Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Change in the Climate Towards Climate Change?

The following is the text of a (proposed) climate change resolution that will be discussed and - who knows? - endorsed by the County Commissioners next Tuesday, the 5th. The draft resolution reads thusly:

Proposed resolution for the Clallam County Commissioners relating to addressing the impacts of climate changes on the North Olympic Peninsula


RESOLUTION No. _______, 2016


THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS           finds as follows:

WHEREAS, the North Olympic Peninsula Resource Conservation and Development organization conducted a multi-stakeholder process in 2014-2015 to collect the best available science to assess the vulnerabilities and priorities for climate change preparedness, titled "Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula" and,

WHEREAS, local vulnerabilities were identified by representatives from Clallam County, cities within the County, civic and non-governmental organizations, economic interests, individual citizens, and recognized experts and,

WHEREAS, the report identified a number of vulnerabilities that, if not addressed, would likely result in serious hardships, costs, and adverse health effects to the County’s citizens and,

WHEREAS, proactive planning is much more effective and less costly than reacting to impacts as they happen, and 

WHEREAS, recognizing and addressing such vulnerabilities would help the County protect citizens from making costly development mistakes and reduce the County’s exposure to potential litigation, and

WHEREAS, by being proactive, the County would be in a better position to qualify for federal and state assistance for adaptation funds, and

WHEREAS, credible documentation exists to minimize the effort required to address the climate change vulnerabilities projected for Clallam County, and

WHEREAS, Washington state government has published a “Washington State Integrated Climate Change Response Strategy” that lays out a framework that decision-makers can use to help protect Washington’s communities, natural resources and economy from the impacts of climate change, and

WHEREAS, Washington State’s departments (e.g. Commerce, Transportation, Ecology) and cities (e.g. Sequim and Port Angeles) have begun discussing climate change adaptation strategies.


That the departments of Cooperative Extension, Health and Human Services, Public Works, and Parks, Fair and Facilities shall consider the projected climate change impacts and adaptation strategies contained in the report "Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula" and address applicable findings when proposing their 2017 work plans and budgets, and 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Board of County Commissioners strongly urges the Director of Community Development and the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division to consider the projected climate change impacts and adaptation strategies contained in the report "Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula" and to reflect such consideration in their 2017 budgets and work plans, including incorporation of pertinent findings into the County’s Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

Passed and adopted this ____________ day of ______________


So, any thoughts on the content of the resolution? Is it something that you think is "actionable"? As in, will it really cause changes in the County's policies, purchasing, permitting and other behaviors? Does it have teeth, or is it a little gummy? And if it does happen to pass - if - will it be unanimous, or will there be a Commissioner saying nay?

Finally, please do note those wiggle words near the end: "County Commissioners strongly urges..."


  1. I was involved with this, a while back. Interestingly, much of what we did in the various workshops disappeared, and the whole report was highly sanitized. Expected impacts were toned down or eliminated, and the language "government-ized".

    Having said that, any recognition at this point is better than nothing at all.

    Let's put this another way.

    The other day the radio was going on about the Orca pod in the Strait, and the number of baby Orcas that have been born over the couple years. The story was originally about how, out of the 10 born, 2 had died, 7 were males, and one is a female. Not good for expanding the pod, obviously.

    In the conversation, the scientist made reference to a study just being released about pregnant Orcas, and how many pregnancies are not carried to birth. Why?

    Because the mother Orcas are starving. Not enough food to nourish the fetus.

    Look out over the vast stretches of water, and think: There are not enough fish out there to keep 80 or so Orcas fed.

    Are there big problems, right out there in front of us? You bet. What is being done about them? Next to nothing.

    1. Next to nothing is a great description of this resolution.

    2. I think you could say that a big part of the problem is that there are people who aren't willing to admit there's a problem. And, from where I sit, I don't see this resolution changing any hearts or minds in Clallam County, no matter how urgent the "urging."

  2. Commishes only "urge" the Director of Community Development and the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division? Why those 2 departments out of the whole damn county?

  3. I "strongly urge" people to be extremely skeptical of this feel-good, toothless resolution. It's a itty bitty bone tossed to the environmental community in the hopes of making them think the county is "doing something."

    They're not.

  4. The warming climate has already expanded the grape varieties that will thrive here. Good can also happen.

    1. I'm sure there would be others to say this, but...I can't help myself: You are an idiot.

      An idiot.

      Climate change threatens to wipe out coastal cities, change the habits and habitat of the majority of living species on this planet, destabilize weather patterns and growing seasons for the WORLD, displace tens of millions of people (you know, those darned refugees), all of which will drive extinctions, conflicts and outright war on a massive scale...And you're HAPPY because there are (for the time being) a few more grapes nearby???

      "Good can also happen." I mean, really? Because there might - might - be some fleeting, localized pleasantries among all the chaos, confusion and conflict, we should just, you know, embrace the positive side of what is likely to be A GLOBALLY DESTABILIZING AND CIVILIZATION SHAKING CATASTROPHE? Really? I guess Stage 4 cancer is really just a good excuse to, you know, catch up on your pleasure reading. Right?

      Wow. Sorry to go all negative on you, but really...You are clearly qualified to be on the Port Angeles City Council. Hell, you might BE on the Port Angeles City Council. Is that you, Pat?

    2. Settle down CK, it's just another paid troll.
      But then you're right, isn't that what we have at city hall?

    3. CK you do understand that change happens with or without mans influence. From dinosaurs to the ice age and back.

    4. Yes, and YOU DO understand that you're being totally disingenuous to say that. A huge, crushing majority of climate scientists agree that the actions of humans are driving (literally) and accelerating climate change. You KNOW that. You might not acknowledge it, but you DO know it. Our actions have taken the leisurely stroll of natural climate change and super-charged it into a sprint. As you KNOW.

