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Mon Jun 01, 2015 at 10:58 AM PDT


by WisePiper

Reposted from WisePiper by N in Seattle Editor's Note: An inspiring diary that leaves us in tears. A tribute to the good sense of the people of Washington (and Oregon and Vermont). Here's hoping that WisePiper's last 8 weeks here on the GOS (oh, and on this planet too) are fulfilling, exciting, thoughtful, joyous, tearful, and ultimately peaceful. -- N in Seattle

but not just yet.

As a very few of you know, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer in late 2012 and treated with radiation in 2013. The treatment appeared to have beaten the disease into remission, and I was hopeful I'd be around another few years.

Well, it was discovered last month that the cancer has come back with a vengeance, and it's now Stage 4. The consensus of my treating physicians is that I have 4 - 6 months left on this mortal coil.

I've been posting at the GOS since 2005. I'd like to think some of you will miss my commentary here. (I ask those of you who won't miss it to please keep that to yourselves - in the context of this diary, hearing that would be a total bummer.)

So, I'm writing this post this morning to let you all know that I will not have just disappeared from the site for no reason, and I want to make clear, for the record, despite strong differences with many of you about what it will take to get our Democratic party back on track, I greatly value this community. We are a group of people intensely committed to making this country work better for all its residents. We are a group that strives to find ways to share the pie, not hoard it just for our political, religious and sociological BFFs.

Now, please follow me below the metastasized hair follicle for the balance of this diary...


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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Please stop in on Sunday 6/7/15 at 3:30 PDT for the launch of the Washington State Open Thread series. -- John Crapper

This last Saturday, May 30th a special group of people got together once again to eat, drink and share.  As usual it was relaxing, fun and informative.  Here are a couple of pictures of one end of the table.  The other end (the ones taking the pictures), failed to take a shot of themselves (Larisa, John Crapper's SO and Gemina13)

In attendance:

1. John Crapper
2. John Crapper's SO
3. bleeding blue
4. LarisaW
5. momomia
6. doing business as
7. Gemina13
8. TBone Apollo

The numbers were down a little due to conflicts people had revolving mainly around end of school, graduation and prom issues.  

Besides the free-flowing discussions taking place around the table constantly we managed to conduct some formal business too.  

As it turned out our scheduled guest, Yoram Bauman from CarbonWA, was unable to join us due to circumstances beyond his control.  Not to be dissuaded, however,  we still discussed CarbonWA's  revenue neutral Initiative 732 that would put a tax on carbon emissions while reducing taxes by an equal amount.  Initiative canvassing packets were passed out to all interested

Next we discussed at length the upcoming launch of our new Washington State Open Thread series slated for this coming Sunday, June 7th posting at 3:30 pm PDT.  The series will serve as a wonderful way for us all to virtually meet up and better connect, unite and act!  So mark your calendars and pop in this coming Sunday to say hi and be a part of the inaugural launch!  

Eventually, with enough consistent participation from Washington Kossacks and beyond we're aiming to attract our local leaders to post and then chat afterwards with us in comments.  

Already the posting schedule is booked through mid July.  

I always enjoy myself immensely at our meet ups.  Nothing better than sipping a beer or glass of wine and sharing with kindred spirits.  But the time that elapses between them is just too long a period.  Our Washington State Open Thread will correct that going forward.

And make no mistake, Seattle & Puget Sound Kos is moving forward in a determined and progressive manner in a number of ways. Our open thread series will make it easy and fruitful to share all of them.  

Our group is the hub of a wheel with spokes emanating from that hub. A place where people can share their reasons for being part of Daily KOS. A place where people can inform others of their activist efforts so like-minded individuals can connect. A place where we can invite others to join our community. A place to make new members feel welcome and connected. And a forum giving us the opportunity to hear from our local leaders and us a chance to share our ideas with them. And a place to gather and have a good time.
Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper Editor's Note: In researching a book I'm writing I've been collecting CC prognostications. It's an eye opener -- John Crapper
In researching a book I'm writing I've been collecting prognostications about climate change. These have been gathered over time from numerous sources.   But they are projections and hence a best guess as to what is in our collective future. (Obviously the past dates are accurate.)  

I must confess that during the time I have been compiling these predictions the timeframe has been trending towards an acceleration of events rather than an elongation of them.   There have been a shitload of Holy Shit moments in the process of putting this together.  

