American Mom and Pops Want Climate Fixes

Poll: American small business owners favor climate action.

American small business owners. When it comes to politics, they’re portrayed as mythic heroes of the American economy, the salt-of-the-earth “mom and pops,” the real job creators, a constituency to be catered to, a force to be reckoned with. Like apple pie. And conventional wisdom would have it that this powerful, Republican-leaning, slice of the electorate would fall in with the far-right when it comes to climate attitudes.

But a June 2014 survey of small business owners across the US conducted by the American Sustainable Business Council this month found that the nation’s local, bedrock employers support action on climate change.

And significantly, these views cut across party lines. A plurality of those surveyed (43 percent) self-identified as either Republican or Republican-leaning Independent. These scientific survey results counter the argument that the business community generally resists action on climate change. It found the opposite, with small business owners particularly concerned about climate change’s impact on their bottom line.

The national phone survey of 555 owners of small businesses (2 to 99 employees) found that clear majorities of small business owners are concerned about how climate change will affect their companies, including its impact on energy costs, health care costs and the infrastructure they depend on.

In fact, survey respondents voiced strong support for government action to address climate change, specifically, efforts to limit carbon pollution from power plants.

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Back to the Future

Modernizing regulation, reimbursement, and care for our teens.

More than 80 percent of teen pregnancies are accidents. A girl with other hopes and dreams—or maybe a girl who is floundering, who hasn’t even begun to explore her hopes and dreams—finds herself unexpectedly slated for either an abortion or 4,000 diapers. Given the shame and stigma surrounding abortion in many American subcultures, that can seem like a choice between the proverbial rock and hard place. The exciting news that launched this Sightline series is that teen pregnancy is in  …  read more »

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Northwest Knows Best?

But Citizens United left us some nasty residue.

Research by Jane Harvey

Last time, I described Buckley v Valeo, the seminal Supreme Court ruling that teed up Citizens United and that forbids caps on political spending in the United States. In that case, Chief Justice Warren Burger dissented, writing, “What remains after today’s holding leaves no more than a shadow of what Congress contemplated. I question whether the residue leaves a workable program.”

This article documents the residue—the unworkable program that attempts to regulate money in politics—in  …  read more »

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Highest and Best Use…Or Not.

When NOT improving property is highly profitable.

­­With the sharp rise in Seattle real estate values over the last several years, you might assume that landowners have been champing at the bit to redevelop some of the low-value, dilapidated properties that they own in and around downtown.

Yet in many cases you’d be wrong. As it turns out, holding onto a crumbling building, and even letting it slowly deteriorate, can be a terrific business proposition. As the surrounding neighborhood develops, growing in value by attracting new residents and  …  read more »


A Downtown School Just Dropped in Seattle’s Lap

For free (maybe). Will the school district take it on?

Weekend Reading 7/18/14

Readers make the best lovers, the 8-minute Comcast plea, and more.

A Move to Ban the Most Dangerous Oil Trains

Environmental law group petitions regulators to follow safety recommendations.

5 Elements of Good Stories—5 Deadly Sins

How to win (or lose) the "Story Wars" (Part I).

Stand by Me

How providers can better meet kids on their own turf.

Industry To Feds: We Will Keep Using Old Unsafe Tank Cars For Three More Years, or Longer If We Feel Like It

Ignoring safety reports, oil train industry tries to roll regulators.