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Book Review: The Weather Makers

BOOK REVIEW

by Peter Rimbos

ExCom Member, South King County Group

 

The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate & What It Means for Life on Earth

by Tim Flannery, 2005

 

   Mr. Flannery, a fascinating Renaissance man and scientist from “down-under”, offers a very compelling and readable treatise on climate change--its history, science, and potential impacts. He begins by clarifying the simplest of confusions: Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are a class of gasses that can trap heat at Earth’s surface; Global Warming (GW) can result from the extra heat trapped as GHGs increase in the atmosphere; and Climate Change can result from GW placing pressure on Earth’s climate system.

Friend of the Earth, Karen Fant Passes Away

Our memories of her span decades, continents and issues. To her many friends, Karen will be remembered for her passion, dedication and selflessness as she strove to leave the world better than she found it.

Karen Fant, age 57, passed away this summer. To say that she was a dedicated Sierra Club volunteer would be a vast understatement. She often laughed at such associations, when asked to introduce herself at meetings. She belonged to all the conservation groups, and none of them. Her work was above those distinctions, she was simply advocating in every venue possible to protect wilderness, salmon, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and a million unnamed places throughout the world.Karen was one of the founders in 1979 of the Washington Wilderness Coalition and was credited with a major part of the grass-roots work in which Congress enacted the one million-acre 1984 Washington State Wilderness Act. She helped organize the biannual Northwest Wilderness Conference at the Mountaineers. Her passionate affinity for Alaska’s wilderness drove her to help protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and befriend renowned photographer and activist Subankher Banerjee, with whom she organized many events to aid the Arctic fight. She was also dedicated to helping improve the environment in Asia and was a board member of the Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association.For more than 30 years, Karen’s laugh, energy, love of nature, and hard-tack strategizing have taught us over and over again how important it is to organize, organize, organize to make change.

Ted Olson Park to Be Extended -- Funds Need to Be Raised

The Ted Olson park is set to be extended by 5 acres by the Bainbridge island land trust. This non-profit organization needs to raise $275K in order to save this wetland and wildlife area for preservation. Ted Olson was my uncle and donated 10 acres to Bainbridge island for this park that was named after him. Now we are trying to save 5 more precious acres of wildlife.

If you would like to donate please send funds to:

Bainbridge Island Land Trust PO Box 10144 Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Or contact Karen Molinari: (206) 842-1216

South KC Environmental Organizations Launch New Activities Site

The South King County Group has joined seven other local, environmentally-minded organizations in launching a new activities website, which captures in one place the events of environmental and conservation organizations based in south King County.

Besides the South King County Group, the organizations include Friends of Hylebos, Herons Forever, Horses for Clean Water, Lake Wilderness Arboretum, Middle Green River Coalition, Rainier Audubon, and Shadow Lake Bog. The new website's address is http://www.SKCEA.org, which stands for South King County Environmental Activities. Please check it out! Also, please contact the webmaster, Nancy Hertzel at Autumn207@comcast.net, if you know of any other organizations that might like to be included.

Sierra Club Calendars for 2007 Now Available to Order

The Sierra club calendars for 2007 are now available to order. There are beautiful wall calendars and desk engagement calendars. They make great Christmas gifts!

To order, please contact Andrea Olson at the Cascade Chapter office: andrea.olson@sierraclub.org or call (206) 378-0114 X 301. Please tell her how many you would like to order. Checks only.

Cost Escalation Challenges I-90 Project

A recent study by Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) indicates that cost estimates for transportation projects across the state must be raised due to increases in the cost of materials like steel and concrete and fuel for equipment and trucks. New estimates for the I-90 Snoqualmie Pass East project are being developed. This may affect the shape of Phase I, which currently is scheduled to widen the freeway to six lanes between Hyak and Keechelus Dam. WSDOT and the governor will be reviewing the findings and will make recommendations for any changes deemed necessary later this year.

Lame Duck to Decide Lands Funding

National Park & Forest Land Acquisitions Need Funding

Congress will recess for elections before approving the FY07 Interior Appropriations bill, which funds the Forest Service, National Park Service and other federal land management agencies. This means the final decision on land acquisitions will also wait until November or later. Congress adopted a continuing resolution on September 26th that will keep the agencies functioning for two months past the September 30th end of the fiscal year.

The House version of the spending bill had the lowest allocation for conservation land purchases in decades. That bill included only 10 national park projects, including $1.5 million for acquisition of key parcels along the Carbon River in the recently authorized addition to Mt. Rainier National Park. In a similar situation for the Forest Service, $1.0 million was allocated to the Columbia Gorge.

Draining Rivers Is Not the Way to Accommodate Growing Populations

Draining Rivers is Not the Way to Accommodate Growing Populations: 2003 Changes to the Municipal Water Law has Been a Dismal Failure

by

Rebecca Berman Phelps, Chair Cascade Chapter Water and Salmon Committee Rachel Paschal Osborn, Spokane public interest water lawyer

Water is a finite resource owned by the people of Washington and the Tribes. With 25% of Washington’s 62 watersheds already over-allocated, there is already not enough water for people and fish. Washington rivers are filled with endangered and threatened wild salmon, steelhead and other species struggling for their lives because Washington water is mismanaged in violation of the public interest and in violation of the Endangered Species Act which requires the protection of listed species. Washington rivers must be protected and restored, not drained until they become dry riverbeds.

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Noisy Creek Receives New Trail and Drainage Improvements

 On May 13, 2006, 4 volunteers and National Forest Ranger, Otis Allen, did an amazing amount of work to improve the remote and lovely Noisy Creek trail, at the Cascade Chapter's 3rd annual trail work party at this site.

Our volunteer day in the proposed Noisy Eagle wilderness area, east of Baker Lake, started out by meeting up in Sedro-Wooley and then proceeding to the Shannon Creek boat launch. We motored across the lake in the Forest Service boat, with Otis Allen at the helm. The group trekked into the Noisy Creek trailhead about 1/2 a mile from the boat launch, with the tools of our trail building trade. Otis spelled out his goals for the day, and wish list to try and accomplish, given the small size of the volunteer group that day.

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