Even if you allow that only 50% of these predictions will occur you must come to the conclusion that life as we know it will be dramatically altered.  

*A city hits "climate departure" when the average temperature of its coolest year from then on is projected to be warmer than the average temperature of its hottest year between 1960 and 2005. For example, let's say the climate departure point for D.C. is 2047 (which it is). After 2047, even D.C.'s coldest year will still be hotter than any year from before 2005. Put another way, every single year after 2047 will be hotter than D.C.'s hottest year on record from 1860 to 2005. It's the moment when the old "normal" is really gone.
The Timeframe


In 2008 Arctic sea ice hit its second lowest summer ice extent on record (the lowest extent was in 2007). A massive chunk of ice breaks away from Greenland's Petermann Glacier. Several breakups of ice shelves in Antarctica are observed. (NSIDC; Jason Box, Ohio State University; ESA, NSIDC)

The Bush Administration enacts changes to the Endangered Species Act that affect reviews of government projects.

Polar bears and beluga whales are placed on the Endangered Species List.


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declares carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

An ice bridge connected to the Wilkins Ice Sheet of Antarctica breaks apart.

Many of the world's major rivers are found to be losing water. (Aiguo Dai, NCAR, Journal of Climate)


China became the largest energy consumer in the world, overtaking the USA

China added 15,000 car to its roads every day and a new power plant every week.  


The first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, an international environmental treaty created to limit the production of greenhouse gases, expires. Nations will have to draw up and enact a successor treaty to further limit emissions, should they choose to do so.

2013 - The amount of carbon pollution has already locked in more than 4 feet of sea level rise past 2013 levels. That is enough, at high tide, to submerge more than half of 2013's population in 316 coastal cities and towns (home to 3.6 million) in the lower 48 states.

See below the orange hairpiece for the future!  

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Reposted from momomia by John Crapper
One of four staging areas as I arrived
There was a festival feeling all around
Colors were everywhere
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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper
From King 5 news
Right now all entranceways to Terminal 5 in the Port of Seattle are blocked in protest of Shell's plans to drill in the Arctic.  Hundred of people converged on the terminal around 7:am this morning.  It is the top news event on local TV channels.  
“Everyone is out here today, we have scientists, teachers and city councilmembers risking arrest because they understand the severity of this moment,” said Sarra Tekola a student with Divest University of Washington who recently won a vote to divest their school’s endowment from Coal. “Climate change isn't a polar bear issue it's a human rights issue, climate change displaces people from their countries, 40 years ago desertification kicked my father out of his country in Ethiopia and it's going to get worse. This is our lunch counter to sit on, this is our history to be made, we hold the world in our hands.”
A loose network of several dozen groups calling themselves the sHell No! Action Council (SNAC) organized today’s action. SNAC has focused their opposition to Arctic Drilling on the impacts of Global Warming on the impacts on peoples in the Global South and indigenous communities.

The latest fromKing 5 news in Seattle.


Live Blog here

Update:  10:22 am

Food, music, toilets and people calling friends to join from their smart phones.  Terminal shut down.  City Councilperson Kshama Sawant, a political maverick in our midst spoke to the crowd.  

From all indications looks like this will be going on for a while.  

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Reposted from Climate Hawks by John Crapper
Not good, but nowhere near the catastrophic California drought. Yet.

With only 16% of normal snowpack this year, half of Washington State is in drought condition; putting 1.2 bn of crops in jeopardy.

The Guardian

With more than two-thirds of Washington state experiencing abnormal dry conditions and more than half of the state experiencing moderate drought, Governor Jay Inslee on Friday declared a statewide drought emergency.

“We are really starting to feel the pain from this snowpack drought,” Inslee said. “Impacts are already severe in several areas of the state. Difficult decisions are being made about what crops get priority water and how best to save fish.”

