Introducing the Southeast Alaska Climate Report!

Written by Matt Jackson

March 1, 2022

Maybe it’s because it’s the first Monday morning of a potential WW3 as I write this, but my early drafts of this newsletter were full of doom and gloom. I’ve restarted more times than the U.S. has failed to meet its Paris Accord goals, and, well, writing about climate change has a tendency to turn dark.

The struggle with climate change is balancing hope and purpose with honest accounting. It’s a tightrope I’m not always good at walking, but these words have guided me the last few weeks:

Imagine facing our worst climate impacts with [the mindset of] feeling honored to live during unsettling times, watching for nature’s propensity to restore life and somehow participating in that process. It felt astoundingly mature to me. So different from doomscrolling.”

These words, inspired by Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele’s classic treatise Ka Honua Ola on Hawaiian culture, are going to be my north star — the tone I reach for in this newsletter. I hope you’ll sign up to share it with me.

Let’s start with opportunities for action! 

Today is your chance to stand in solidarity with the 16 Alaskan youth plaintiffs of Sagoonick v. State of Alaska suing to change Alaska’s disastrous fossil fuel policies and protect Alaska’s unique climate. You can post to social media using the tags #KidsNotCarbon, #YouthvGovAK, and #HearOurYouthAK to support their cause today!

Next, and unbelievably, there are actually bills moving in our state legislature — some of them good, some bad. The Alaska Center has an excellent tool for tracking bills of all kinds, but at SEACC, we want to call out two good bills and one bad.

  • House Bill 271 would reform the Alaska Industrial and Export Development Authority (AIEDA), Governor Dunleavy’s personal boondoggle headquarters responsible for wasted taxpayer dollars across Alaska from the Lutak Ore Dock to the Willow Arctic Oil project. This bill would make AIEDA more transparent and accountable to voters.
  • Next up, Senate Bill 17 would expand a program to provide energy efficiency retrofits to public buildings in rural communities eligible for PCE, lowering emissions and saving us all money. Gotta love it.
  • On the other side of the equation, House Bill 98 would remove the most important opportunity for public comment and review of already lax state timber sales. It deserves to die in committee.

If you’re looking for climate action, a quick email to your representative on any or all of these bills — supporting HB 271 and SB 17, and opposing HB 98 — would check that box! (Here’s where you can go to look up your legislator.)

Now that you’ve solved climate change in the capital, enjoy a feel-good story. 

The Tidelines Institute is retrofitting an electric troller to serve their multiple campuses in S’ix Tlein (Icy Strait). Follow them on Facebook for updates on their electric conversion!

Let’s bring it home to climate news in Southeast Alaska.

Sitka broke February rainfall records. YES, Southeast’s climate is changing, for the rainier.

Closing thoughts on SEACC’s first-ever climate newsletter.

It seems the world is getting less predictable every day. The literal climate, the atmosphere we breathe, is subtly warming, conflict is spreading, and truth is becoming harder to find. I’m hoping this newsletter can be a small antidote to that unpredictability, a monthly update on opportunities for action, a dash of good news, and a chance to ground these global changes in our unique region.

I hope you’ll sign up to keep receiving this monthly newsletter from me.


Matt Jackson
SEACC Climate Organizer

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