4 thoughts on “Climate change is darkening Seattle’s water forecast

  1. The Cedar River watershed is in near perfect structural condition because it is entirely owned by the City of Seattle, and SPU long ago stopped logging it and began to practice restoration forestry in order to restore it. The Tolt watershed is still in checkerboard ownership, and parts of it have been heavily logged in recent decades. At times the Tolt spigot has to be turned off due to water turbidity, possibly stemming from greater areas of logged over land. Of course this typically occurs in the winter during heavy storms when there are no water supply shortages. I wonder though if acquiring the portions of the Tolt watershed that Seattle doesn’t already own in order to fully restore mature forest cover would increase and/or make the Tolt’s water supply even more dependable over time as the forest recovers from logging.

    I have noticed a lot of lawns this year that seem browner than usual, so it seems that a lot of people are responding to SPU’s so far rather quiet and modest requests that rate-payers conserve water. I wonder if people would conserve more aggressively if they were given a discount on their bills in exchange for proof that they have water-saving devices in their home and/or xeriscaping on their property.

  2. Mud Baby —
    Thanks for your interest. I knew there were some ownership gaps in the Tolt watershed and should have figured it’s a checkerboard situation. I had not hear about the siltation in winter storms. Good to know.

  3. Humans’ use of fossil fuels, and the resulting carbon dioxide air emissions, has no material effect on climate. Human activities cause only about 3% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the atmosphere. Most of the rest are the result of decomposing plant material. CO2 is in equilibrium. It is a weak greenhouse gas in theory, but its actual climate effects are nullified by stronger forces, particularly the formation of mineral carbonates from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

    The theory of fossil fuels-caused climate change is a false premise for any regulation.
    1. CO2 does not materially affect the Earth’s climate; and,
    2. Nature already effectively captures and sequesters CO2 as mineral carbonate; and,
    3. Climate cycles are natural, and caused by forces other than CO2; and,
    4. The average residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere is 5 years; and,
    5. Human activities generate only about 3% of CO2 emissions. Most of the rest are from rotting plants.

    Anyone who passed 10th grade chemistry can conclude this using public information sources. Limestone and marble are the most familiar forms of mineral carbonate. CO2 is an essential component of mineral carbonate (CaCO3, for calcium). Carbonates are the ultimate repository of atmospheric CO2. Carbonates form in seawater and soils through biological and chemical processes. The formula is CO2 + CaO => CaCO3. Virtually all carbonates are formed from atmospheric CO2 that is taken up by seawater or soils. You can make magnesium carbonate in your kitchen by mixing carbonated water with milk of magnesia.

    The detailed perspective is presented in the paper http://www.co2web.info/ESEF3VO2.pdf by Danish researcher Tom Segalstadt. The paper is not “peer-reviewed”, but seems rigorous. (It has recently been shown that “peer review” really means “crony review”.) Activists use ad hominem arguments to dismiss the paper, as they do any argument they dislike.

    Fossil fuels (especially coal) producers and users are being persecuted in unprecedented fashion—a literal pogrom. A 21st century Scarlet Letter. It is now known that Soros-related investors and other progressive interests are buying up coal assets at deep discounts from their recent values. It seems like a Joe Kennedy “bear raid”. We should take a holistic view of this regulatory and political process. Where is it taking us? Who wins? Who pays? How is the public served?

  4. I read this stuff and am a little alarmed by the optimism.
    Geologically Western Washington has been a desert during the, between ice age warm-ups. And, actually by the text book definition since the water table falls over 6 inches during normal “summer” periods we are technically a desert geologically right now, that is why we have so many “dry loving” native plants, most closely kin to real desert plants, madrone, oregon grape and salal to name a few.
    I think it is reasonable that we could become a dry desert again, and that the tipping point is apt to take us by suprise if we are not very careful.