Thursday, December 27, 2018

Carbonfish Blues Published with 78 Poems by Scott T. Starbuck, and 12 Artworks by Guy Denning

I and English artist Guy Denning have a new book from Fomite Press in Vermont combining 78 of my climate change poems with 12 of his works of activism, refugees, human vulnerability, and realism known throughout Europe. The book is available at,,,, (Russia, Ukraine, South Korea, Hong Kong, Turkey), or can be ordered by your local bookseller. Art has always been the global language. The Kindle price is $4.99. Denning made cover art, and three works in the book are pasted below. Thanks to ASLE for posting five poems from my book, promotion in San Diego Reader, and to Amsterdam Quarterly for the review.

I'm grateful for permission to use intro quotes by Dahr Jamail, winner of the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, and author of The End of Ice (The New Press, 2019), and Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of The Water
Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World (Little, Brown and Company, 2017), noted by Annie Proulx in The Guardian as one of "the best books to understand climate change." 

Jamail's words, taken from “Sixth Mass Extinction Ushers In Record-Breaking
Wildfires and Heat,”, August 20, 2018, are "I’ve spoken to prestigious scientists both on and off the record who believe that sooner rather than later, global population will be reduced to around 1 billion humans."

Goodell's words, from his above book, are "Fish will school in classrooms. Oysters will grow on submerged light poles."

My book is about this war planetary life is losing to oil companies, and an appeal to all to help reverse this while we can. The text reports local and global scenes of climate breakdown most affecting the silenced least responsible. Thomas Jefferson's warning about injustice of slavery resonates in the book's words and images: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” Join my friends with "organic carrot cupcakes / and Dry-Erase pens" fighting big oil and imagining "The night before the stone in his forehead, Goliath had a terrible dream." 

I'm also grateful for kind words from Sandra Alcosser, "Kairos, sudden insight, gifts Scott T. Starbuck's poems with lightning-quick vision." and Craig Santos Perez, "Carbonfish Blues explores today's urgent environmental issues with soulfulness, humor, irony, and wisdom. Throughout, Scott Starbuck speaks in a profound human voice imploring us to listen closely to the Earth for guidance, to act conscientiously of our connection to all things, and to sing our common heritage of light." 

In a related essay, my “Manifesto from Poet on a Dying Planet” is online at Split Rock Review

More of Guy Denning's art can be seen at 

I enjoyed the book launch May 11, 2019, at Broken Anchor's event in Meraki Cafe in San Diego.  About 30 people attended, among them many fine poets.

If you like our book, please ask your local or university library to order it. Thanks to the following libraries for adding our book, or sending notice they will add it: Cornell University Library (Ithaca, NY), UC San Diego Library, W.E.B. Du Bois Library at University of Massachusetts Amherst, Washington State University at Vancouver Campus Library, San Diego State University Library, University of Arizona Libraries, Multnomah County Library, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District, and Jackson County Public Library (Oregon).

Requiem # 2 (for the now forgotten), Oil on Canvas, 2009
Watching, Just WatchingConte, Pastel and Gouache on Canvas,7 9/10 × 9 4/5 in; 20 × 25 cm, 2017

Until after the dusts of a million suns, Oil on Canvas, 27 x 41 cm, 2014

Monday, December 24, 2018

A Secret Fishing Spot on the Oregon Coast

Yesterday I remembered Slim Bracken, lifelong logger and one of my best fishing buds who died recently after falling off his bike.  Slim was one of those rare anglers who combined great jokes, local knowledge, and uncommon generosity giving me "first casts" through new water. Last year, at age 79, he drove Suz "on a quiet ride through the hills" over 100 miles an hour which made her scream like a banshee.  Another time he took me on a cliff edge to his secret fishing spot high above rapids where one wrong step meant instant death. "You're not afraid of heights, are you?" he laughed.

"You go ahead," I said.  "I'll try that shallow spot upriver in case one makes it past you."

Slim did not share my concerns about climate change, but he helped me balance those concerns.

I thought of him yesterday at another secret spot. "How's your wife?" asked one angler.

"She drowned netting a big salmon for me on the Columbia," said the second. "But I got the fish!"  That was pure Slim, one of the finest spoon anglers Oregon produced, or ever will.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

With Joy and Sadness I Write This . . .

Joy: Northwest Fishing Reports published my latest article, "The Slide Technique," and between now and April 30 I should catch another 20 to 30 steelhead if it's a normal year.  After that is spring chinook season, my favorite fish and time of year.

Sadness: Bob Lackey, Professor of Fisheries at Oregon State University, emailed me a few days ago: “In a 100 years wild salmon runs south of Canada will be reduced to remnant runs.”

This is why I spend time fishing, and as an activist.  It's worth repeating the title of my piece in The Columbian June 25, 2016, "Letter: We must become climate activists."  The first sentence is "By now it’s obvious, saving climate from catastrophe means saving salmon [and steelhead] from catastrophe."

Yesterday in class, one of my students said Mt. St. Helens could erupt soon taking out part of the western U. S. "You think that's bad?" I asked, "What's worse is how it could destroy my salmon and steelhead rivers!"  A fishing student smiled, but others looked like maybe it was time to call the crosswalk guard to get me under control.

I greatly enjoyed the film Low & Clear tonight, mainly because of how Alex "Xenie" Hall reminded me of some of my best fishing buddies, alive and still at it, or gone to where there is no closed season, and no limit.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Guardian: "'Our leaders are like children,' school strike founder tells climate summit"

July 27, 2019 updated video below (first video).

July 10, 2019, I updated this story here.

June 24, 2019 Update: 60 Minutes posted a longer video of the story The climate change lawsuit that could stop the U.S. government from supporting fossil fuels.

