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Posts tagged "washington"


Landslide! Home swallowed, more at risk

A man barely escaped his home before it tumbled down a hill in a landslide in Washington state.

NBC’s Miguel Almaguer has the dramatic video on TODAY.

Beach erosion, rain, geology, and poor city planning conspired to this accident. We will be hearing a lot more of these stories as the coasts get chewed away by rising seas. (Whidbey Island is very beautiful, by the way. My exes’ mother lived in the oldest house in Coupeville for several years. Great salmon fishing, too.).

Surprise of the year so far. It’ll be interesting to see how enviros will react if/when the national GOP moves towards similar legislation. 

Inslee climate change bill passes state Senate

OLYMPIA — The Republican-controlled state Senate on Wednesday passed legislation aimed at developing ways to reduce state greenhouse-gas emissions, and meet targets set by the Legislature in 2008.

Senate Bill 5802 passed by a vote of 37 to 12. The legislation, requested by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, creates a work group that’s supposed to come up with recommendations by the end of the year.

A similar bill was introduced in the House, but Democratic leaders are expected to work with the version that passed the Senate.

Inslee and his staff actively lobbied for the bill and the governor testified at committee hearings in the House and Senate. The measure that passed the Senate removed language talking about problems associated with climate change.

“I really want to take the religion out of carbon and I want to take a good hard look at how we can most effectively meet those goals” set in 2008, said Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, speaking in favor of the bill. Ericksen is chairman of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee.

Via Seattle Times



Photo credit: iStockphoto

In April 2012, Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray made a statement that caught many people’s attention: he wants the District to be “fossil-free” by 2030.

Does it sound a little crazy? Maybe. But when it comes to U.S. cities that take sustainability seriously and are putting the infrastructure in place to make such a vision a reality, you really can’t beat Washington.

Read More

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wolf pack that killed cattle taken out by sharpshooters

Sharpshooters taking aim from a helicopter shot dead six gray wolves this week, wrapping up Washington state’s strategy of killing off the pack because it had become accustomed to eating cattle.

"It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made both professionally as well as personally," Phil Anderson, director of Washington’s Department of Fish & Wildlife, told NBC station on Thursday after the last wolf, the alpha male, was shot dead. "Going out and killing wildlife is not what this agency is all about."


Lone house survives wildfires near Cle Elum, WA.

(via inothernews)

"The Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility, located in Central Washington, is Puget Sound Energy’s second wind-powered electric generation facility. Wholly owned by PSE, Wild Horse has the capacity to generate up to 273 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Construction began in October 2005, and was completed in December 2006, with a 22-turbine, 44 MW expansion completed in 2009. According to the American Wind Energy Association, one megawatt of wind power capacity is equal to the electricity needs of 225 to 300 average U.S. homes."


Wild Horse wind turbines at sunrise by Puget Sound Energy.

"Climate change is happening. And not preparing for it could cost the state $10 billion a year by 2020.

That’s according to the Department of Ecology, which has just released a response strategy to changing climate conditions.

Extreme weather events, destructive wildfires, severe droughts and declining water supplies– these are the new realities of climate change. 

Ted Sturdevant, Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology, says after years of endless and politicized discussion on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there’s been a shift. The state has realized it’s time for new strategies.”



The effect of climate change on Washington State could be $10 BILLION per year.

They finally did it. I lived in Seattle for 5 years during the early ’00s. A gem of a city. But the viaduct was forever controversial. It blocked access to Puget Sound, was rotting and rusting away, caused innumerable accidents and pain, and was generally a nasty piece of infrastructure. Now it’s finally down, and I cannot think of a better tribute than the above…


“Oh Viaduct, you’re out of luck, we put you up, we let you down” @geoffmeggs Infrastructure sing-along… 

An ode to Seattle’s viaduct by Braniel (though could be Vancouver?)

"For 98 years, the 125-foot high Condit Dam in southeastern Washington State held back the White Salmon River, creating a serene lake, but choking off the waterway to salmon. Wednesday, in an historic effort, the dam was dramatically breached, and ecologists hope the increased flow of water will restore the waterway to fish and other aquatic organisms, as well as the birds and mammals that rely on them.

The dam removal comes just weeks after dismantling began on the Elwha Dam a few hours to the north. Demolition of the Condit occured with a bang, compared to the virtual whimper of the Elwha. At that site, downstream from Olympic National Park, engineers are dismantling the two dams slowly, in a process that’s expected to take three years. They say a quicker removal would endanger the area due to the higher amount of silt in the lake.

Silt is still readily apparent in the dramatic video above, both in the darkly colored water rushing from underneath the conrete and in the fast-emptying lake.

To capture the action in the above video, Andy Maser of Maser Films set up several cameras, starting in July. He plans on documenting the changes in the basin in the ensuing months. Maser used a combination of still and video recording, compiled on his computer after he was able to retreive the data from his cameras.”

Source: National Geographic

The largest dam removal project in U.S. history will reopen more than 70 miles of pristine spawning and rearing habitat in the Elwha River and its tributaries. Salmon populations are predicted to swell from 3,000 to nearly 400,000 as all five species of Pacific salmon return to one of the Pacific Northwest’s most productive salmon streams.

- Senate GOP splits on axing ethanol subsidy 
- Bachmann: Hit EPA regulations with ‘mother of all repeal bills’ 
- Four more Republicans abandon Pickens natural-gas bill 
- Boehner says changes are coming for ethanol 
- Republican: Nuclear regulator should resign 
- House Republicans train their fire on top nuclear regulator 
- Durbin: More ethanol votes likely 
- Reid plans more ethanol votes next week 
- Senate keeps $6B in subsidies, but 34 GOP side with Coburn 
- Former federal officials: EIA budget cuts could result in 'greater price volatility' 
- Mass. Dems bash Sen. Scott Brown on ethanol vote 



Amazing digital reconstruction of the city of Washington, D.C., circa 1814, based on a combination of historical artwork and satellite images. The project is more an imprint of collective memory than an accurate, reliable historical representation. 



Expects 14 inches of sea level rise by 2050, which is faster than previous projections. I’m particularly skeptical of this line:

California is officially bracing for seas to rise 14 inches by 2050, inundating everything up to a foot above high tide.

The author is being a bit disingenuous, confusing his readers. Which policies have been updated or issued that demonstrates California is “officially bracing”? A slew of dire sounding reports doesn’t do much with out actual changes to building and land use regulations. The author goes on to make a list of recommendations, which again, just causes confusion. There’s nothing in his list that’s “official.” Sure, SLR is on the radar of politicians, planners, land owners, etc. But is California doing the following? No. It is not. So, where is the “official” in the article? Such annoying reporting.

  • Enormous water gates could protect bays from storm surges. They already work in places like the Netherlands and Britain.
  • Buildings can be raised on stilts like those that are now common in tropical Australia and are required in New Orleans, or tethered to the earth and saddled to floats.
  • Shorelines may need to be vacated, with buildings toppled and wetlands restored. Some shoreline will evolve and build up in height without help if they are given back to nature.