Welcome to the first installment of “Our Changing Climate,” an ongoing series of posts that will focus on climate change in Washington and elsewhere.
I’ll start by pointing you to Ecology’s climate change web portal — you will find a wide range of information here on Ecology and what others in Washington have done and are doing about climate change.
And here’s a link to a good source on climate change issues from all over — the Dot Earth blog by Andrew Revkin of the New York Times.
Now let’s get to some recent news articles...
Ocean acidificationWashington’s lucrative commercial fish and shellfish industry is facing increasing threats from the continuing shift in the acidity of the world’s oceans. This Sightline Daily report looks at the issue. And here is an Ecology fact sheet on the topic in question-and-answer format.
Electric highwaysIt appears the electric car is here to stay, as demand increases and automakers realize such vehicles can help meet mandates for fuel efficiency and emissions limits. Electric cars need somewhere to charge up while they are on the road, so government agencies and private organizations and companies (like Costco and Best Buy) are stepping up efforts to provide the supply.
Here’s a news release from July about plans for a number of charging stations along Interstate 5 and U.S. 2 in Washington.
Coal trainsThe idea of shipping coal from Washington ports to China has stirred a lot of passion. Supporters point to added jobs and economic benefits in the state. Opponents point to a variety of concerns, including increased rail traffic through their communities as the coal is transported via trains.
Another criticism — burning more coal overseas increases the amount of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and negates the progress Washington and other states have made in actually reducing such gases.
The Seattle Times and seattlepi.com columnist Joel Connelly offer their takes on the issue. And here's an Associated Press story that notes Hoquiam could be home to another coal-exporting facility, in addition to proposed terminals at Longview and Whatcom County's Cherry Point.