January 2, 2019 Update: UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT Finds in Favor of Trump Administration Against Children's Trust Climate Lawsuit "in certifying the case for interlocutory appeal, noting that it did 'not make this decision lightly.'"  The Juliana v. United States No. 18-80176 filing continues, "FRIEDLAND, Circuit Judge, dissenting: 'I think the district court’s statements prevent us from permitting this appeal.'"

There is an excellent article in today's The Guardian about 15-year-old Greta Thunberg's solo school strike in Sweden joined by "20,000 students around the world [and spreading] to at least 270 towns and cities in countries [ . . . ] including Australia, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the US and Japan."  The article quotes her "I will not beg the world leaders to care for our future. I will instead let them know change is coming whether they like it or not.”

Thunberg continued, "Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago. We have to understand what the older generation has dealt to us, what mess they have created that we have to clean up and live with. We have to make our voices heard.”

The article notes Thunberg is a descendant "of Svante Arrhenius, the Nobel-prize-winning scientist who in 1896 first calculated the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide emissions." World leaders at the The UN climate change summit meeting for two weeks in Katowice, Poland, would be wise to listen.

According to The Guardian, Thunberg, who met on Monday with UN Secretary General António Guterres, had her words complemented by presenter Sir David Attenborough:“the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Attenborough told "delegates of almost 200 nations," "Right now we are facing a manmade disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change."

In a related matter, many around the globe are waiting to hear if the Children’s Trust Climate Lawsuit,  Juliana v. US, that was set to begin in Eugene, Oregon, October 29, 2018, will be allowed to proceed.  As a reminder, in July the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Juliana v. US going forward. In October, 10 days before the trial, "Chief Justice John Roberts signed an order freezing the trial." In November, Robert Barnes and Brady Dennis reported in The Washingon Post "the Supreme Court on Friday night refused to halt [the . . .] lawsuit." However, the Supreme Court decision did not block a lower court from considering the U. S. government's request to stop the trial. Sophie Yeo of the Pacific Standard reported on November 27, 2018, "Although a permanent stay was subsequently denied, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit then granted another stay, in response to another government request, and, as of November 21st, was deciding whether the case would go to trial."

The U. S. Supreme Court sounds like a confused child while 15-year-old Thunberg sounds clear and confident.

Thanks to visitors this week from United States, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Portugal, Bangladesh, Canada, and South Korea, and recent visitors from Colombia, Cambodia, Austria, Brazil, and Australia.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

"Born Was the Mountain" by Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder in Emergence Magazine

This morning I read one of my favorite articles about Hawai'i which is also a podcast. It reminded me of when I worked for Greenpeace, and helped San Carlos Apache fight telescopes from being placed on Mt. Graham in Arizona. Here is an epigraph from a poem I wrote about it "Later, when I ask Corbally if he would want to baptize aliens, the painful conflict of the interventionist duties of the Jesuit versus the detached objectivity of the scientist is visible. Corbally knots his legs into rope and wraps both his arms behind his head. His soft voice almost disappears. I must lean forward to hear him murmur that, yes, he would try to baptize them." The part that isn't in my poem is the next sentence in the article "But Corbally adds dolefully, 'I would first want to examine the theological data of their beliefs.'"

My poem "The Tale of Lucifer, an Old Man, and The University of Arizona and Vatican Telescopes on Mt. Graham" notes:

I recall how my fellow Greenpeacers howled with laughter when Tucson Bishop / Moreno allegedly wondered how to baptize outerspace aliens if the new telescope discovered any. / "If they live on planets without war, and where everyone is fed, they should baptize us," I offered.

My poem ends:

Over 20 years ago, on a drive through San Carlos Apache Nation, an old man offered me his house so that I could live with him. “You won’t learn about us with books or videos,” he said,
“but only by walking with us in these mountains.”  I continued to Mt. Graham then back home

because I had papers to grade, and classes to teach, without much time to contemplate gaps between / knowledge and ignorance, patience and force, spirit and money, life and Lucifer, clean water and coal, / respect and desecration, health and uranium, sustainability and oil, people and policy, blood and gold, / song and silence, and what in our time and place remains wholly real, partially real, barely real, and just / plain bureaucratic illusion.

Here are memorable excerpts from Chelsea Steinauer-Scudder's article about Hawai'i:

"Hawai’ian intelligence, Paul says, is from the na’u, the stomach. Technology has its place, but there are other, more reliable ways of knowing and being; the mind is only a database. Na’u is felt, intuited, learned over time through interaction with the surrounding world. It is about coming to understand the signs around you and aligning your practices and lifestyle accordingly. Development on Mauna Kea, for Paul, is symptomatic of placing too much emphasis on the intellect, forgetting to be in a felt, reciprocal relationship with what is around us. In this sense, astronomy is part of the same mindset that led to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1893. 'You come here, you steal my country, you ban my language, you tell me my church, my religion, is not worth a piece of shit, you put a flag up on a pole and call me yours,' Paul says. 'See, when you’re on that side—when you’re on the telescopes’ side—you don’t know the abuse, because you’re not feeling the abuse. They’ll even say, 'Oh, we agree Mauna Kea is sacred.' Really? Can you please tell me what your interpretation of sacred is? What does sacred mean?”

“'You need to become the place, not expect the place to bow down and become you,' says Lanakila. 'You fit into the natural cycles of the place, you fit into the flow of that land. The land, the way the river moves, the way the wind blows, the trees that grow there, the animals that live there: they are what makes that place alive. Aloha is to love. Aloha is alo he alo, face to face, to know the ha, the breath of life … to recognize individuality, but in individuality, understand connection and responsibility…. It’s not that we don’t know how. We all know how. All of our ancestors, from all walks of life, from every corner of this planet—they knew how.'”

