‘Now I Am Speaking to the Whole World.’ How Teen Climate Activist @GretaThunberg Got Everyone to Listen #ActOnClimate #ClimateCrisis

Greta Thunberg in Stockholm screen shot from the Time Magazine website May 19, 2019.

Here’s an in-depth report from Suyin Haynes that’s running in Time Magazine. Click through and read the whole thing (and then do one thing to mitigate Global Heating today). Here’s an excerpt:

Thunberg attributes her determination to her diagnosis of Asperger’s, a mild form of autism spectrum disorder. “It makes me see the world differently. I see through lies more easily,” she says. “I don’t like compromising. For me, it’s either you are sustainable or not — you can’t be a little bit sustainable.” Her openness about her diagnosis, and willingness to share about her experiences of depression, anxiety and eating disorders, are another reason why many see Thunberg as a role model. “To be different is not a weakness. It’s a strength in many ways, because you stand out from the crowd.”

Not that all of the attention has made her terribly impressed. She indulges a brief smile at a mention of President Barack Obama’s tweet in praise of her, but she returns quickly to her larger message. “I believe that once we start behaving as if we were in an existential crisis, then we can avoid a climate and ecological breakdown,” she says. “But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We have to start today.”

[…]

“People are taking their cues from Greta,” says Naomi Klein, activist and author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. “There’s something very hard to categorize about her, and I think because she’s not looking for approval and is not easily impressed, people don’t know what to do with that.”

Thunberg has been greatly influenced by Klein’s work and has welcomed her support. But Klein thinks the teenager doesn’t really need anyone’s advice. “I don’t think I would deign to tell Greta what she should do in the future. She is following her own path with such clarity, and she has tremendously good instincts.”

[…]

Thunberg’s main goal is for governments to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C over pre-industrial levels. In October 2018, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report warning that carbon emissions would need to be cut by 45% by 2030 to reach this target. “The report made it very clear that we have to act now,” says Myles Allen, a co-author of the report. Since the price of failing to heed these warnings will be paid by young people, Thunberg believes the school strike follows an inevitable logic. “We are children, saying why should we care about our future when no one else is doing that?” she says. “When children say something like that, I think adults feel very bad.”

Denver: Watershed Summit 2019, June 27, 2019

Click here to go to the Resource Central website for all the inside skinny:

The Watershed Summit is rapidly becoming the region’s top event for water industry leaders. Join 250+ water utility executives, business leaders, conservation experts, and other professionals to gain the new insights you need to help position your organization for success.

Watershed Summit 2019 is produced through a collaborative partnership between the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Denver Water, the City of Boulder, Aurora Water, the One World One Water Center, Resource Central, and the Denver Botanic Gardens. Building on the success of the last 4 years, this one-day summit helps you get connected to industry leaders and what works best across the Mountain West.

Standard Registration: $65

We are thrilled to feature a dynamic line-up of experts in the water field who are excited to share their knowledge and join in on the conversation.

Special Guest: Phil Weiser, Attorney General for the State of Colorado

  • J. J. Ament, CEO, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
  • Ze’ev Barylka, Marketing Director US, Netafim
  • Cynthia S. Campbell, Water Resources Management Advisor, City of Phoenix
  • Beorn Courtney, President, Element Water
  • Lisa Darling, Executive Director, South Metro Water Supply Authority
  • Carol Ekarius, Executive Director, Coalition for the Upper South Platte
  • Jorge Figueroa, Chief Innovation Officer, Americas for Conservation
  • Brent Gardner Smith, Journalist, Aspen Times
  • Dan Gibbs, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Natural Resources
  • Kate Greenberg, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, State of Colorado
  • Jim Havey, Filmmaker, HaveyPro Cinema
  • Jim Lochhead, CEO/Manager, Denver Water
  • Peter Marcus, Communications Director, Terrapin Care Station
  • Fernando Nardi, Professor, Università per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy
  • Cristina Rulli, Professor, Milan Polytechnic, Italy
  • Luke Runyon, Reporter, KUNC
  • Harold Smethills, Founder, Sterling Ranch
  • Jamie Sudler, Executive Producer, H2O Radio
  • Weston Toll, Watershed Program Specialist, CO State Forest Service
  • Chris Treese, External Affairs Manager, Colorado River District
  • Larry Vickerman, Director, Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms
  • Scott Winter, Water Conservation Specialist, Colorado Springs Utility

Panel Topics Include:

  • The Colorado River
  • Water and Business
  • Agriculture
  • Watershed Health
  • Conservation and Storage

#ColoradoRiver: 2019 State of the River meeting recap: “The long-term trend is that it’s drier” — Hannah Holm #COriver #aridification

Changing nature of Colorado River droughts, Udall/Overpeck 2017.

