Letter to the editor: Elected officials need to safeguard what’s special about Edmonds


Recently, an experience during an early Sunday morning walk in an Edmonds park has had me pondering a single word — and what it means — ever since.

There has been plenty of talk with the upcoming elections about living together in our growing community, finding common ground, and how to move forward in our ever, and rapidly changing, world. Many times, I have heard the word “harmony” used in regard to these issues. This word, “harmony,” is what I have been considering since this stroll.

While walking that morning, I heard bird chatter that I could not immediately identify, emanating from the other end of the park. As I rounded a corner, I discovered what I had been hearing. On the forest floor was a Sharp-shinned hawk, who upon sighting me, flew onto a branch to join another hawk already there. I stood, in awe. Two hawks! How lucky was I to see this? But what I observed next was truly amazing. On the ground, a few feet from the two adults, was a juvenile hawk, squawking at his parents as if asking “where’s breakfast?”

Under its parents’ tutelage the juvenile was learning to hunt and fly under the canopy of the trees. It was an amazing, rare experience to pay witness to not just one hawk, but an entire family!

Knowing that the young hawk needed to focus, and that I was a distraction, I bid my forest friends farewell as I continued my walk. As I passed the nearby playground, I stopped and contemplated what I normally see here. I usually walk through in the middle of the day when the playground is rife with sounds of jubilant children playing. Human parents instruct their offspring on how to swing on the swings by pumping their legs or they are urging a weary youngster to try the slide.

Is this not just what I had observed with the hawks? Parents interacting with, teaching, and encouraging their young ones? It was exactly that. We, as humans, often lose sight to the fact that we are analogous to our wildlife counterparts in so many ways.

The family of hawks are fortunate to have this park and forest to dwell and hunt in, but for our area wildlife in general, things are getting tough. Just in the neighborhood that I live in, I hear chainsaws and trees coming down several times a week. Sadly, this is not isolated to my part of town, it is occurring all over Edmonds.

We boast, as proud Edmonds residents, about how beautiful a place we live in and indeed we do! We tout the views of the Sound, our parks, our trees and wildlife. I excitedly tell friends about the eagles, herons and songbirds that make their homes near mine, and I have overheard similar stories as I walk the waterfront, as Edmonds residents show out-of-town guests the sights. It is evident that we love nature here. However, if we want to continue to live in the natural resplendence that surrounds us, we need to do something now to protect it.

Habitat is dwindling at an alarming rate for the amazing creatures that we eagerly point out to out-of-towners. We know that the orcas are struggling as a result of lack of what they need to survive and thrive (a clean, safe, food-rich habitat.) The plight of the orcas is grimly similar to that of small and large birds and mammals in our region.

In Edmonds, we want our wildlife, we want our trees and a clean Puget Sound, and that is juxtaposed to the need for more housing, and the inevitable reality that development has arrived and isn’t ceasing. So, how do we, as humans — with the power to preserve and protect, and the power to destroy — find harmony with nature?

We as individuals can all do our part, but I particularly implore our elected officials, present and soon to take office, to act, and do so swiftly. Please safeguard our trees, protect the Sound, and defend what we as Edmonds residents cherish, before it is too late. I firmly believe that we can accommodate growth and preserve the natural gifts that we are so blessed to have.

Harmony is possible if we consider others and if we remember that “others” aren’t restricted to the human race.

Killy Keefe

10 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Elected officials need to safeguard what’s special about Edmonds”

  1. Killy,

    If only it were that easy!

    Blame technology, if you wish to blame. As we continue to live longer, too many of us continue having children, thus growing the population.

    We are no longer dependent on the environment and nature, but the all mighty Federal Reserve Dollar for our needs, which we receive through Business.

    So we are also dependent on Business, always grow the Business Community, both small and large. Think of some of our very own international mega-Businesses upon which we are dependent. They must always, grow, more money, more people in order to retain their vitality.

    And, to date, in this part of the world, we have not grown more land upon which to live.

    As more Federal Reserve Dollars are created, from nothingness, the simple dollar becomes always worth less. A little over just 100 years ago, a comlete meal could be had for a nickel.

    As more people desire a place to reside, housing becomes more costly. Edmonds, in particular, “the bowl” is a very attractive place to live, and it is becoming more and more, another place for the wealthy.

    Mountlake Terrace, where I reside is in the process of creating density, expecting 6000 more people in about 1 square mile, which I abhore. But, all of these peole, where to live? Anyplace but here?

    For many people, housing IS a crises.

    The health or measure of The Global Free Economy has no bearing on nature or people. War, hate and crime create jobs and therefore help the economy. Compassion, improving relations with our neighbors, or nature, does nothing for The Economy.

    In short, while we are dependent on nature, we are no less dependent on – The Economy.

    It’s not only Edmonds.


  2. Thank you, Killy. Yours is a beautifully written letter and I agree with you 100%. In the past, I lived in an Ohio town much like Edmonds where trees could not be cut down without permission from the Tree Commission. That ordinance has saved many trees which otherwise would have been cut down to make room for a remodel of a home or business. In addition, less land was covered over with home expansions .


  3. Good read Killy. Cant have density and trees.

    On the macro view, the planet is getting greener despite the cutting of trees thanks to CO2. The trees are happy to be cut down so long as we burn fossil fuel to fertilize the atmosphere for new trees.

    Also human population will likely go back below 7 billion. Peak Baby from the late Hans Rosling:

    Edmonds could incentivise more trees by
    1) allowing people to cut the down – people fear planting trees because they are a property rights liability
    2) subsidize the planting of new trees, maybe even give a property tax break for ppl who plant or install trees.