"KEALOHA PISCIOTTA is in the middle of a thought when an eerie, mournful sound fills the room. She apologizes. 'That’s my phone. It’s the lonely whale.' The 52-hertz whale is an unidentified species of whale that sings at an unusual frequency. Kealoha made his song her ringtone. 'I’m not sure what’s happening with him, but I want him to know that we hear him.'" [This sadly reminded me of President Trump's recent decision "to allow seismic blasting harmful to marine creatures."]

"The Kumulipo tells the story of the unfolding of creation, eons of time in which life came into being. 'It’s showing how all things exist and derive from that darkness, from the ocean and from the first coral polyp, or uku, on down to every complex mammal, and then humans. And so nearly everything—every plant and animal—was created before man. It sets up the dynamics of our Creator and the regenerative gods and goddesses that propagate throughout the world along with man…. Mauna Kea represents that po, the entrance way.'"

"Hawai’ians and scientists alike have marveled at the parallels between the Kumulipo and the theories of the Big Bang and evolution. In both cosmologies, everything begins in an infinite darkness with the potential for astounding energy. Much later, life on earth slowly emerges from the depths of the sea."

"Many have argued that the Kumulipo is evidence for the coexistence of astronomy and Hawai’ian culture on Mauna Kea. Kealoha sees it differently." [ . . . . ]

"For Kealoha and the other hui, the telescopes on Mauna Kea have come to represent progress and modernity again overstepping their bounds, trespassing into places they should not go, and asserting rights over something that does not belong to them or to any human being. '[It’s] the machine clanging, attempting to drown out that song of creation … [the] battle going on between the songs of modernity, trying to suppress the very ancient, older songs of our creation and of our reverence for—and the joyousness of honoring—creation.'"

* Excerpts are used with permission.

Steinauer-Scudder's article also reminds me of a challenge from a professor long ago about whether I would save van Gogh's The Starry Night or old woman in a burning museum, and I could only save one.  Many bureaucrats would waste precious time searching for a direction manual while soulful people would save the woman. In other words, in the eyes of the Creator, the way we treat each other is more important than human creation.

Friday, November 30, 2018

"Thousands of [Australian] students join climate protest"

Here is a related short poem from my forthcoming book Carbonfish Blues:


into nameless moonfish
inside their mothers,

into students
of students,

into birds
saving skies

flying places

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, Masters of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy (MAS CSP) Early Consideration Deadline is January 8, 2019

Corey J. Gabriel, Ph.D., J.D., the Program's Executive Director, wrote "Basically, we are training students to have a strong grounding in both policy and climate science to then go into local, state and national climate policy (and energy, environment al etc.) positions and actually understand all of the important things happening, both on the science side and the politics/policy side.  This is challenging to do, the topic is large and complex.  That means that we really need exceptionally strong students, with both quantitative backgrounds and some experience in policy or the corporate world, who can then take the job of, for example, implementing a climate action plan, but do so knowing how to interpret the science of sea level rise uncertainty and also be able to understand why getting more electric cars on the road is so important and what the best policy to do that may be.  To transform society, we need professionals who can understand the whole problem and then identify the best solutions."

"The key component of this degree is the Capstone project (mini thesis).  Examples of Capstones within the last year include a new county by county climate change scenario dependent west nile virus vulnerability map for the California Department of Health and creating and implementing a new Climate Change Studies Minor at UCSD."

Friday, November 23, 2018

The Guardian: "Climate change 'will inflict substantial damages on US lives'"

It's like we're on a ship headed for a bleached coral reef, and scientists and activists are unable to persuade captains to change course to avoid major impact that will increase suffering beyond what these captains, and publics they serve, can imagine.  Today's issue of The Guardian has an article by Oliver Milman noting "'without significant reductions, annual average global temperatures could increase by 9F (5C) or more by the end of this century,' a previously released chapter [of the US National Climate Assessment] states." As a reminder, the recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report noted "Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (>99%) at 2°C (very high confidence)."

Jen Christensen and Michael Nedelman at reported "Climate change will shrink US economy and kill thousands, government report warns."

Robinson Meyer wrote at "A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday."

Similarly, Bill McKibben has an excellent article in the November 26 issue of The New Yorker, "HOW EXTREME WEATHER IS SHRINKING THE PLANET," noting "The [recent IPCC] report did not mention that, in Paris, countries’ initial pledges would cut emissions only enough to limit warming to 3.5 degrees Celsius (about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, a scale and pace of change so profound as to call into question whether our current societies could survive it. [. . . .] The extra heat that we trap near the planet every day is equivalent to the heat from four hundred thousand bombs the size of the one that was dropped on Hiroshima. [. . . .]  Alex Steffen, an environmental writer, coined the term 'predatory delay' to describe 'the blocking or slowing of needed change, in order to make money off unsustainable, unjust systems in the meantime.' The behavior of the oil companies, which have pulled off perhaps the most consequential deception in mankind’s history, is a prime example."

Violence is not acceptable, but neither is public apathy.  As Asimov said in a Bill Moyers' Interview, "A little [effort] is better than nothing. [. . . .] I have to say I can’t wait until everyone in the world is rational, just until enough are rational to make a difference."

Friday, November 16, 2018

Yale Climate Connections: "How do I break bad news about climate change?"

Many of my friends and colleagues wish I read this article long ago.  As with climate solutions, better late than never.  In last night's Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminar, I used this Soylent Green film scene "Sol Goes Home" with the poetry prompt "Letter to the Future."  In other words, some solutions are better than others.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Bill McKibben: "At least five people burned to death in their cars trying to flee CA [Camp Fire] inferno."