      I will side with the scientists on this one, rather than a lone troll who likes grapes. Those who deny climate change - and our role in it - are Flat Earthers. Too scared to admit the truth, so they cling to lies. Pathetic. Traitors to their own species, and to their own future.

    5. Anon 2:22 Yes, and as we know, asteroids fall on the earth without human assistance, too.

      But it is insane to equate the massive transformation of ecosystems all over the globe (you think Seattle/Vancouver/New York/La etc, etc look anything like they did 200 years ago ?), and the massive amounts of fossil energy released into the earths atmosphere in the last 100 years alone, compares with any "normal cycle" in the past.

      Sure, there were cycles, and the earth warmed and cooled. Over tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands and millions of years. Not 100.

      Only 100 years ago, the skies used to be filled with birds. 60 years ago, there were canneries all over this area, but now there are no fish.

      But, hey, grapes might grow here, so, everything is okay.

    6. This geologic epoch has been dubbed the Anthropocene for our handiwork. When our numbers will swell from 9 billion to 11 billion humans on earth, why not seriously consider birth reduction measures at the top of the list? No money it that.

    7. As we have so decimated virtually every habitat, and killed off most non-human life on earth larger than an ant, I don't believe we have any chance of surviving another 100 ears.

      But, no one wants to look at what we have actually have done. We look at each part in isolation, in faux astonishment (if we notice at all), and say " Oh, look at the honey bees, they're in trouble. Oh, look at the Tigers, there are only a few left. Oh, look at the Passenger Pigeon, there are none left". But few look at the overview, and see it is everywhere, and we are the cause of it all.

      And, we don't stop anything. We destroy more vast amounts of habitat every day. We develop thousands more chemicals every year to dump into the environment. We kill off any life form we feel uncomfortable or threatened by.

      Care? Some do. Most just turn the channel because they don't want to hear about it. It is all about money. What the Kardashians did today.You know, the important things.

    8. Anonymous 9:26 AM: All the things you point out are so true. That's why I am childless by choice. It's a moral choice, and a political choice (or statement).

    9. I applaud you, what you do, and your moral choice.

      The air-headed business-as-usual attitudes we see around us every day, sadden me. It could have been different.

  5. Agenda item for commissioners work session Monday, not action item Tuesday.
    May be placed on future agenda. If it passes requires ("shall") at least lip service to climate change for most departments, tho leaving out community development doesn't make sense given they are handing out the permits to build in future inundation areas, setting standards for storm water runoff, etc.

  6. I wonder if they'll have the guts to change certain zoning densities - look at the drought we had last summer - it doesn't always happen but those new to the area seem to be surprised when they purchase property and then have water restrictions placed on them. Neither the County nor Realtor told them they were in a known area where there could be water restrictions.

    1. The realtors should be sure to tell them about the local grapes!

  7. It's these kinds of "leaders" who will take us all down with them.
    Folks better be asking the new candidates some hard questions.

  8. I'm sure that Mike Chapman is grateful to Bob Lynette and his other low expectation enablers who made this BS resolution happen. I'm sure that Chapman will try to use it to burnish his non-existent "green" credentials in the next election, what with him running as a Democrat this time around.

    But, as others have asked, where are the teeth? Why use "urge" instead of "shall"? And most importantly, where is the funding? A couple of departments can "consider" all they want, but without dedicated, directed funding, it's beyond meaningless.

    But that's the state of progressive politics in Clallam County. No one expects actual progress. Everyone is satisfied with empty words and meaningless gestures. And we keep rewarding the elected losers who disappoint us time and time again.

  9. My question is...of those commissioners signing off on this, how many of them will have their fingers crossed while doing so?

  10. Just checking your editing. Grape production=idiot, great anthropological leap=no comment.

    1. Ummm, what am I not getting with this comment? Where is the "great anthropological leap"? Into oblivion?

    2. I wondered that as well, but...

  11. A dumb question from an outsider: why are there only 3 commissioners for a county the size of Clallam?

  12. I'll stay on the light and sunny side redolent in the knowledge that even having this discussion at the commissioner level is causing Clallam county GOP leadership heads to explode.

  13. 8:32, in WA it's three per county by state law (RCW 36.32.010), unless/until the county reaches 300,000 population (RCW 36.32.055), when they may expand to five. Personally, after a lifetime of watching, I do not expect more of them to get more done.

  14. There was a significant advance in human cognition and culture from 75,000 years ago (The Great Leap Forward), leading to the African exodus of 60,000 years ago. The question is “Why?”

    With the onset of a new Ice Age some 80,000 years ago, our relatively settled life on the African savannah was forced to change. By 70,000 years ago it was getting downright nippy in the northern hemisphere. Great sheets of ice were bearing down on what would later be Seattle and New York. In Africa a 10-degree Celsius drop in the average world temperature, as well as the fallout from the eruption of a super-volcano in Sumatra, brought extensive drought to the interior, forcing early humans to coastal regions where they could survive on seafood. Genetic evidence, however, suggests that they nonetheless suffered a massive decline in population at this time – dwindling to as few as 2000 individuals. Homo sapiens was literally on the brink of extinction. The upside was that, in adapting to these new and difficult conditions, our species also became a whole lot smarter. A possible plus to the impending warming?

    1. I'm allowing this comment in the hope that your last sentence is meant as sarcasm.