What's Tony Thinking

Don’t Look Now . . . But There’s Some Good News


We’re nearing the tail-end of three days of having our 9 year-old grandson, Colin, and his 4 year-old sister, Cora — which explains why I haven’t been haunting your in-box for several days!

Over the weekend the Seattle Times had a wonderful story about abundant life in the Puget Sound. Times environmental reporter, Linda Mapes, who does a great job covering this beat reported that decades of conservative efforts are showing results. Here’s Mapes:

“Today there are more humpbacks and gray whales, more harbor porpoises and seals, more sea lions and more orcas in these waters than a generation ago. These surging populations are the result of decades of protection. An exception are southern resident killer whales, an endangered species. They, and the Chinook salmon the southern residents primarily eat, are struggling for survival against an array of threats.

“But there is another story underway here, too, of a marine mammal comeback in Washington from the urban waters of Puget Sound, to the seascapes of the San Juan Islands.”

Gosh, isn’t it great to read some good news for a change! In the photo at right, from the Times article, a herring spawn turns the waters of Hood Canal in the Sound a beautiful aquamarine. The herring are a key food source for many of the thriving marine mammals of the Sound.

Often, it seems that everything we hear about the environment as well as climate change (and much else for that matter) is Bad News. While the truth must be told, people are generally motivated to change by hope and the sense that we can make a difference. Mapes’s article does that, telling us that human actions and choices matter and have made a difference for the health of the Puget Sound.

Even on the endangered South Sound Orca and salmon population there’s a glint of hope. An Idaho State Senator, a Republican, has been promoting a plan to eliminate the four damns on the Lower Snake, which could have a big effect on salmon recovery. True, he’s running into opposition, but the ideas are alive.

I remember reading somewhere that often those who seek change try to motivate people with one or more of the three F’s: facts, fear or force. But people don’t change in response to facts, fear or force. We respond to more hopeful messages, which leads into another story that I count as good news.

Joe Biden is nearing the end of his first hundred days in office, coming Friday, with some successes under his belt, a general sense of having lowered the temperature, and keeping the main things the main thing.

And you can see that on climate change he’s not relying on fear to motivate people. He keeps stressing the opportunities for entrepreneurs and for new kinds of employment as we take on climate challenges.

Oh sure, the President has his critics. The Wall Street Journal seems critical of most of his policies, but that’s probably to be expected. One of the frequent jabs is that Biden “has caved” to the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Another way to look at would be that he needs to keep his Party united, that he has to have both the moderates and progressives pulling together as his majority is razor-thin. So maybe instead of “caving” he’s managing?

As I was taking Colin to his half-day of 4th grade this morning, I noticed something else that seemed to me good news. Quite a few parents, often both Mom and Dad, were walking their kids to school. I imagine that these parents continue to work from home so have the chance to take a break and walk the kids to school. Anyway, it was a welcome sight on sunny, spring morning.

Goodness knows, we need some good news after the long year of the pandemic. To hear that the waters of the Puget Sound and Salish Sea are teeming with life is certainly good news.



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