Bill McKibben's Twitter page offers some of the best climate updates. Today I saw his update about California's Butte County Fire now known as the Camp Fire. As a reminder, this climate is from carbon dumped in the air about 30 years ago, and we've dumped in much more since then. Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine your loved one burned to death in a car because he or she could have been.

The linked article noted "The blaze — fueled by bone-dry humidity and winds topping 50 mph — exploded from nearly 1,000 acres to over 10,000 acres in a matter of a few hours Thursday and completely overwhelmed Paradise — a town of about 30,000 residents. [par break] Homes burst into flames, fast-food restaurants, markets, businesses and gas stations were reduced to ash and the community’s hospital was turned into rubble."

In other business, the Children's Trust Climate Lawsuit is "on hold" again.

6:41 p.m. Update: "At Least 9 Dead In Butte County Fire; 6,500 Homes Lost, 90,000 Acres Burned"

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Defeat of Washington Initiative 1631 (Carbon Tax)

At least when Titanic hit the iceberg, lifeboats left about half full. With "a handful of oil companies, including BP, Chevron, and Koch Industries," according to Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic, spending nearly "$31 million" to kill Initiative 1631, lifeboats this time are all being destroyed on our watch. I'm still meeting people who believe "We haven't hit an iceberg.  We can keep on as usual.  Our boat is fine." I don't know what planet they inhabit, but it's not this one. As Pubali said in his sutras thousands of years ago, "Wake the fuck up!"

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Washington Post: "Supreme Court refuses to block young people’s climate lawsuit against U.S. government"

Robert Barnes and Brady Dennis reported in The Washingon Post "the Supreme Court on Friday night refused to halt a novel lawsuit filed by young Americans that attempts to force the federal government to take action on climate change, turning down a request from the Trump administration to stop it [10 days] before trial."

The article quoted Julia Olson, the youth's attorney, “We have overcome everything the government has thrown at us. It is not luck. It is the strength of the case and the strength of the evidence and the strength of the legal arguments we are making.” 

I said a prayer driving over the Chehalis River again in Washington this would happen.  The article continued "Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil M. Gorsuch would have stopped the suit. The other justices did not indicate how they voted on the government’s request."

Monday, October 29, 2018

TASS Reports Russian Scientists Found "Massive" New Arctic Methane Emissions

TASS, noted by Wiki as "the largest Russian news agency and one of the largest news agencies worldwide," reported today newly discovered increase in Arctic methane emissions "may affect the planet’s climate system." According to the Ministry of Education and Science, "Russian scientists have found a new big area in the East Arctic’s seas with big emissions of greenhouse gases. [ . . . ] They also saw that emissions in earlier found areas had become more active."

Click here to see why this is important, and here.

Thoughts, prayers, truth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

After Saying "Yes," U. S. Supreme Court Says Maybe No to Children’s Trust Climate Lawsuit 10 Days Before Trial

I recall driving near Chehalis, WA, thinking Juliana v. US was Earth's last best chance. 
The lawsuit, Juliana v. US, set to begin in Eugene, Oregon, October 29, 2018, may, or may not, happen.  According to Phuong Le, of the Associated Press, "Chief Justice John Roberts signed an order freezing the trial." 

In July, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the children's lawsuit going forward, as the Court noted requests by President Obama and President Trump to have the case tossed were "premature."  

Jack Moran, of The Register-Guard, wrote "Although the government has repeatedly sought to get the case thrown out — arguing, among other points, that climate policy should not be decided by the courts — one of its lawyers said at a previous hearing that the government recognizes climate change is a serious, man-made problem."  What government?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Hipcamp -- A Letter to Congress, Wallace Stegner, 1960

Now, if you're not fighting for it globally, you're not fighting for it locally.  Support

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Trump, Putin, and Muller Speak on Climate

My response? See the video below.

Prayer, Meditation, Rice

Last year, it was Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; damaged islands of Barbuda and Puerto Rico; fires in California, British Columbia, Oregon, Montana, Sibera, Greece, Sweden, Portugal, and Spain; and millions enduring floods in Bangladesh (widely reported as 1/3 underwater), Peru, Nepal, India, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Canada, Iran, Norway, England, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand,  Vietnam,  Zimbabwe, and other places. 

This year, so far, it's Lane, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Florence, Leslie, and Michael with maximum winds of 155 mph, California and other major fires again, and more feared in October or November.

Climate scientists note these heat-enhanced conditions are from carbon and other greenhouse gases poured by humans in the air about 30 years ago, and we've poured in much more since then.  Eventually, probably sooner rather than later, pillars of economic, food, water, housing, family security will be severely eroded, or gone, depending on where and how one lives.  It looks like the billion or so coral reef fishers are out of luck, according to scientists, as heat gets 2 degrees Celcius above 1750 (pre-industrial) levels. The New York Times reported October 7, "Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040," but reporting for the last 10 years, at least, has strongly underestimated speed, scope, and magnitude of damage. It's like a doctor telling a patient "You have a scratch on your leg, but some antbiotics could work." then, "Sorry, but we must amputate." then "Uh, do you have a legal will?"

Since many of my readers live in countries where the grain crop failed or may soon fail, I will give practical advice, and a story.  My advice, if you can afford it, is to get oxygen-free rice which allegedly can be stored for 20+ years as a sort of insurance policy.  You can give it to a food bank if, by some magic or miracle, world leaders have a change of heart and take real steps. You may also want to order an opener and BPA-free strainer. 

My story is from a Whidbey Island friend. He mentioned in Cambodia a monk was told by the teacher this monk, and others,  would travel to a refugee camp.  The younger monks protested, "We don't have food or medicine to help," they said.  "What is the point?"

