Sep 19, 2018

Pacific coast USA & Canada: Imperatives for restoring the Salish Sea, wild salmon, and Orca whale populations

image source

There are many imperatives for restoring habitats, migration routes, and prey foods for Chinook and other salmon and Orcas, but it would be logical to first remove four dams on the Lower Snake River immediately.

The following post includes a brief explanation as was put forth by Center for Whale Research Founder and Senior Scientist Ken Balcomb:
https://blog.seattlepi.com/candacewhiting/2018/09/13/missing-southern-resident-killer-whale-j50-declared-dead-shes-gone-but-not-forgotten/ 
"In the United States, the biggest recovery of natural Chinook salmon is possible with dam-breaching of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRD) – the Alternative 4 option in the Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) of 2002 – the legal instrument for their continued operation after options 1-3 have now failed. The dams lose huge amounts of money for the Bonneville Power Authority (BPA) and its rate-payers; they are now obsolete for all of their wished-for purposes; they kill millions of salmon and have driven them to near extinction; and, now we find that they have been largely responsible for the population decline of the Southern Resident killer whales, particularly in the coastal-feeding L pod. In the inland marine waters of Washington State, all of the pods have been negatively impacted by the extinction of once bountiful Chinook salmon runs in the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea."
The original Center for Whale Research press release of 9/13/18 is at: https://www.whaleresearch.com/j50

The Governor of Washington announced 9/17/18 that there is a proposal in the works for an international agreement (or possibly an amendment to a 1995 agreement?) intended to possibly boost salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest. This has to do primarily with lessening allowable takes by humans. It would need to be approved by the USA and Canada:
https://medium.com/wagovernor/agreement-to-boost-salmon-returning-to-pacific-northwest-waters-f78642ce7a66

This 9/5/18 article describes a suit agains the Canadian government re endangered Southern Resident Orca Whales (SRKW):
https://q13fox.com/2018/09/05/environmental-groups-sue-canadian-government-over-endangered-southern-resident-orcas/

I admire The Center for Biological Diversity. The Center said it has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle claiming that the National Marine Fisheries Service has failed to act on the Center's 2014 petition to expand habitat protections for the orcas' foraging and migration areas off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California even though the agency agreed in 2015 that such a move was necessary. 
https://q13fox.com/2018/08/16/group-sues-trump-administration-to-expand-protected-orca-habitat-along-west-coast/

I would encourage those who value salmon and orcas to support the groups that are actively working to speed things along in recovery efforts.




Sep 14, 2018

What We Do and Don’t Know About Florence


----- Forwarded message ----
From: RL Miller <info@climatehawksvote.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 14, 2018, 9:13 AM
Subject: What We Do and Don't Know About Florence
To:

Climate Hawks Vote


Hurricane Florence has made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina. The storm looks like it will stay hovering off the coast of North Carolina, or possibly veer southward along the South Carolina coast, before dissipating. It'll take a few days for the waters to subside enough to assess damage. In the meantime, here are some things that we do and don't know about this hurricane:
  1. We do know that fossil-fueled pollution has made it worse. In the first instance of pre-attribution, scientists have determined that climate change has magnified Florence. Rainfall will be 50 percent greater than without climate change, and the diameter of the storm will be 80 km (about 50 miles) larger than otherwise.
     
  2. We don't know how bad the cleanup will get. The Carolinas are home to thousands of hog farms. Coal ash isn't well regulated. The area has hundreds of Superfund sites. We won't know until the floodwaters subside just how toxic the waters got.
     
  3. We do know that while American media is fixated on Florence, on the other side of the world, Typhoon Mangkhut has wreaked havoc on the island of Guam and the breadbasket of the Philippine Islands, Luzon. This part of the Pacific is no stranger to big typhoons but Mangkhut is particularly intense.
     
  4. We don't know how many more storms the Gulf and Atlantic will face. Already brewing in the Atlantic, with unknown paths, are Isaac, Helene, and Joyce. (Gordon dissipated before causing much damage.)
     
  5. We do know — we're absolutely sure — that we're going to keep fighting against the fossil fuel billionaires whose casual byproducts create storms on steroids. Now is the time for courage. Next week, after the floodwaters recede and damage is assessed, we'll work with you and frontline groups in the Carolinas to steer donations where most needed.
     
Your fellow climate hawk,

RL Miller
References
"Here's How Climate Change Put Florence on Steroids," Buzzfeed
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/peteraldhous/hurricane-florence-climate-change
"Super Typhoon Mangkhut Is the Strongest Storm on Earth This Year," Earther
https://earther.gizmodo.com/super-typhoon-mangkhut-is-the-strongest-storm-on-earth-1829056710
"The Atlantic Ocean is Packed With Storms. What's Going On?" Mashable
https://mashable.com/article/atlantic-ocean-filled-with-storms-hurricane-florence/#uzNcHEsBrgqN
If you want to support the important work of Climate Hawks Vote, please consider contributing here.

Sep 3, 2018

World: Global Day of Action September 8th | Bill McKibben

What Can I Do?

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Bill McKibben, The Sanders Institute <info@sandersinstitute.com>
Date: Wed, Aug 15, 2018, 6:45 AM
Subject: What Can I Do?
To: 

Every day, people ask me - what can I do to fight climate change?

Sanders Institute

liz,
Every day, people ask me – what can I do to fight climate change? There are many actions that each one of us can take now and throughout our lives, from bicycling to work to installing solar power. But the biggest thing that anyone can do to fight climate change is to become a little less of an individual.
Individually, we can reduce each of our carbon footprints slightly. Individually, we can use less electricity and not rely on fossil fuels… But together, we can save the planet.
Together, we can make governments, institutions, and corporations divest from fossil fuel. Together, we can elect candidates who vow to keep carbon in the ground. And together, we can use our collective voice to move our local communities, states, and nation to 100% renewable energy.

Be a part of the movement. Please join me at the Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice global day of action this September 8th. You can find an event near you at riseforclimate.org.
In Solidarity,
Bill McKibben
Sanders Institute Founding Fellow
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