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Katie Langford):

Despite plentiful snowfall this winter and a rainy spring on the Western Slope, local water experts took a cautious tone at the 2019 State of the River meeting Tuesday night.

Snowpacks and inflow at reservoirs across the state are well above average, but that isn’t necessarily an indicator for the future, said Erik Knight, a hydrologist with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

There have been multiple examples of precipitation swinging from very dry to very wet and back again the next year, Knight said…

Hannah Holm, coordinator for the Hutchins Water Center at Colorado Mesa University, said while a wet year can give water users a break, it doesn’t change trends.

“The long-term trend is that it’s drier,” Holm said. “The overall precipitation trend is flat, but because of increased temperatures over that same time frame, the amount of water in the river is going down.”

Water users like towns and cities, farmers and the recreation industry are still collaborating on a solution for the problem of less water to go around, Holm said.

2019 #COleg: It’s a wrap: Colorado lawmakers approve #drought work, #COWaterPlan funding, and more — @WaterEdCO

From Water Education Colorado (Larry Morandi):

Colorado lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 session last week, approving five water bills this year which address the Colorado River drought, funding for the state’s water plan, Republican River compact issues, severance taxes and hard-rock mining.

It put off for now another bill that would have expanded the state’s nationally recognized instream flow program, which allows water for fish and aquatic habitat to be left in streams.

Colorado River Drought and Water Plan Funding

Faced with a 19-year drought that has seen storage in the Colorado River’s two largest reservoirs—Powell and Mead—drop below half full, the legislature took a first step in reducing water use to ensure compliance with the Colorado River Compact. Although it did not adopt new policy, it appropriated $1.7 million as part of Senate Bill 212 for the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to explore a demand management program that would incentivize voluntary cutbacks of Colorado River use, where saved water could be stored in Lake Powell as a hedge against future shortfalls. It also set aside $8.3 million to fund the Colorado Water Plan. The combined $10 million lawmakers approved is far less than the $30 million Governor Jared Polis had requested, but the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) pared that figure due to competing demands from other big ticket items. Senator Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale), the bill’s chief sponsor and a JBC member, noted that the remaining $20 million in Polis’ original request “was really meant to be a contingency plan against demand management in the future and so it could probably wait until next year to be appropriated.” That is if revenue forecasts allow.

Still Rankin said the funding is an important step forward for the water plan. “This is the first time we’ve started to put general fund money against the water plan.”

Republican River Compact

The General Assembly also opted to approve a measure that redraws the boundary of the Republican River Water Conservation District to include more wells that reduce the flow of the Republican River in violation of a compact with Kansas and Nebraska. The legislature created the district in 2004. Its original boundary was drawn at the topographic boundary of the Republican River and did not accurately reflect the impact of groundwater pumping outside the district on the river’s flows.

House Bill 1029 incorporates the groundwater boundary agreed to by Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado in a Supreme Court settlement and allows the district to assess the same fee on those well owners that it does on all irrigators in the district. Those fees help to pay for a pipeline that transports conserved groundwater to the river to ensure compact compliance.

The district borrowed $62 million to buy water rights and build the pipeline, and has assessed farmers $14.50 per acre annually to repay the loan. Absent the legislation, wells that do not have water augmentation, or replacement, plans to mitigate their surface water depletions could face curtailment under new rules issued by the state engineer; now they are automatically part of the district’s approved augmentation plan.

Severance Taxes

The General Assembly passed another bill that changes the timing of severance tax allocations that support several water programs to allow for better planning and budgeting. Currently the tax revenue is transferred three times a year to the CWCB based on revenue forecasts; if the actual tax collections are less than forecasted (which has often been the case), funds have to be taken back. Senate Bill 16 bases allocations on the amount collected in the previous fiscal year and consolidates three payments into one for distribution the following year. Because tax collections in 2018 exceeded forecasts, there’s enough revenue available to avoid any funding gap moving forward.