The teacher said they were going anyway so they walked about three days in silence to the camp.  Upon arrival, the teacher sat in the middle of the camp, and began chanting "Om."  Soon, the entire camp was chanting "Om."  That was the gift he brought, and it was a much-needed gift.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Another Poem & Image from Hoffman Center in Manzanita, Oregon

Thanks to fellow fisher / writer Cameron Pierce and artist Barbara Temple Ayres for allowing me to post their work above.  I saw their broadside at The Word and Image Show at The Hoffman Center in Manzanita, Oregon, when I had work there as I noted below. The free exhibit will be on display throughout the month of October 2018 during the gallery’s regular hours — 1 to 4 p.m.,  Friday through Sunday.  Congrats to Pierce on his new book Live Bait.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Word & Image Show At Hoffman Center in Manzanita, Oregon

Last night I enjoyed reading at The Word and Image Show at The Hoffman Center in Manzanita, Oregon. I was one of twelve writers paired with twelve artists to respond to each other's work, meaning two poems and two images.  I'm grateful I worked with Karen LaGrave Small whose painting The Fear Fly is above. The free exhibit will remain on display throughout the month of October 2018 during the gallery’s regular hours — 1 to 4 p.m.,  Friday through Sunday. Here was my writer's statement:

"In the landscape of human experience fear and love seem to be universal, and many times in that order.  Love seems to be the older, wiser force. In conversation with the artist, and meditation on the image, that was the journey of my poetic response. A Grandfather Time figure in the Vancouver, WA coffee shop where I am writing this just said 'The light could go out for any of us any time, which makes worry unimportant.'"

Regarding Oregon opportunities, I am also grateful to PLAYA for interviewing me on their blog Edge Effects.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hope in the Blast Zone

I just returned from Blue River Writers Gathering sponsored by the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University. The Gathering was at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest near McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. I was glad to attend workshops by Oregon Poet Laureate Kim Stafford, Jourdan Keith, Kathleen Dean Moore, and spawning spring chinook. A major theme was hope, or lack of hope, or how to work without any hope of carbon / methane reductions to stop near-term immense planetary suffering for all species. I was grateful Nancy Cook of Astoria tried to put together a raft trip for the two of us down the McKenzie River.  Maybe that will happen at the next Gathering two years from now. The film Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin by Arwen Curry was memorable.

Afterwards, my wife and I drove into Mt. St. Helens blast zone so we could hike, enjoy fall colors, and write poems.  I recalled Tim Fox speaking about Jerry Franklin "who was one of the first scientists to enter the Mt. St. Helens blast zone following the 1980 eruption. He and his colleagues had anticipated a barren wasteland, they predicted, would last for centuries. Instead, he was greeted by a fireweed sprout poking up green through the gray ash. His response was to cry out in delight 'We were wrong!'"  Similarly, it would be great for The Guardian to be wrong about a possible "150 million 'climate refugees' by 2050."

At the Gathering, Jerry Martien's insight stayed with me about the movement to spirit taking place in the climate activist community, along with Tim Fox's words about gratitude for even life's hardest challenges, and Tom Titus' essay about landing a huge fall chinook that broke his line, but he caught anyway.  It was good to meet artist Ian Boyden, and learn about his work in China. I enjoyed hearing about Mary DeMocker's new book The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution. Two years ago, at the previous Gathering, she asked me to write a poem titled "How We Stopped Corporate Psychopaths from Cooking Planet Earth."

I was encouraged by other insights, writings, readings, nature walks, and activist works of believers and atheist-humanists.  Below is a poem I wrote for a student while hiking in St. Helens blast zone.

For a Student Fighting Depression

Each day I don't kill myself
is an adventure like today's September green
in St. Helen's blast zone

or fall chinook fishing
under a flame of maples that heals
instead of burns.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

"Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings," and The Yes Men

Today at The Guardian Benjamin Franta wrote in an article "Shell and Exxon's secret 1980s climate change warnings," "Looking on the bright side, [Shell] expressed its confidence that 'this problem is not as significant to mankind as a nuclear holocaust or world famine.' [par break]  The documents make for frightening reading. And the effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Shell’s report, marked 'confidential,' was first disclosed by a Dutch news organization earlier this year. Exxon’s study was not intended for external distribution, either; it was leaked in 2015. [par break] Nor did the companies ever take responsibility for their products. In Shell’s study, the firm argued that the 'main burden' of addressing climate change rests not with the energy industry, but with governments and consumers. That argument might have made sense if oil executives, including those from Exxon and Shell, had not later lied about climate change and actively prevented governments from enacting clean-energy policies."

I enjoyed The Yes Men's parody of Shell below, as well as their entire film. Some may think comedy is inappropriate given the serious nature of abrupt climate change.  I am reminded of Thomas Merton's words in "Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander" republished in the last issue of The Analog Sea Review, AN OFFLINE JOURNAL I mentioned below."

Monday, September 17, 2018

"Make joy no matter what."

I took a break from climate posts so my nephew Kaige and I could fish off Mexico. In two trips we caught bluefin, yellowfin, and yellowtail. I recalled my poem about Bukowski, "make joy / no matter what." However, when eating tuna, follow "U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) test results for mercury and fish, and the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) determination of safe mercury levels."

