Cascadia Daily Dec. 8, 2017

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Protests and controversy as BC awaits decision on Site C dam

British Columbia premier John Horgan is expected to announce a decision soon on a proposed $9 billion hydro dam project on northeast BC’s Peace River. Yesterday, activists protesting the new dam occupied the offices of BC Environment and Cllimate Change Minister George Heyman, who was previously one of the project’s loudest critics. 14 First Nations in Canada oppose the new dam.

Trump repeals safety regulations for oil trains

The Trump administration, in its continued efforts to ease rules for corporations and fossil fuel industries, announced the roll back of new safety rules for oil trains implemented by the Obama administration–rules that would have included requirements for improved electronic hydraulic brakes. A derailment of a train on the Columbia River in 2016 caused a massive fire and oil spill.

Bitcoin sucking up Cascadia’s cheap electricity

A new mining boom is hitting the Pacific Northwest, but it doesn’t involve digging up ore. “Data mining” for the crypto-currency Bitcoin is reaching a huge surge, now that the electronic currency’s value has topped $13,000 per “coin.” Because of relatively inexpensive hydropower electricity costs in eastern Washington, new “prospectors” with computer servers are suddenly booming there. But an expose at Wired reveals the huge climate cost of crypto currency: equivalent to the entire energy use of Ireland in one year.

Chinese artist Ai Wei-Wei’s work on display in Eugene

International art celebrity Ai Wei-Wei has a show of work at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. You can watch a short video report at the Register-Guard about the show, which features massive bronze heads inspired by Chinese astrology. Originally created by Jesuit missionaries in China, the sculptures have  have been “appropriated” by Wei-Wei’s to make a statement on cultural looting and repatriation.

“Relish,” a poem by Seattle’s Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones is serving as the Seattle Review of Books’ poet in residence this month, and you can read her poem “Relish” online there. It’s a mordant (morbid?) remembrance of her grandmother upon the occasion of her funeral. My favorite line:
“her gray head juts
out her coffin
like a matchstick from a box.”
Jones will publish a chapbook in 2018. You can read more about her work on her website.

That’s all from Cascadia Daily’s temporary offices today at Oddfellows Cafe at Elliott Bay Books. 📚 Enjoy the weekend! –Andrew Engelson

Photo credits: Peace River Valley by Jeffrey Wynne, CC BY-SA 4.0.