Andrea Thompson at Climate Central explains the difference between the dry California drought and the Washington state 'wet drought':
Unlike the intense drought that has plagued California, which is a factor of both heat and lack of precipitation, the drought across the Pacific Northwest is what has been called a “wet drought.” The region had plenty of storms blow across over the winter, but because of record warm temperatures, most precipitation fell as rain and not snow.
Clearly, warmer temperatures are a factor in the Western Drought. As climate warming advances changes will have to be made especially reconsideration of crop choices as I've written about here, here, here and here.
Reposted from Pacificshift by John Crapper Editor's Note: Let's help keep the momentum going! -- John Crapper

Washington state legislators are concerned that a $25/ton carbon tax proposed in Carbon Washington’s ballot initiative, I-732, will be too “blunt” an instrument.  So they are reviving a more nuanced carbon-pricing plan proposed by the governor.  This demonstrates the power of citizens to place climate action pressure on elected politicians, and the need for citizen to keep the pressure up.

Meanwhile, Carbon Washington and the Alliance for Jobs and Clean Energy, which has been considering its own initiative, have achieved a public rapprochement. The two groups have been in some tension, but have now issued a joint statement committing to avoid competing 2016 initiatives.  They could build further collaboration by joining in an urgently needed public campaign to illuminate the promise of clean energy and the need for some form of carbon pricing to drive it forward.

Crossposted from Cascadia Planet

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Reposted from Holy $h*tters by John Crapper Editor's Note: Just a reminder of an important connection we need to remind our leaders about constantly. -- John Crapper

I recently had a conversation with a young man who had just finished serving a tour of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  I asked him what, in his opinion, was the reason we had become militarily involved in those countries.  Without hesitation he immediately said, "oil".  

Connecting the dots!
U.S. intelligence officials revealed in September 2014 that they believed the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, was reaping as much as $3 million a day in revenue, making it one of the wealthiest terrorist groups in history
That report listed the main sources of ISIS funding.


Much of the fundraising for Syria's extremist groups occurs in the Arab Gulf states, where wealthy private donors raise millions to hand over to Islamist fighters at the Turkey-Syria border. The governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait also covertly provide millions in aid to radical Sunni groups fighting Assad.
"It's cash-raising activities resemble those of a mafia-like organization," a U.S. intelligence official told the AP last week. "They are well-organized, systematic and enforced through intimidation and violence."

The Islamic State also levies taxes in the areas it conquers.

The group is also believed to have earned millions of dollars from illegally trading antiquities. The Guardian reported in June that the Islamic State had made at least $36 million in one particular Syrian region by selling items that were up to 8,000 years old.
4.OIL As reported in the Huffington Post 9/14.
Oil appears to be the largest source of income for the Islamic State today. The militants pump crude oil from about a dozen oil fields they have captured in Syria and Iraq. They either sell the crude oil directly or send it to small refineries to produce low-quality fuels. It is then transported via decades-old smuggling routes over the border and sold at low prices on the black market in Turkey and in smaller volumes to the Syrian regime.
The price the Islamic State group fetches for its smuggled oil is discounted—$25 to $60 for a barrel of oil that normally sells for more than $100 — but its total profits from oil are exceeding $3 million a day, said Luay al-Khatteeb, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution's Doha Center in Qatar.
In the early days of the Syrian civil war, the Islamic State group was funded in large part by donations from wealthy residents of Gulf States, including Kuwait and Qatar, American officials have said.

"A number of fundraisers operating in more permissive jurisdictions — particularly in Kuwait and Qatar — are soliciting donations to fund ... al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)," David Cohen, the Treasury department's top counterterrorism official, said in a speech in March. ISIL is an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

That stream of funding has diminished in recent months as the group's violent tactics have drawn worldwide attention, U.S. intelligence officials say.

The group's reliance on oil as its main source of revenue could easily be disrupted by American airstrikes, officials say. But so far, no decision has been made to target Iraqi or Syrian oil infrastructure, which is serviced by civilian workers who may have been conscripted.

Well more recent reports point to that disruption in oil revenue coming true.  

As reported by Berlin (AFP):

The Islamic State group has lost control of "at least three large oil fields" in Iraq, depriving the jihadists of a crucial source of income, a German newspaper report said Thursday.

In the face of a large-scale Iraqi counteroffensive, the extremist group now controls just a single oil field in the country.

But the success has been achieved through military means. Military options continue to be our weapon of choice in the fight against terrorism since 9/11 and the limits with this method should be self-evident.

I would like to posit a new approach. What if the United States, along with our Western allies made a concerted and sustained effort to unplug from these Muslim countries?

This begs the question: why are we involved with them? Is it because we consider Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq  our natural allies as we do Great Britain? I think not. I think it is because of oil just like the soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan said to me.