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ocean Heat, CO2, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Hurricane Florence, and North Carolina / Florida Climate Politics

"Ocean heat content (OHC) and CO2 concentration measurements since 1950s. The black line represents ocean heating for the upper 2000 meters of ocean, and light red shading represents the 95 percent confidence interval. CO2 concentration observed in Mauna Loa Observatory is displayed by light blue." Thanks to Lijing Cheng of the INSTITUTE OF ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS, CHINESE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, for use of this graphic and caption. 
Click for 9/14/18 update by James Griffiths at "Super Typhoon Mangkhut slams into the Philippines, strongest storm this year" with "maximum sustained winds of 270 kilometers per hour (165 mph), with gusts as high as 325 kilometers per hour (200 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane [. . . . putting] millions [ . . .] at risk from rising flood waters and landslides." Here is a video from Straits Times.

Click for 9/14/18 update from Matt Fidler at The Guardian: "East coast battered by Hurricane Florence – in pictures." 

Click for 9:50 PM ET 9/11/18 update from Holly Yan at "These 4 reasons make Hurricane Florence extremely dangerous."

The above graphic shows rise in "ocean heat content" from 1950s to present follows rise in CO2. Most scientists agree warmer oceans produce stronger hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate ("so destructive," according to Angela Fritz of The Washington Post, "their names have been retired."), and Florence now moving toward North Carolina. To clarify, I wrote on this blog September 21, 2017, "scientists note [ . . .]  climate change influences hurricane damage in three ways: 1) sea-level rise means higher storm surges are possible; 2) increased moisture produces higher floods; and 3) storm intensity increases from added heat energy."

Hurricane Florence, according to Emery P. Dalesio at, "could hit with punch not seen in more than 60 years." It is widely reported to be about the size of North Carolina when it hits Friday morning with winds expected somewhere between 120mph and 140 mph along with storm surges, heavy rains, and flooding.

Various news media reported a million people received mandatory evacuation orders near coasts of Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Bill McKibben twittered today "It's rude to say it at the moment, I guess, but perhaps worth remembering that the North Carolina legislature literally banned using the latest science on sea level rise for coastal planning."

This reminds me of how Florida Governor Rick Scott "nickeled, dimed, slashed and ignored Florida’s environmental protections for almost eight years" then claimed, according to Froma Harrop of The Seattle Times, no responsibility for Florida's extreme red tide this year or "Fertilizer pollution from sugar farms, citrus groves, and ranches [which] feeds the ['freshwater blue-green slime'] algae" even though "When there is conflict over this, Scott habitually sides with the biggest polluters."

Similarly, regarding Florida Governor Rick Scott, the headline of a Washington Post article by Terrence McCoy on March 10, 2015, was "Fla. scientist told to remove words ‘climate change’ from study on climate change." I like what poet William Stafford wrote in 1982 in his poem “Reading the Big Weather,” “'Republicans / Control Congress'—the year spins on unheeding. / [ . . . . ] This earth we are riding keeps trying to tell us / something with its continuous scripture of leaves." UC Berkeley poet John Shoptaw wrote "ecopoetry, whatever else it is, must include ecoprophecy," and Stafford's poem seems to fit.

As I noted in a post March 24, 2018, "the climate effects now are from emissions about 10 to 30 years ago, and we have poured in much more carbon since then. We can expect conditions to get worse until long after this problem is solved." Thoughts, prayers, and nonviolent climate action for people of the Philippines, North Carolina, nearby areas, and everywhere.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Rising for Orca & Climate Justice, and Save the Salish Sea Event on Sept. 15, 2018

In a related matter, click this article from The Spokesman-Review by Eli Francovich noting "'The orcas are going to die if we don’t breach the [Snake River] dams,' said Chiara Rose, a student at Western Washington University in Bellingham. 'They are very dependent on this specific ecosystem [supplying Snake River salmon orcas need.]'” The article also quoted "staunch conservative and former marine" Bill Chetwood who "remembers watching salmon streaming below his boat. He remembers a riparian area that cut through the dry and high desert hills winding all the way to the Columbia River. [par break] Chetwood, 88, is a lifelong resident of the Lewiston area. He is one of the few who can recall the Snake River before four dams slowed the river’s water.[par break] He wants all that back."

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Sept. 8, 2018, Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice in Portland, Oregon, and THE RELUCTANT RADICAL Film Sept. 12, 7 p.m. in Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum

Yesterday I attended 350PDX's Climate, Jobs and Justice event at Glenhaven City Park in Portland, Oregon.  Highlights included an opening prayer by Celilo Falls-born Ed Edmo, a poem from Marshall Islander Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (video below), presentations by Oregon Just Transition Alliance (OJTA), and others. In addition, check out Portland Clean Energy Fund.

The event, according to, was part of the September 8 action "on 7 continents, in 95 countries, with 900+ actions, [where] people worldwide demanded real climate action from their local leaders."

I was glad to meet Lindsey Grayzel, whose film about Ken Ward, THE RELUCTANT RADICAL (trailer below), will be shown Wed., Sept. 12, 7 p.m. in Whitsell Auditorium, Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., in Portland, Oregon. More about the film is here.  I wrote about Ken Ward, and his fellow Valve Turners, at San Diego Free Press in an article linked at San Diego 350, and The Spring Creek Project Blog at Oregon State University.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Mass Hypnosis of United States' Policy Regarding Climate Change

The Atlantic and other publications noted in 2017 the United States is the only country on Earth opposing the Paris Climate Agreement. The Atlantic reported "195 other countries have already signed on." As I wrote below, the Climate Agreement didn't go far enough, and was only a start.

Many colleagues, friends, neighbors, and students don't want to talk about it.  These two videos are for them.  As I heard a Canadian say to his friend in a bad relationship, "Look around!" People, colleges, businesses, corporations, especially politicians, in the U.S. are caught in a mass hypnosis of denial. Watch these to see what I mean:

Thanks to visitors this week from United States, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Unknown Region (?), Germany, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, Australia, and Canada.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Jeff Goodell at Rolling Stone: "The Melting Arctic Is a Real-Time Horror Story — Why Doesn’t Anyone Care?"

Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone contributing editor and author of The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World, has an excellent article about specific challenges with Arctic melt you won't hear in many mainstream news sources.  Goodell's August 29, 2018 article notes: "The thawing of the Arctic is one of the biggest stories of our time, even if it is playing out at a pace and in a way that virtually guarantees most people will pay little or no attention to it [ . . . . ] To oversimplify this only slightly, you could argue that this summer’s historic wildfires in California were predicted by heat in the Arctic [ . . . ] Last winter, temperatures in the Arctic were 45 degrees Fahrenheit above normal [ . . . . ]  In our rapidly changing world, no place is too distant or too far away to matter. Like it or not, we are all in this together."

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Titanic Earth Sinks While Tom Perez and the DNC Help Sink It

August 28, 2018, Lukas Ross, an opinion contributor at, reported,"Just two months ago, the DNC voted unanimously to refuse donations from political action committees, or PACs, run by fossil fuel corporations [ . . . .] The August resolution is a half-clever twisting of words that uses fossil fuel workers as props to justify continuing to take corporate cash. It guarantees that money from Democrats who happen to work in the industry will always be welcome, whether the contributions come 'individually or through their unions' or employers' political action committees.'”

Justin Worland on August 14, 2018, at had a similar response: "At the heart of the conflict are the two million plus jobs in the oil, gas and coal industries that could disappear as the world moves to clean energy sources. Many of those positions pay six-figure salaries and offer benefits that exceed comparable positions in other fields [ . . . . ] '[Labor groups'] future self interest lies in getting on board,' says Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency that deals with labor issues. 'There are no jobs on a dead planet.'" reported August 23, 2018, "'It’s deeply disappointing to see the DNC resist the growing momentum within the party for bold climate action,' said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350 Action. 'This political u-turn is bizarrely out of touch with the hundreds of candidates and elected officials committing to sever financial ties with Big Oil. It’s past time for Democratic leadership to step up and put their constituents ahead of fossil fuel interests. We need support for policies that move us toward a 100% renewable energy economy and lift up community-led solutions to climate change now.'"

Thanks to blog visitors this week from the United States, Ukraine, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, and Portugal.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Schellnhuber: "Rising Seas Could Affect 1.4 Billion People by 2060"

Schellnhuber: "Were not talking about a million people seeking refuge from Syria. We talk about hundreds of millions of people who will have to be displaced on this planet.  How will we do it? [ . . . . ] Planet Passport for Climate Refugees? Global Green Card? [ . . . .] Think about what will happen with two meter sea level rise. These [island] nations will be gone. They will be homeless actually. [ . . . ] Now, there are two ways. You could say 'Top down, you will just relocate those people. Give them money to move to California or Switzerland.' That will not happen. [ . . .] Or [ . . .] empower these people. Give them the freedom of mobility. [ . . . .] Why not [create] a climate passport [or Nansen passport 'to enter at least about 50 countries']? [ . . .] Give them to all those people who can not live anymore in their original [places] which gives them access to all the countries who destroyed their home like the United States. [ . . .] I'm serious about it."  I recently saw Ai Weiwei's Human Flow (trailer below), and recalled words of Walt Whitman watching sad faces of slaves auctioned in New Orleans in 1848, "That could be me."

Saturday, August 25, 2018

"In Germany we should focus everything on the phase out of coal." -- Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

This May 4th, 2018 discussion is clear-thinking, revealing, and wise.  Here are some memorable parts:

1) clear-thinking: "In Germany we should focus everything on the phase out of coal";

2) revealing: "It's all about agency, about who could turn this crisis into a solution. [ . . . .] The CEO of Shell once told me 'The climate problem is real but it is completely intractable. You can not solve it. So, let's get rich quick before the world ends, huh?'";

2) wise: "Of course we need disruptive change in order to still save the climate [ . . . .] What about if we would have an immersive communication technology where you would be beamed into this village [. . . in India where people were dying in a dust storm] immediately and you would see children dying and so on. [ . . .] It's terrible to even think about it but couldn't we turn into something like a collective subject which feels the pain of the Earth everywhere, and the pain of our fellow human beings everywhere, and in every instant?"

Recent Monthly Average Mauna Loa CO2 (Stop adding major carbon releases now.)

July 2018:    408.71 ppm
July 2017:    407.07 ppm

For updates, click here.  This is simple.  As CO2 rises, the heat-trapping blanket over Earth thickens, and traps more heat. I don't think humans have a collective "death wish," so nonviolent political action is needed., as the name says, wants this number at 350 ppm, or lower. is sponsoring a September 8, 2018, global RISE FOR CLIMATE.  What have I done?  Everything here, and more.

August 20, 2018, Update from Dahr Jamail: "I’ve spoken to prestigious scientists both on and off the record who believe that sooner rather than later, global population will be reduced to around 1 billion humans." (at

Sunday, August 19, 2018

SOURCE TO SEA: The Columbia River Swim by Christopher Swain

Tonight I watched this excellent 2006 film about ancient and recent Columbia River History, and Christopher Swain's "13 month swim down it's 1243 mile length" to alert the public to the need to remove dams, clean up Hanford Nuclear Site, and preserve the river, and salmon, for future people.  This film should be required in all Pacific Northwest high schools.