Water Quality Impacts of Hard-Rock Mining

The General Assembly passed a bill to protect water quality from the impacts of hard-rock mining. House Bill 1113 requires reclamation plans for new or amended hard-rock mining permits to demonstrate a “reasonably foreseeable end date” for water quality treatment to ensure compliance with water quality standards. It also eliminates the option of “self-bonding”—an audited financial statement demonstrating that the mine operator has sufficient assets to meet reclamation responsibilities—and requires a bond or other financial assurance to guarantee adequate funds to protect water quality, including treatment and monitoring costs.

Representative Dylan Roberts, (D-Eagle), the bill’s prime sponsor, emphasized that it applies only to hard-rock mining—not to coal or gravel mining—and “aligns statute with what’s already happening in current practice by the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety…so that we can avoid creating more chronically polluting mines.” The bill was similar to one that passed the House but failed in the Senate last year.

Instream Flows

The Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee set aside a bill that would have expanded an existing program to protect streamflows for environmental purposes, but with a commitment to study the issue further this summer. Under current law, a water right holder can loan water to the CWCB to boost instream flows in stream reaches where the CWCB holds an instream flow water right. The loan may be exercised for no more than three years in a single 10-year period. House Bill 1218, which had passed the House earlier in the session, would have increased the number of years the loan could be exercised from three to five, and permitted a loan applicant to reapply to the state engineer for two additional 10-year periods.

Opposition to the bill centered on concerns that expanding the number of years would reduce irrigation return flows to other farmland dependent on them for crop production and risk damaging soils. Senator Kerry Donovan (D-Vail), the bill’s sponsor and a rancher, asked the committee to postpone it with an understanding that the Interim Water Resources Review Committee would study it further this summer. She noted that with “some of the concerns that have been raised, as well as the level of attention that this issue deserves, we need to get this right, and I’m not sure we have consensus on a way forward today.”

Wastewater continued to stream out of the Gold King Mine on Tuesday [August 11, 2015] near Silverton, several days after a rush of 3 million gallons of it flooded Cement Creek and the Animas River. At the top of the photo is the mine’s opening, where an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup team was working with heavy machinery Aug. 5 and hit an earthen wall that had millions of gallons of water built up behind it

@WaterEdCo videos: “Jennifer Pitt, 2019 Diane Hoppe Leadership Award” and “Celene Hawkins, 2019 Emerging Leader Award”

Jennifer Pitt:

In May 2019, Water Education Colorado recognized Jennifer Pitt with the Diane Hoppe Leadership Award.

Jennifer Pitt joined Audubon in December 2015 to advise the organization’s strategies to protect and restore rivers throughout the Colorado River Basin. At Audubon she leads the United States–Mexico collaboration to restore the Colorado River Delta. She serves as the U.S. co-chair of the bi-national work group whose partners will, through 2026, implement existing treaty commitments providing environmental flows and habitat creation.

Prior to joining Audubon, Jennifer spent 17 years working to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems in the Colorado River Basin at the Environmental Defense Fund. With partners, she led efforts to prioritize and implement restoration of the Colorado River Delta, including work coordinating the Pulse Flow of 2014 that brought water into dried-up stretches of Colorado River Delta across the border. She also worked with Colorado River stakeholders to produce the unprecedented Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, the first federal assessment of climate change impacts in the basin and the first basin-wide evaluation of the impacts on water supply reliability and river health.

Celene Hawkins:

In May 2019, Water Education Colorado recognized Celene Hawkins with its Emerging Leader Award.

Celene Hawkins serves as the Western Colorado Water Project Director for the Colorado Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. She coordinates and implements projects with agricultural partners, federal, state, tribal, and local governments, and local conservation organizations to help optimize the use of water in western and southwestern Colorado, and she fosters project work that supports water transactions that benefit environmental values while also supporting agriculture and other traditional water uses. In 2017, Celene was appointed to serve on the Colorado Water Conservation Board for the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, and San Juan Rivers and she is currently vice-chairman of that board.

2019-2020 Colorado Water Center Grantees — @COWaterCenter

Here’s the notice from the Colorado Water Center:

The Center has awarded funding to three research teams, two faculty fellows, and two education and engagement projects for 2019-20. These projects catalyze water research, education, and engagement through interdisciplinary collaboration and creative scholarship among CSU faculty and students. Congratulations to the awardees!

