Last week, it was announced that the atmosphere has reached a carbon dioxide concentration of 400 ppm. In the face of difficult realities like this, Anna Fahey recommends we tap into our “Dark Optimism” to confront with courage and resilience the difficult emotions that our climate crisis evokes. Guest author Kurt Hoelting wrote up her keynote speech from a recent climate conference at the Whidbey Institute. “Dark Optimism is our capacity to face dark truths, while believing unwaveringly in our human potential, and I think we can harness that.” Read more.
The Oregonian | Politics
Bellingham Herald | Coal
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Health
Toronto Globe and Mail | Politics
Grist | Economy
Vancouver Observer | Climate
Willamette Week | Land Use
The Oregonian | Transportation
Sightline | Energy
The Seattle Times | Immigration
Vehicle travel on Washington’s state roads fell again last year. It was a modest decline—just 0.8 percent—but as the chart to the right shows, it was a continuation of a full decade of essentially flat traffic. In fact, WSDOT estimates that total traffic on state roads was slightly lower in 2012 than it was in 2002.
A shocking inside look at China’s air pollution problem.
Check out this terrifying, fascinating timelapse of thirty years of human impact on the earth.
A contrarian take on the IRS scandal from David Horsey:
As inept as the IRS may have been in the way they processed applications for 501(c)(4) status, the bigger scandal is that the IRS grants the tax-exempt designation to so many overtly political organizations, treating them as if they are no more engaged in partisan politics than the Girl Scouts.
In the stormwater world, if a rain garden is releasing more pollution into the environment than it’s capturing, word gets around.
So when the city of Redmond crunched its first flush of data from a new roadside rain garden and discovered the water coming out of it was tainted with alarming levels of phosphorus, nitrates, and copper, the stormwater community took notice. Washington State regulators went on the record to say that they would be studying the data and possibly … read more »
There’s been quite a bit in the news of late about the decline in driving and gasoline consumption: take, for example, last week’s report on what the long-term decline in driving means for the nation’s transportation finances, a report that generated some interesting press coverage.
And there’s also been quite a lot of attention to ethanol—particularly the fact that US ethanol consumption has grown so quickly that refiners are starting to bump against the so-called “blend wall,” the point at which no more ethanol can be added to highway fuel without running into legal troubles or mechanical difficulties.
But the two issues—declining gas consumption, increasing ethanol consumption—actually interact in interesting ways. read more »