
For details and for possible solutions, please see the article in the Kitsap Sun.
Three seconds of human existence
Posted below is the link for the 2016 Film4Climate Global-Video-Competition Winner, a competition sponsored by Connect4Climate. Spencer Sharpe’s short film “Three seconds” is humbling: it distinguishes smarts from wisdom, self from interconnection, and extinction from living. In 4 minutes and 23 seconds, “Three Seconds” condenses the impact of 140,000 years of human existence on Earth. Can we humans live so as to earn a 4th second?
Short-Film Award 1st Prize: “Three Seconds” by Spencer Sharp & Prince Ea, USA
This film (and other 2016 winners) was announced at https://www.connect4climate.org/article/film4climate-competition-winners-announced
— Al Bergstein’s 9 Nov. 2020 Olympic Peninsula Environmental News blog
< http://olyopen.com/2020/11/09/three-seconds-film4climate-winner/ > alerted me to this video and to Connect4Climate.
Kitsap Salmon Tours are virtual this year
— source: 4 Nov. 2020 e-announcement from WSU Extension, November Water Stewardship Program Updates
Great Peninsula Conservancy
— Nancy Sefton, “Help conservancy save our natural places,” Bainbridge Island Review, Web, 1 Nov. 2020,
Key point: Kitsap County is just across the water from a booming metropolis, and more and more people are moving here. Fortunately, we have a great land conservancy group that is contributed to by many people: it’s called the Great Peninsula Conservancy. Join GPC and contribute to conserving natural habitat close to home.
October 2020 Headlines
Environmentalists and dam operators make some peace
— Brad Plumer, “Environmentalists and Dam Operators, at War for Years, Start Making Peace,” New York Times, 13 Oct. 2020, Web, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/climate/environmentalists-hydropower-dams.html
— Mark Olaide (Palm Springs Desert Sun), “Coalition of Mayors backs California in fight vs. EPA, Kitsap Sun, 11 Oct. 2020, Print, 11A.
Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to force low fuel efficiency standards for vehicles upon California, thirteen other states, and Washington, D.C.
[2020-11-24 note] President-elect Biden plans to reverse Trump’s low fuel-efficiency actions, and General Motors announced it was withdrawing from the lawsuit in which it was trying to make California adhere to low fuel-efficiency standards.
Good news for salmon and orcas
“On October 9th, the Governors of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana released a letter committing to work together to rebuild the salmon and steelhead of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. This is good news for the orca who rely on chinook salmon from these rivers for survival.”
— Bill Arthur (Chair, Snake/Columbia River Salmon Campaign), “Governors step up for Columbia Basin Salmon,” Washington State Sierra Club e-notice, 31 Oct. 2020.
Bad news for salmon and orcas
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a Record of Decision, said it would not remove the four dams on the Lower Snake River (between Pasco and Pomeroy, WA). As this newspaper article states, “The dams have proven disastrous for salmon” and “southern resident orcas are starving to death because of a dearth of chinook salmon.” The article goes on to say that the dams have many defenders because they “generate electricity, provide irrigation and flood control, and allow barges to operate all the way to Lewiston, Idaho, 400 miles from the Pacific Ocean.”
— Nicholas K. Geranios (Associated Press), “Critics to continue efforts to remove Snake River Dams,” Kitsap Sun, 6 Oct. 2020, Print, 5A.
Good news about Hood Canal summer chum
— Matthew Smith, “Hood Canal nearing a potential ‘first’ for salmon recovery,” KIRO 7 News, 5 Oct. 2020, Video, https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/hood-canal-nearing-potential-first-salmon-recovery/
Cantwell wants inquiry about Pebble Mine
— Hal Bernton, “Cantwell wants inquiry into whether Pebble Mine execs lied to Congress,” Seattle Times, 4 Oct. 2020, C4, Print.
The Pebble Mine, proposed for the Bristol Bay region of southwest Alaska, could threaten the waters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon runs.
Large apartment complex proposed for Dyes Inlet in Silverdale
Some residents and businesses oppose proposed 160-unit apartment complex near Dyes Inlet in Silverdale.
— Christian Vosler, “Residents appeal apartment project,” Kitsap Sun, 4 Oct. 2020, Print, 1A and 8A.
Forcing polar bears off the ice and now off the land.
Melting ice has forced bears onto the land, and now opening the Artic National Wildlife Refuge to fossil fuel exploration and extraction threatens their dens there. The survival of polar bears is threatened.
— Juliet Eilperin (The Washington Post), “Administration releases delayed study of climate change threat to polar bears,” Seattle Times, 4 Oct. 2020, Print, A5.
Good news for orcas
— Jessie Darland, “Two orca calves added to J pod,” Kitsap Sun, 3 Oct 2020, Print, 1A and 5A.
— Jessie Darland, “Southern Resident orcas welcome two new babies to their pod,” Kitsap Sun, 2 Oct. 2020, Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/10/02/two-new-orca-calves-born-in-september/3594744001/
— Associated Press, “Another baby orca born to endangered southern residents,” Seattle Times, 27 Sep. 2020, Print, 5A.
Good news for salmon
Good news for salmon; causeway between Marrowstone and Indian Islands is gone. The causeway has been removed and replaced by a girder bridge; now, salmon can easily navigate to 2,300 acres of prime habitat.
— Josh Farley, “New channel restores flow at Indian Island, Kitsap Sun, 3 Oct. 2020, Print, 1A and 6A.
— Josh Farley, “Goodbye isthmus, hello salmon: new bridge, channel restores flow at Kilisut Harbor,” Kitsap Sun, 2 Oct. 2020, Web, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/10/02/new-bridge-channel-restores-flow-indian-and-marrowstone-islands/5884497002/
Good news for trails in Kitsap County
Kitsap, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties are now all member of the Leafline Trails Coalition which will expand and connect off-road access for pedestrians, bikers, and other throughout the central Puget Sound.
— Jessie Darland, “Kitsap part of new Puget Sound trail network,” Kitsap Sun, 2 Oct. 2020, Print, 1A and 10A.
Senator Maria Cantwell is working to save local journalism
— Christian Trejbal, “U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell wants to save local newspapers, The Seattle Times, 1 Nov. 2020 Print, A20; 30 Oct. 2020 Web, https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/u-s-sen-maria-cantwell-wants-to-save-local-newspapers/
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