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Putting the “sea” in Seattle

Here’s a recent post on Patrick’s Cascadia Planet site — a future where all the earth’s ice has melted (Union Narrows, anyone?):

I’ve been peering out at Queen Anne Hill from my Eastlake Seattle window for some time wondering what the hill would look like on an ice-free planet, Lake Union long having become part of Puget Sound.  I’ve played with a map tool to envision the contours of Queen Anne Island and the Seattle Island chain.  Now Spatialities has done ice-free planet maps for Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles, and they are selling them at their site. Here are Cascadia’s future Seattle and Portland Islands if we are so foolish as to continue on our current trajectory. (Click on the maps for larger size.) These are beautiful depictions of a horrendous future.  May they help motivate us not to go there.  (p.s. I’m about 10 stories underwater by then.)

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IslandsOfPortland20140511_ForWeb

A few years back I even wrote some lyrics on the topic. Here they are:

THE SEATTLE ISLANDS

Take the ferry boat
To Queen Anne Island
Puget Sound’s a moat
All around is a fried land

Aurora fell down
Dead of suicide
In the waves it drowned
When the ice caps fried

Used to be a lake
Down there somewhere
Until the ice break
In the hot summer air

The lake was my home
Beyond were the mountains
But the future was blown
Cause we were not accountin’

With our gaseous spew
We boiled the oceans
Cared for by too few
We set it in motion

City once here
Now flushed down the drain
Old hilltops appear
Island chain remains

Live on Capitol
Take the Beacon boat
We have paid the toll
We have cut our throat

This year’s South Lake Union Block Party benefits the Cornish College for the Arts, which is coming on its 100th year this November.

The block party features food-sampling tickets to some of SLU’s favorite eateries like Shanik, Kigo Kitchen and La Toscanella. There’ll also be food trucks, beer garden, burger grilling contest, lots of music, activities for kids, and an outdoor movie to top it all off, School of Rock, preceded by a performance by the Seattle Rock Orchestra.

All happening one day only, Friday, August 8, noon to 11 pm at Denny Way and Westlake Ave. N.

 

With apologies to Thomas Jefferson: A Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels

Lake Union writer Patrick Mazza pens a new call, a declaration this July 4th for 100% renewable energy.  Reprinted from his blog Cascadia Planet:

When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to dissolve the bands which have tied us to fossil fuel dependence and to power our world fully on nature’s renewable energy, a decent respect to the opinions of humanity requires that we should declare why.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people possess certain unalienable rights, that among these are the protection of our own survival, freedom to have a future, and the pursuit of happiness for ourselves and our children. That to secure these rights we create energy systems that derive their support from those who use them. That fossil fuel has become destructive of those ends.  Thus it is the right of the people to abolish fossil fuel as an energy source and to create the fully renewable energy system that is most likely to effect our survival, freedom and happiness.

Fireworks sketch by Karen Berry

Prudence dictates that energy sources long established should not be changed for light and transient causes. And experience shows that our economic system is more disposed to continue with dependence on coal, oil and natural gas while it seems that impacts can be managed, than to right itself by abandoning the fossil fuel dependence to which it is accustomed.  But when a long train of fossil industry abuses invariably pursues the same object, to hold us under economic dependence to polluting, climate-destroying fuels, it is our right, it is our duty, to throw off fossil fuel dependence and create a 100% renewable energy economy that ensures our future security.

Apologies to Thomas Jefferson.  But I think the lead author of the original Declaration would appreciate the spirit of independence from fossil fuels.  Jefferson looked to a land of self-producers, and 100% renewable energy will distribute energy production throughout communities.  It will empower us.

The 100% call can now be made because solar, wind, electric vehicles, smart grids, energy storage and other clean technologies are becoming economically practical alternatives to fossil energy. Tipping points have been reached, costs are coming down, and utility executives are losing sleep.

Several groups have risen to carry the 100% Renewables message.

The Solutions Project is built on the work of Stanford scientist Mark Jacobsen, who has developed a 50-state all renewables scenario.

Renewables 100 Policy Institute has developed scenarios and roadmaps for the 100% strategy.  Go 100% Renewable Energy is the group’s public campaign.

Global 100%RE joins a number of international energy organizations in a global campaign.

100% Renewable Energy should be the clarion call and the battle cry of all who care for our nation, our world and our children’s future. The urgent necessity to rapidly reduce carbon emissions says we must set this goal, and gear all our work and strategies to achieve 100% as rapidly as possible.

100% Renewable Energy is not just about climate.  It’s about prosperity, building new industries and creating new jobs with clean, domestic energy sources.  This opens doors across the spectrum. Energy independence has broad appeal.

100% Renewable Energy is profoundly about saying, “Yes.”  About putting a positive vision in the foreground. Declaring the kind of world we want and how to make it.  Of course 100% must be in the context of building a more energy efficient economy overall.  This will allow us to reach the goal even faster.

So let us dissolve our dependence on fossil fuels and declare our right to 100% Renewable Energy.  To this end let us mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes and our honor as human beings who care about our future and our kids.

100% Renewable Energy Now!