Follow  below the orange hairpiece for more.

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Reposted from Lefty Coaster by Lefty Coaster

The Mayor of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Seattle City Council doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle.

The Port of Seattle doesn't want Shell's Polar Pioneer to dock in Seattle until a further legal review of its lease of the terminal that is only permitted for cargo operations.

But Royal Dutch Shell and its local contractor Foss Maritime aren't about to change their plans due to the opposition of a mere major city.  

Just before 2:30 AM the massive Polar Pioneer accompanied by four large Foss tugs left the harbor of Port Angeles.

         My photo as the Polar Pioneer in Admiralty Inlet the entry to Puget Sound at 9:00 AM.

A flotilla of protesters in kayaks calling themselves Kayaktivists plan to meet the Arctic Pioneer when it enters Seattle's Elliott Bay.

Kayakers prepare to meet Shell’s oil drill rig in Seattle

By Phuong Le 

SEATTLE — Protesters opposed to Arctic oil drilling are preparing to paddle out in kayaks to meet Shell’s massive offshore drilling rig as it arrives any day now in Seattle, raising the stakes in the battle over oil exploration in the remote Arctic Ocean.

The petroleum giant says it is moving ahead with plans to use leased space at the Port of Seattle to load its drilling rigs and other vessels with supplies and personnel as it prepares to explore for oil this summer in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

That’s despite the city saying the Port of Seattle needs a new permit before it can host Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet and the city warning that the port and Foss Maritime, a local company that’s working with Shell, could potentially face fines for unpermitted activity.

The Dutch drilling Armada coming to the Salish Sea is a large one.

Shell oil rig arriving Thursday is just the start of Arctic drilling fleet

By Coral Garnick and Hal Bernton

The company will have 25 vessels in and out of the Pacific Northwest in preparation for the season, according to spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh, but Shell has been tight-lipped about detailing its plans.

The arrogance of Royal Dutch Shell is breathtaking. Nevermind what the city government and the port want, Shell is determined to get its way with Seattle the same way they did with the Obama Administration in gaining its approval for its very risky and potentially lucrative exploration in the Arctic.

Also see: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray delays Shell's plan to use port as base for Arctic Drilling

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Reposted from Seattle & Puget Sound Kos by John Crapper Editor's Note: Hope you can join us. Yoram is a funny guy! -- John Crapper
It's time for a get together, catch up with each other, have a drink, eat some good food and be entertained.  

Where:   Pyramid Alehouse, Brewery and Restaurant
              1201 First Ave S. (across from the sports stadium - free parking if space    
Date:      Saturday 5/30/15
Time:      12:00 - 2:30
Why:       Connect, Unite and help plan Action for 2015!
Cost:       $20.00 with selected menu TBD.  

I'm very pleased to announce we'll be having lunch with Yoram Bauman, a smart, funny guy with a great comedy routine that carries with it an important message and call to action.  I promise it will be an enjoyable and informative couple of hours.

Yoram Bauman
Yoram is a PhD environmental economist (and "stand-up economist") who co-authored the 1998 book Tax Shift with Sightline's Alan Durning.  
How did Yoram Bauman get started in comedy?  From his website:
In graduate school I blew off some steam by writing a parody of the “ten principles of economics” in Greg Mankiw’s best-selling textbook, and in 2003 my parody got published in a science humor journal called the Annals of Improbable Research. They run a humor session every year at the AAAS annual meeting, and in 2004 it happened to be in Seattle so they invited me to present my paper. I had so much fun I started going to open-mic nights at the Comedy Underground, and the rest is history.
Yoram Bauman serves on the Executive Committee of Carbon Washington.  Carbon Washington is a non-partisan grassroots group of individuals who are keen on bringing a BC-style carbon tax to Washington State.

Here are the four pillars of their policy proposal:

Reduce the state sales tax by one full percentage point.

Fund the Working Families Rebate to provide up to $1500 a year for 400,000 low-income working households.

Effectively eliminate the B&O business tax for manufacturers.

Institute a carbon tax of $25 per metric ton CO2 on fossil fuels consumed in the state of Washington.

In April they started signature gathering for their Initiative I -732.  Already they've got over 20 chapters around the state, including new chapters in Ellensburg and Spokane, plus college chapters at Whitworth in Spokane; at WWU in Bellingham; at UW Seattle, Seattle U, and North Seattle College in Seattle; and at UPS and PLU in Tacoma.Check out the complete list here on their handy map to get in touch with your local chapter!

