By JOEL CONNELLY
Living in a corner of America powered, irrigated and inspired by water, we ought to treat Tuesday's report released by the White House, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, as a wake-up call and cold shower.
"We are the alpha and the omega of global warming," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., who helped write a flawed -- but needed -- bill to change national energy policy. It's pending in the House.
Want to know how climate change is changing America? Read the report. Want its bottom line: "Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced." Changes "are expected to increase."
Want to see impacts on the Northwest? Just look around, something that global-warming skeptics resolutely refuse to do.
Global warming is shrinking the winter snowpack. A smaller snowpack means reduction in the runoff that sustains our river flows, makes the desert bloom, allows salmon to reach and return from the ocean, and powers the world's greatest hydroelectric system.
The consequences don't end when our rivers reach salt water.
"Climate change and ocean acidification are already having major impacts on Washington: Our $100 million shellfish industry is in crisis after four years of oyster reproductive failure from ocean acidification," said Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.The complete article at SeatlePI.com is here.