(Several months of headlines and other notes)
Humanity’s greatest challenges . . . and what’s needed:
1. Climate Crisis . . . Climate Action
2. Biodiversity Loss . . . Habitat, Clean Environment, Species Preservation
2023-02-26 Washington State’s Carbon-Pricing Program kicks in.
Isabella Breda, “Paying to Pollute,” Seattle Times, 26 Feb. 2023, Print, A1 & A10-11, Who in Washington State will need to pay to pollute?
2023-02-23 A system in which we have to choose between old trees or the community firetruck.
Isabella Breda, “WA auctions off more ‘old’ forest in $2.8 million sale,” Seattle Times, 23 Feb. 2023, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/wa-auctions-off-more-old-forest-in-2-8-million-sale/
2023-02-15 David Wallace-Wells, “Europe Turned an Energy Crisis Into a Green Energy Sprint,” The New York Times, 15 Feb. 2023, Europe Turned an Energy Crisis Into a Green Energy Sprint
2023-01-27 Batteries for Boats
Ferries connect the Puget Sound’s cities, so for our ferries—that must be powerful and reliable—to go electric is a good step in the many steps needed for us to transform away from fossil fuels. Washington State is transforming, as related in this press release.
“In September during a trade mission to the Nordic counties, Gov. Jay Inslee sailed through Norwegian fjords aboard an all-electric ferry powered by a Corvus Energy battery. On Monday, the governor cut the ribbon on a new facility in Bellingham where Corvus Energy will manufacture batteries for the American market.
“Corvus Energy’s Orca Energy battery can power a variety of vessels, including electric ferries that will soon operate in the Puget Sound. The first American-made all-electric tugboat is also soon to debut, powered by the Orca Energy system.”
⸺ source: Gov. Inslee Press Update <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 27 Jan. 2023.
Youth Climate and Conservation Rally
January 13th in Olympia, WA
[MRM note: It’s about climate action, renewable energy, dams, salmon, and orcas.]
⸺ source: WYORCA’s announcement at https://saveourwildsalmon.salsalabs.org/YouthRallyOlympiaJan13/index.html (accessed 7 Jan. 2023).
Two new climate laws take effect in Washington State in 2023
The Climate Commitment Act took effect Jan. 1, beginning Washington state’s journey to slash emissions 95% by 2050. The law stifles pollution while simultaneously funding clean transportation and assistance to overburdened communities. This budget cycle will be the first to benefit from CCA revenues.
The state’s Clean Fuel Standard also took effect Jan. 1. The law will curb carbon pollution from transportation, which is the largest source of statewide greenhouse gas emissions.
⸺ source: Gov. Inslee Press Updates newsletter, 6 Jan. 2023.
The following is from Gov. Jay Inslee’s “2022 in Review”:
“Action for the planet
“The Legislature approved an array of bills to modernize and promote clean transit and transportation options and clean buildings. Other bills were signed to protect salmon, advance clean manufacturing, and site clean energy infrastructure.
“President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August. The legislation represented the federal government’s most significant action on climate change to date, with important federal investments in clean energy and transportation to put the U.S. on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 40 percent by 2030.
“‘These long-sought measures, part of the single largest investment to address climate change in American history, should rightfully encourage both our state and the federal governments to take further necessary steps,’ said Inslee.
“Inslee joined world leaders in Egypt for the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP27), an annual international gathering to advance climate action. At this year’s summit, Inslee touted the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as crucial for supercharging state efforts to act on climate.
“In September, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deemed that the four lower Snake River dams must be breached to save native salmon and steelhead. Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray launched a joint federal-state process to determine that state and federal governments should implement a plan to replace the dams’ energy generation, irrigation, and transportation benefits to enable breaching to move forward.”
— source: Mike Lindblom, “Sound Transit gets $600M cash advance for 2 light-rail projects,” The Seattle Times, 28 Dec. 2022, light-rail for the Seattle area
MRM note: Creating an effective and easy-to-use mass transit system of trains, trolleys, and buses for traveling between and within big cities in the United States, as exists in northern Europe, is climate action.