Water Research Teams

Harnessing the power of the crowd to monitor urban street flooding

This research team will use community monitoring of urban street flooding in order to generate greater temporal and spatial coverage of flood-related data than would be possible with installed sensors. This data will allow for analyses of the factors that lead to street flooding. This pilot project will also provide a foundation for integrating social media with Flood Tracker.

Team Investigators:

  • Aditi Bhaskar, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Greg Newman, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory
  • Stephanie Kampf, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • Sam Zipper, University of Victoria, Kansas Geological Survey
  • Hydrologic drivers of peatland development and carbon accumulation in western Washington

    This research team will investigate how peatlands respond to changes in precipitation and temperature over time. Despite peatlands’ significant role in global carbon storage, uncertainties remain in how these systems respond to hydrologic alterations from changing climate and land use. This research will inform regional wetland management and has far reaching implications for more northern peatlands.

    Team Investigators:

  • John Hribljan, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • Jeremy Shaw, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • David Cooper, Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship
  • Jason Sibold, Department of Anthropology
  • Joe Rocchio, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program
  • Julie Loisel, Texas A&M University, Department of Geography
  • The current and future state of water resources for the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    This research team will use high-resolution modeling to investigate how predicted changes in climate will modify the snowpack and hydrology of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This work will produce a better understanding of future snow dynamics given its complex interactions with the atmosphere, land cover, and terrain, and will inform management of the ecological resources of Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas.

    Team Investigators:

  • Kristen Rasmussen, Department of Atmospheric Science
  • Steven Fassnacht, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
  • Daniel McGrath, Department of Geosciences
  • Graham Sexstone, U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Water Science Center
  • Water Faculty Fellows

    Yoichiro Kanno, Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

    Assessing gene flow of invasive brook trout to restore a meta-population of threatened greenback cutthroat trout in the upper Poudre River basin

    Dr. Kanno will provide scientific support for a significant greenback cutthroat trout restoration in the upper Cache la Poudre basin. Spatial population structure and movement of this species in the upper basin are poorly understood, and this research will quantify trout movement, identify habitat features that impact gene flow, and determine whether altered flows in the river’s mainstem may hamper fish movement or isolate tributary populations.

    Michael Ronayne, Department of Geosciences

    Numerical modeling of evolving recharge-discharge sources in a multi-aquifer system

    Dr. Ronayne will study the hydrogeologic processes that control time-varying recharge within complex multi-aquifer systems. This research will examine how geologic heterogeneity impacts the alluvial-bedrock groundwater exchange, the conditions that give rise to unsaturated zones between the alluvium and bedrock, and the causes of aquifer “disconnect.”

    Water Education & Engagement Projects

    Steven Fassnacht, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

    Kids Poetry on Water – Creating K-12 curriculum integrating water science and poetry

    This project aims to help high school students and K-12 educators better understand the coupling of humanities and the environment—specifically ecology, climate, and hydrology. By creating an interdisciplinary curriculum that encourages students to think about water, write poetry, and broaden their perspectives, Drs. Fassnacht and Carlyon hope to inspire students to study water and environmental sciences at the college level.

    Amy Kremen, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

    Development and launch of a “Master Irrigator” education and training program in Northeastern Colorado

    This project will develop curriculum to encourage water-use efficiency and water conservation in the Northern High Plains. It will provide an engaging, intensive professional development/educational opportunity for producers and crop consultants and help push the region towards fulfilling its water conservation goals. These efforts will complement state and local policy efforts around declining water quantity and quality.

    Trains at 14th St and South Platte River June 19, 1965. Photo via Westword.com

    2019 Urban Water Cycle Tours June 4, 2019 — @WaterEdCO

    Click here for all the inside skinny:

    Join us for a fun and interactive day learning about the history of the South Platte River Urban Corridor Waterway and efforts to reclaim it. Explore this waterway by bicycle along with citizen leaders, scientists, planners and water managers.

    Urban Water Cycle Tour Route: This roughly 10-mile route begins at Johnson Habitat Park, travels downstream along the Platte to Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence park, then on to the Globeville/National Western Complex area, ending at Metro Wastewater with lunch included. See the map and full itinerary on the reverse side of the page.

    Registration is open! Registration will be capped at 30 participants per flight. Helmet required to ride. Sunscreen, water, and a small backpack are recommended.

    The meetup point for the Water Education Colorado urban water tour in 2014 at the confluence of Clear Creek and the South Platte River.