Spotlight on green news & views: Green New Deal; Gov. Gavin Newsom breaks some hearts
This is the 588th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the February 6 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES
OceanDiver writes—Dawn Chorus: Winter days on the Skagit Flats, 2018-19: “This edition of Dawn Chorus is a series of visits I’ve had this winter on the delta of the Skagit River in Washington state. The Skagit delta is flat and agricultural, the core being Fir Island, a triangle between the north and south forks of the river. It’s been diked and drained for fields, great for crops with the deep fertile sediment washed down from the Cascade mountains nearby. This area could very easily get built up with residential and commercial development being so close to urban centers. I am thankful the many folks associated with Skagitonians to Preserve Farmland (www.skagitonians.org) and state agencies like WDFW have managed to stave that off, and even more are the wildlife who benefit from open land and waterways. In winter the fields are mostly inactive, with swans and geese traveling around gleaning residue, raptors feasting on rodents and small birds, and waterbirds in the bay and canals. Dikes protect Fir Island from the river and Skagit Bay; otherwise it would be regularly flooded when the river or storm surges run high. The Bay beyond is very shallow and protected (in fact getting shallower every year as sediment washes directly there rather than onto the delta) and popular for waterfowl and shorebirds. A few spots on Fir Island have been restored to estuary habitat by WDFW. I live nearby, but not near enough to visit often, and in fact my intermittent trips through there are side trips on my way down to the city or to appointments in the area.”
Seemed to turn a corner in 2007
NoFortunateSon writes—It's Here! Green New Deal Calls for National High Speed Rail! (More Photos): “This is a diary about HSR. Why do we care about the power industry? Well, the generation of electrical power is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. And something amazing has happened in recent years. It’s not just that humanity knows what to do about solving the problem of greenhouse gasses resulting from power generation (i.e., wind plus solar). We are already doing it. The United States has the third largest installed nameplate generating capacity of wind power in the World, behind China and the European Union. But this metric is largely meaningless, since the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the World, China, just isn’t as windy as the United States, and therefore doesn’t generate as much power despite having more wind turbines. It’s clever marketing by China, but reality is from 2008 to 2016(1), the United States generates the more electricity from wind than any other Country, and that’s what really counts(2). [...] Look at the timeline for wind and solar growth [...] What happened in 2007? Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and the United States, dramatically changing spending priorities. And what happened in 2009, when even bigger changes started happening, especially in solar? The much reviled (even on the left) stimulus.”