Puget Sound SOS Act
— source: The following is from Rep. Derek Kilmer’s 26 Dec. 2022 newsletter:
“Puget SOS Act
“As folks may recall, the representative from our neighboring district (Marilyn Strickland) and I introduced the PUGET SOS Act to enhance the federal government’s role in the restoration and recovery of Puget Sound. The Sound is our region’s most iconic body of water, where generations of friends and neighbors have built their lives and made their livelihoods. But if future generations are going to enjoy those same opportunities, we must act.
“I’m excited to report that this bill was recently signed into law by President Biden (as part of a larger piece of legislation). I’ve been fighting since day one to make the federal government a better partner in Puget Sound recovery. Together, with Rep. Strickland, the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, and our partners throughout the region, we got this done to restore salmon and orca populations, ensure future generations can dig for clams, uphold tribal treaty rights, and so much more.
“The bill will establish a Puget Sound Recovery National Program Office at the Environmental Protection Agency to coordinate protection and restoration efforts of the nation’s largest estuary by volume.
“I’m also excited to report that the government spending bill that passed the House on Friday includes a record $54 million for cleaning up Puget Sound. This is a huge step in the right direction, and I am proud to have helped lead the charge on this effort.”
2022-12-25 Some of the Washington State officials who’ve benefited our environment
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz: effective management of the Dept. of Natural Resources: response to wildfires, accelerated forest restoration, built community resilience.
Outgoing state Senator Reuven Carlyle, who “was the architect of the 2021 Climate Commitment Act, which established a cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.”
⸺ editorial, the newspaper’s view, “Puget Sounders who brighten our community,” The Seattle Times, 25 Dec. 2022, D1.
2022-12-19 Saving Life on Earth
Catrin Einhorn, “Nearly Every Country Signs On to a Sweeping Deal to Protect Nature,” The New York Times, 19 Dec. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/19/climate/biodiversity-cop15-montreal-30×30.html?
(see my comments at
2022-12-17 Raymond Zhong, “For Planet Earth, This Might Be the Start of a New Age,” The New York Times, 17 Dec. 2022, the Anthropocene
Scientists are deciding if our time will be labeled the Anthropocene. In his article, Zhong surveys the labeling discussion (and its significance) and gives us a trip through epochs, periods, eras, and eons.
2022-12-15 Michael Grunwald, “No One Wants to Say ‘Put Down That Burger,’ but We Really Should,” The New York Times, 15 Dec. 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/15/opinion/food-diets-meat-biodiverstiy-cop15.html
Grunwald spotlights the inedible elephant in the COP15 room (the gathering by Earth’s delegates to try to stop Earth’s mass extinction): a huge reason why we’re in the midst of a mass extinction is that humans have converted half of Earth’s habitable land (which was habitat for species) into agricultural land to grow food for us. Unfortunately, the elephant is receiving scarce mention in Montreal.
2022-12-13 Gregory Scruggs, “Campaign to expand Olympic wilderness nears finish line after 15 years,” The Seattle Times, 13 Dec. 2022, https://www.seattletimes.com/life/outdoors/after-15-years-campaign-to-expand-olympic-wilderness-nears-finish-line/
At a time when we must preserve habitat to save us and other species, the Wild Olympics Initiative is one measure that could preserve some of the most precious. Senators Cantwell and Murray of Washington State could make it happen. To see more about the Wild Olympics campaign, please go to https://www.wildolympics.org
2022-12-10 Washington State–doing climate action,
as seen by this email today from the Washington Environmental Council.
“Last week marked a major milestone in Washington’s transition to cleaner transportation: adoption of the final rules for the Clean Fuels Program! Thanks to advocacy by public health advocates, elected leaders, and environmental champions — like you! — the Department of Ecology has decided to require a 20% total reduction in the carbon intensity of gasoline and diesel by 2034. This is the fastest possible timeline allowed under the law.
“Now the program is set to begin January 1st, 2023, and will help eliminate millions of tons of climate pollution from cars and trucks on the road.”
“The Clean Fuels Program will also fund clean transportation investments — including public and multimodal transportation, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, grid capacity, expanding low- and moderate-income customer access to zero emissions transportation, and more.”