Monday, May 29, 2017

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's 5 Minute Apr. 26, 2017 Video "Politics of Climate Change [Citizens United]"

Used with permission of Future historians, if there are any, will trace the beginning of the end to Citizens United, a slap in the face of all those we remember this Memorial Day including my grandfather who fought as a U. S. Marine in WWI in the trenches of France. The question remains: Will this country belong to families of those who fought and died for it, or oil companies

Monday, May 15, 2017

Uh-Oh, "Columbia spring run prediction sliced in half" according to

Broken Ritual
One year salmon didn’t return to the river
and men said maybe they got lost
even though in millennia
it had never happened
to an entire run.

Wind rapped the old wood door
saying to anyone listening
"They didn’t get lost.  You did."
(from my book Hawk on Wire)

Today, Bill Monroe at reported "Instead of 160,400 fish to the river's mouth this spring, biologists now predict the run will be closer to 83,000 at the river's mouth. That translates to a much lower 75,000 at Bonneville Dam." (June 21 Update Count: 121, 058 chinook have passed over the dam this spring / summer, and Bonneville noted a "spring chinook" total of 83, 624.)

This is bad news for a guy that grades papers eight months a year so he can salmon fish every day in June. It's worse news for tribes and others depending on salmon for physical and cultural survival. Northern California Yurok Tribe Member Thomas Wilson said in an OPB article about his tribe's lowest-ever allocation of 650 fish, "That’s not enough for us to live. The Yurok people are fishing people. It’s our identity. Without fish we are nothing. We cease to exist."

While some salmon runs appear to be okay, poor ocean conditions, due to warming, meant many salmon runs in the North Pacific crashed in Alaska, Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California. Oregonlive reported poor runs in 1994, and from 1995 to 1999. Regarding the 1994 crash, The National Marine Fisheries Service noted "The natural disasters triggering this resource disaster include an extended period of drought, floods, and warm ocean conditions." Sound familiar?

A writer friend said something like, "So maybe half of Earth's species will go extinct this century due to habitat loss, climate change, and other matters. There will be new conditions to adapt to. Everything changes. Get over it." This is like asking wild apes, bears, and tigers to adapt to zoos. Many don't. They go insane.

Martin Luther King Jr. taught "The nonviolent resister not only refuses to shoot his opponent but he also refuses to hate him." I've been telling myself and others this. That being said, it's vital to recognize the cause of increased climate change, and therefore, the personal action needed.

I read a recent email noting the worst California drought in 1,200 years is over. This was supposed to make people feel better.  The problem is climate change means extreme weather, as in droughts and floods. Get it?  Do what you want, but act from an informed place.  For my Republican friends, here is why Ted Cruz is flat wrong about alleged significance of his satellite data.  The book from The Heartland Institute that your children's science teachers and professors recently received, Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming, has been thoroughly debunked.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

"Run Like Hell" -- Pink Floyd

How it Goes

My wife complains our raft is leaking
and she has ice water up her butt.

“Small price to hook a steelhead,” I say.
Next, my felt hat floats by

then our cooler, and I turn to see
my old Fenwick broke and stuck in sand

like antennas of old TVs
or giant underground bugs.

“Our wedding vows were for ‘Better
or worse, for summer and winter

steelhead, spring and fall chinook,
and the trouts’”  I offer

but red in her blue eyes says I’d better run.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Power of the Red Vest

• TOLES © 2017 The Washington Post. Reprinted with permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL
SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.
I was a marshal at the People's Climate March on April 29 in San Diego which had about 5,000 activists join with 200,000 in Washington, D. C.  A man, looking at my vest, asked what it took to be a marshal. "Intense martial arts training for two years," I joked. I enjoyed how people listened to me so much I plan to wear my red vest teaching "Fix that comma!" and husbanding "We're not doing yard work today. We're going fishing!"  Of course, I'll have to remove my red to not scare the fish.

Reflecting on how we arrived at this climate change point, I thought of the best documentary I had seen in years which has parts many of us have known are true, but never heard voiced: What A Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire (2007) (subtitled). "A Message from the Film Makers (2011): We’ve decided to release the movie for free Internet viewing with the intention of being of service. [ . . . . ] If you value what you see here, please show your appreciation by purchasing a DVD [ . . . ] or making a donation."

Dream of Climate Change Gym 

Expert trainers, all in designer leotards,
say what’s great about this gym is
one honest push-up means you eat
five cupcakes guilt free!
An honest sit-up equals pie of your choice
(except marble fudge requiring two sit-ups).

Everyone smiles as they get fatter and primed
for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, constipation
as the AMA and General Mills rake dollars.
“There is magic,” the manager boasts,
“telling people exactly what they want to hear.”
which I guess is right if “magic” means

recruiting, but wrong too the way climate change
is a Chinese hoax or alternate facts
will pay our Earth-rent.