Letter to local candidates from Melanie Greer

A Letter to Clallam County Candidates
By Melanie Greer

On April 29, 600 people came out in the rain on a chilly day to express their desire to see climate change taken seriously on the Olympic Peninsula. This was not just a one-off event. This signaled a movement.  People who came out will come again and ask those running for local offices to state-for the record–where they stand.

Action on Climate Change is as much a local issue as it is a national and international issue. The current national government expresses an unwillingness to be proactive in preparing for, and minimizing, the effects of climate change. The greatest achievements, worldwide, have occurred because local governments and communities have decided to take the issue seriously and get ahead of the curve. This puts the ball in our court, or your court if you want to be part of the government making these decisions.

Clallam County Commissioners are currently considering climate action at their level. This means now is the time for the cities and the port to do the same. Coming together in joint efforts can mean a more integrated approach to climate action. Multi-stakeholder approaches increase the likelihood of obtaining grants to help defray the costs. In addition, there is a state regulation, RCW 70.235.070, that requires jurisdictions to reduce emissions to the 1990 level by 2020.

Jurisdictions who do not comply risk loosing access to certain types of state funding and grants.

Some of the issues you need to consider include the change in weather patterns. Predictions are that our winters will be wetter with more heavy downpours and summers will be dryer. Wetter winters mean more flooding and washed out roads. Dryer summers mean less water for farmers to irrigate crops and more forest fires. Reduced snow-pack means less water in the rivers that provide our drinking water and warmer river temperatures. Warmer river temperatures can prevent salmon from spawning. Ocean acidification will affect other food sources such as shellfish.

So I ask you, candidate, running for Port Angeles city council, what will you do to help the city prepare for our changing climate? Is the current sewer system enough to handle increased rainfall in winters? If not is there a cheaper way to address the problem which could double as a way to save water for summer? Is there consideration of an off-channel resivoir such as they are doing on the Dungeness River in Sequim?

What will you do to help reduce the city’s emissions–its carbon footprint?

How will  you help us prepare for the new low-carbon economy?

And to you, person running for Port Commissioner, the Port of Port Angeles is located in one of the most at-risk locations in the city, according to predictions of sea-level rise. As port commissioner your job will be to protect and prepare the port so that it becomes profitable today as well as 50 years down the line. What will you do to help the port prepare for the changes that are inevitable? What will you do to help reduce the port’s carbon-footprint? How will you help prepare the port for the new-low carbon economy? 

What new jobs may be created by becoming proactive in our preparations?

Note, I did not ask if you believe humans are responsible for climate change. We no longer have time to waste creating controversy where there isn’t any. If you choose to take the position that humans are not responsible for climate change, be prepared to answer for why you are ignoring 97% of climate scientists. Would you go skiing if 97% of scientists agreed there was a high risk of avalanche? How do you account for even Exxon-Mobile urging the President to remain committed to the Paris Climate Accord?

Who votes for a person unwilling to face the facts, ignoring reality?  We need someone who will help put us in sync with`our changing future.

“Melanie Greer is an environmentalist and activist located in Port Angeles, WA. She has a Master’s degree in Environment and Community with a focus in Sustainable Food Systems from Antioch University Seattle and holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. Melanie’s academic interests include building community for a just and sustainable future. Melanie was the planning committee chair for the recent Olympic Peninsula People’s Climate March held in Port Angeles. She has a long history of activism spanning over 20 years and has attended protests in at least four different countries.



  1. Anonymous

    Glad to see this, Melanie. You are absolutely correct in saying that addressing climate change so that our children have a future is the responsibility of each of us, at the local level.

    Each of us are responsible for purchasing the polluting products, not “government”. Business is only too happy to continue selling us those polluting products. Fortunately, new technologies are making products available to the average consumer now that can drastically change the impacts we humans are having on the environment.

    Government can help by changing the building codes to require solar roofs and on-site energy storage to be installed on new structures. Government can re-prioritize subsidies and supports for fossil fuel industries, and use that money to offer incentives and offsets to encourage solar conversions at the residential level.

    The lists of things that need to be done are long. Helping people to know what they can do, as individuals, is a big part of solving these issues.

    Thanks again!

  2. Greg

    It’s still unclear to me that for those who wholeheartedly accept global warming as anthropogenic, human-caused, why they do not emphasize stemming the root cause of warming, i.e. humans? Fewer humans, fewer GHG emissions, no reproductive carbon legacy for decades, etc.
    Editor’s Note: Actually the birthrate in developed countries is down considerably. Just last week a study in Canada reported seniors, aged 60 and over now outnumber young people under age 18 in Canada. Will be interesting to see who is going to take care of these aging boomers as they age out of the job market and age into assisted living centers and nursing homes.

    1. Greg

      Understood about falling birthrates in developed nations, but we are the culprits for consumerism and greatest GHG emissions. I would certainly not use the need for caregivers for an aging population as a reason to keep breeding. It’s presumptuous to think someone is on this earth to take care of us. Japan is dealing with the issue with robotics and other senior-sitting devices.
      Editor’s Note: It is presumptuous to think there are doctors, nurses, lawyers, waiters, farmers, teachers, auto mechanics, hair stylist, lab personnel, baby-sitters, food suppliers, water companies, etc to “take care of us?” We have become a “service economy’ filled with those taking care of us in one way or another.

      1. Greg

        I have actually heard people with children say that they expect to be cared for by their offspring in old age. Once upon a time, that was the norm. Today it’s presumptuous. Paying the folks you mention for their services is another matter. The government needs to tax those service provider wages to keep Social Security and Medicare afloat for a teensie weensie bit longer.

  3. Kodiak

    The question is why do I see chem trails fogging our skys , why do I read about Haarp sending microwaves into the ionosphere ,why do I read about high radiation levels. The mainstream narrative wants me to believe other factors are involved . Why does big oil not want zero point energy.,,,, HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO BE ASLEEP ?

  4. Kodiak

    For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system that has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. JFK..

  5. Kodiak

    “The few who understand the system, will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favors that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantages…will bear its burden without complaint, and perhaps without suspecting that the system is inimical to their best interests.” … JFK

  6. Kodiak



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