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 Oregonlive.com 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.