Here is a quote, "Immediately upon the salmon's return, alcoholism and suicide rates among teenage Umatilla tribal members began to drop. The beating heart of Umatilla culture had returned."  Swain, and others, argue for removal of The Dalles Dam to bring back Celilo Falls.  I'll repost my poem about Celilo below, and a Timeline video below that.  It was interesting to hear the voice of Jim Martin in SOURCE TO SEA which I recognized from my salmon activist days in Newport and Depoe Bay, Oregon, about 30 years ago.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Hurricanes in San Diego? Maybe Says SCRIPPS Researcher Art Miller

The Analog Sea Review -- AN OFFLINE JOURNAL

I was enjoying this new journal so much, I recently took it instead of my laptop to the coffee shop. It's the best literary journal I've read in years, maybe ever, and I've read hundreds from 13 countries. I read it from cover to cover.

The  excerpt "They Would Always Touch the Earth" by Trebbe Johnson, "Persistience of Memory" by Carl Sagan, interview / work by filmmaker Patrick Shen ( In Pursuit of Silence trailer below), and "From the Editor" note by Jonathan Simons elevated the journal to the top of my morning list. I'm grateful to have a poem in this inaugural issue alongside work by Mary Oliver, Leonard Cohen, Thomas Merton,  E. M. Forster, Antonio Machado, and others. South Korean-born German author and philosopher Byung-Chul Han's essay "Vita Contemplativa" will spark thinking in my Honors Climate Change Poetry Seminars.  Han wrote, "Thinking, in the emphatic sense, cannot be accelerated at will. That is where it differs from calculating or from the pure use of the understanding. It often moves in roundabout ways [ . . . .] Calculating does not look around either. For it, a detour or a step back do not make sense." As Leonard Cohen said, "Amen."

I like the editors' idea of sending people offline as a healthy balance in our increasingly techno-lives. The journal is carried in bookstores in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and here in the United States so even though it's offline, it gets noticed.  You can write to get one at the Austin, TX or Freiburg, Germany addresses below, or find one in these bookstores:

Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore
413 Main Street
Middletown, CT 06457

Kramerbooks & Afterwords
1517 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

Potter’s House
1658 Columbia Road NW
Washington, DC 20009

Amherst Books
8 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002

Brookline Booksmith
279 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Grolier Poetry Bookshop
6 Plympton Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Porter Square Books
25 White Street
Cambridge, MA 02140

Milkweed Books
1011 Washington Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Square Books
160 Courthouse Square
Oxford, MS 38655

RiverRun Bookstore
32 Daniel Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Buffalo Street Books
215 N. Cayuga St
Ithaca, NY 14850

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012

Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry
1820 Coventry Road
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Burke’s Book Store
936 South Cooper Street
Memphis, TN 38104

603 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78703

I left a copy in the office of my amazing healer / chiropractor Dr Nao at Holistic Family Care in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Editor / Publisher Jonathan Simons wrote "You are welcome also to include our Austin mailing address and to invite your readers to send us a letter should they want us to post to them a copy of our current bulletin."

Analog Sea
PO Box 11670
Austin, TX 78711
United States

Analog Sea
Basler Strasse 115
79115 Freiburg

Friday, August 17, 2018

Bigger Trouble Now: "Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene" Published by National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Click here for a 3-minute video about the report.

Click here for the report.

Click here for Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell's article about this.

Click here for The Guardian article about this.

Part of the abstract notes "We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a 'Hothouse Earth' pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. [ . . . .] Collective human action is required [ . . . ]  Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values."

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS)' Website notes the organization "is a private, non-profit society of distinguished scholars. Established by an Act of Congress, signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. Scientists are elected by their peers to membership in the NAS for outstanding contributions to research. The NAS is committed to furthering science in America, and its members are active contributors to the international scientific community. Nearly 500 members of the NAS have won Nobel Prizes, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, founded in 1914, is today one of the premier international journals publishing the results of original research." 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Trouble Now

This Spiraling Salmon by Jim Demetro is on Salmon Run Bell Tower in Vancouver, WA. 
I hope future kids don't ask "What's that?"

This morning, passing my wife, I said, "I almost forgot the most important thing!" She puckered up for a kiss, but I stepped by and grabbed my fishing rod.  If climate change doesn't get me, maybe that will.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Oxford Climate Physicist Raymond Pierrehumbert Calls Scientists' "Hail Mary" Idea "Barking Mad"

Read Joel Achenbach's August 8, 2018, Washington Post article here. Excerpts include:
"[Pierrehumbert added] It’s just a lunatic idea to think [use of 'sunlight-blocking aerosols']
is a good thing to have in our portfolio of responses to global warming [ . . . . ] If there is a sudden termination, then it’s like being hit by a heat wave without having made the adaptations.”

Other quotes from the article include: "To replenish the supply of sunlight-blocking aerosols, future generations would have to be fully committed to the project without interruption. Otherwise the planet's temperature would spike virtually overnight."

"The technology doesn't even exist yet. Planes that spew sulfur dioxide exist only in PowerPoint presentations."

"It might be done with a large fleet of planes flying at something like 70,000 feet. The fuel in the planes could be modified to burn a high percentage of sulfur, though the planes would probably use special furnaces to burn sulfur and spew it into the air, Pierrehumbert said."

"A better idea, said Alan Robock, a climate scientist at Rutgers University, is to stop pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. [par break] 'We all know the solution to global warming is — stop using the atmosphere as a sewer for our greenhouse gases,' he said."

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Three Reasons to Fight Climate Breakdown: Wife, Rivers, Fish. What Are Yours?

Thanks to visitors this month from United States, Russia, Germany, Portugal, Ukraine, France, South Korea, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Romania.

Friday, August 3, 2018

My Reply to Nathaniel Rich's NYT Magazine Article "Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change"

Sometimes, the best reply is an 11 minute film:

Text by Derrick Jensen, Film by Jore

Nathaniel Rich quotes: "crimes against humanity" and "moral vision of industry . . . [is] obviously sociopathic"