I personally feel this is an excellent opportunity for Seattle & Puget Sound Kos to make a difference. Signature gathering pledges can be made here.

Yoram will entertain us and then fill us in on the latest from CarbonWA.  

Plus, we'll be on the verge of launching our Washington State Open Thread.  

Starting on June 7th and every Sunday thereafter, around 3:30pm PST, this series will post meaningful content of interest to Washington State residents encompassing a full range of topics including not only political issues of concern in our state but also articles that share the passions, special interests and unique experiences of some of our members.  

Already members have stepped up to regularly post to this series.   All our welcome to contribute.  

I've also been successfully reaching out to individuals I know who are not yet Kossacks asking for contributions including some VIP posters.  

So, May 30th will be an entertaining time with lots of news to share.

The sooner you can RSVP the better!  Your participation in our meet ups is very much appreciated.  You can either RSVP in comments below or by sending me an e-mail at .  And please, I encourage you to invite guests.  We want to share how special a community and group we have with others!  

Thanks to each and every one of you for your continued support of my efforts too!  It is appreciated and uplifting!  

Hope to see you there!  

Our group is the hub of a wheel with spokes emanating from that hub. A place where people can share their reasons for being part of Daily KOS. A place where people can inform others of their activist efforts so like-minded individuals can connect. A place where we can invite others to join our community. A place to make new members feel welcome and connected. And a forum giving us the opportunity to hear from our local leaders and us a chance to share our ideas with them. And a place to gather and have a good time.

If you haven't yet joined our group - do it.  If you haven't yet been to a meet up -do it. You owe it to yourself.  


Wed Apr 29, 2015 at 11:32 AM PDT

April filled with Rallies in Seattle

by momomia

Reposted from momomia by John Crapper I’ve been busy lately attending a number of rallies in the Seattle area.  I’ve been joined by many others. We’re all saying Shell No!  

I learned the day before Easter there would be an "Encouragement Rally" in the West Seattle junction (a business district) 5 blocks from where I live.

Encouragement rally a family affair.
The encouragement part of it was to the Port of Seattle to rethink their allowing Shell to bring in the Polar drilling rig and all that entails to Terminal 5 on the Seattle waterfront. A group of about 50 people walked close to terminal 5 which is less than 2 miles from where I live. The plans for Terminal 5 are to dredge deeper for larger vessels to be able to dock, as well as refitting all there, big orange cranes included, to allow for the mega ships now being built/used around the world.
Terminal 5 at our left. Anyone want to buy some big orange cranes?
Terminal 5 is left on last leg of our trek
Terminal 5 has sat empty for a few years.
Even some woozles got involved
Great signs and good people
Polar bear spotted
Kyaktavist training I'm in the far right yellow one in back

A week later I took  "kyaktavist" training to participate in what is hoped to be a large flotilla, 1,700 or so boats. That will happen on May 16 with a large direct action planned for May 18 (Mt St Helen day).
This is entering the park
This last Sunday was a much larger rally at Myrtle Edwards Park. I was there for awhile and took some pics but The Stranger link has great pics and names of those who spoke.
Hundreds of people—one organizer estimated more than a thousand—attended the event. Leaders from Bayan-USA, Got Green, Gabriela Seattle, Greenpeace, Plant for the Planet, and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation delivered speeches before the crowd marched south to Port of Seattle headquarters with big signs and a red kayak full of handwritten messages to port commissioners. JOSHUA KELETY
Some good crowds Sunday last
Had to get the Space Needle too!
I took some photos of these 3 events and want to share them along with some links from a few different sources who were there and have much more information.
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Reposted from Backyard Science by John Crapper

I took advantage of a spring minus tide to explore an interesting historical feature along the Bellingham waterfront and to investigate how the intertidal denizens were faring in and around this feature. As you will see, this is not a pristine Salish Sea beach, as if there were such a thing anymore.  However, in spite of 150 years of habitat trashing, there remains a remnant of an earlier ecosystem.

         2015-04-18 tin pile beach 012
                                                    The big tin rock

The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations you have made of the world around you. Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds and/or flowers.  All are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
Join me below the tangle of orange bull kelp to explore this bit of beach.
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