  4. Matt,

    You’re promoting use of fossil fuel but the article does not. You’re doing what we all do, cherry picking facts to support your opinion. Since you’ve done this before related to climate change, I feel compelled to point it out. The article said:

    “Green leaves use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to grow. While rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the air can be beneficial for plants, it is also the chief culprit of climate change. The gas, which traps heat in Earth’s atmosphere, has been increasing since the industrial age and is continuing to reach concentrations not seen in at least 500,000 years. What’s more, researchers say the favorable impacts of carbon dioxide on plants may be limited. Studies have shown that plants adjust to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and the powerful boost given to vegetation growth decreases over time.”


    1. There are two processes behind saying the earth is getting greener and saying CO2 causes climate change. The first is empirical, the latter is analytical. Both statements dont have the same gravity just because they were from the same article. You’re confusing cherrypicking with intelligent qualification of statements and information.

      The planet getting greener is -hard- evidence via empirical observation. Plants want 1200ppm CO2. Planet is only 440ppm +, which is near the lowest composition in geological history. All life ends at 180ppm. With all the deforestation, the planet would have been doomed if we didnt put more plant food into the atmosphere to catalize a boom in vegetative mass. Desertification that been occurring for tens of thousands of years is reversing. It’s a miracle. Oxygen is caustic. It reacts with everything. Its absurd to consider oxygen pollution. But carbon, an inert element that is barely present in the atmosphere is pollution? What is the correct level of CO2?

      Emperically, CO2 has almost no effect on climate change. Actually, CO2 is the byproduct of global warming, not the cause as hard evidence from ice cores prove. The science behind CO2 being the driver of climate change is as irreproducable as other -soft- sciences such as psychology. Psychology is a serious science, just like climatology, but psychology is only correct 36% of the time (see link). Climatetology is having a tough time too. It’s difficult and we’re just monkeys at the end of the day.
      What I admire about cosmologists is that they most often say they dont know, and they qualify their statements. There’s only one climate to study whereas psychologists have 7 billion possible test cases and they still cant get reproducable results (the gold standard). Climate Science is in its infancy. :/




  5. If what Matt R. wrote were only true! I don’t believe that the world’s population will decrease. There are lots of tribal societies on all continents that will make up for the West’s decline. Africa’s population will double in a couple of decades. Sure, western Europe has seen a marked decline, especially France, Italy, Germany. Those societies self-correct as more women earn a better income and can achieve self-respect by means other than breeding. Actually, in retrospect, China’s 1970s policy of one-child-per-couple was very smart. That did reverse their population explosion. And it had rewards for women, whose numbers are now so low that they have the pick-of-the-litter when they want to get married.

    City officials have no control over population control; they can only be reactive once the people are there. But they do have control over the cuttong down and replanting of trees; we now need more drought-resistant species to replace withering old-growth. Often, you have no choice but to cut; you don’t want to wait until they fall down onto your house, or onto a car as has happened to one of my former neighbors during a storm.


    1. Watch the Hans Rosling TED talk. I’m not an anthropologist. You’re assessment of what I’m paraphrasing is a bit folksy. As societies westernize, as fossil fuels and capitalism pulls poor people out of poverty, evidence clearly shows that their cultural family units decline from [say] 7 kids to less than 2. Fewer kids die, and moms have a greater appreciation for less children.


  6. Princeton Professor William Happer on CO2:

    “We’re in a bit of a carbon dioxide famine if you look at geological history.”

    CO2 is at near the lowest concentrations in geological history. Because all carbon that is in plants comes from CO2 from the atmosphere, and because practically all fossil fuels are from plants that did not bio-degrade, practically all carbon in hydro-carbon deposits used to be in the form of CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans. Plants pulled CO2 out of the air, died, got buried and the sequestration processes continued, nearly depleting carbon from the atmosphere. Burning fossil fuels effectively puts CO2 that used to be in the atmosphere, back into the atmosphere, which provides food for plants and efficient photosynthesis. This is why the planet is experiencing a boom in vegetative mass. Fossil fuels are sequestered carbon that used to be in the atmosphere, from epochs that had greater bio density and bio diversity, often epochs that where the planet were cooler as well.

    As I point out earlier, the planet would have been in horrible shape had humans cut down so many trees and had NOT burned fossil fuels to fertilize the growth of new vegetation. Thousands of years of desertification is reversing – thanks to the second industrial revolution. People need to find a way to preserve the forests AND continue the fertilization of the planet.

    Currently, the planet is starved for CO2:


    1. Very interesting discussion and information that I have not heard before, Matt. My first reaction is, I don’t like what you’re saying. But I am the kind of person who wants to know the truth even if it goes against my ‘likes’. So, I will be taking a look at your links.


  7. All science needs to be reproducible. Scientists built multiple facilities to detect gravitational waves. Each experiment was firewalled from the others:

    This type of rigor doesnt exist in climatology. When climate scientist discovered that CO2 lags temprature according to Ice Core samples, they invented a now discredited theory called “Bubble Migration” to fudge the unexpected results.

    Wikileaks first leak was an episode called ClimateGate which revealed the thought processes and politics behind select instutions… and it continues:

    There are other bad sciences. Its not one standard, not one culture. Scientist are even starting to study themselves…

    The Greivance Studies Hoax:

    The Reproducibility Project (incredibly damning result for psychology) :



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