Weekend Reading 8/28/15

Our future climate war, the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and overrated salad greens.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of ghosttide.com.


Following up on one of the big cultural questions that phenomena like the Amazon company can pose to America…. Like, “Could cheaper goods actually be bad for consumers?” Authors United argued just that recently in a complaint to the US DOJ—one which likely goes over the heads of most Amazonians—that the company’s monopoly and monopsony on the book market deprives consumers of diversity and quality in what they can read.

Salad greens, people—they’re overrated. (And the logical conclusion  …  read more »

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Video: The Art of Talking Climate Science

Four messaging tips for climate scientists.
Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

Original Sightline Institute graphic, available under our free use policy.

Communicating science to non-experts in compelling, convincing ways feels more important than ever. But the accepted language of academic reporting as well as the established norms of most scientific fields can set scientists up for trouble.

So, what’s a scientist to do when a news reporter calls or a public speech is coming up?

Here’s a short video outlining four messaging guidelines to avoid the most common pitfalls and to be ready to go with compelling messages. Read more »

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Event: Washington’s Fight Against Coal & Oil

Learn more about Washington's frontline fossil fuel fight.

Join us for a free community forum on the coal and oil industry’s plans to build new dirty energy transport facilities in Washington. This forum will cover Washington’s and Thurston County’s role in holding the Thin Green Line against international fossil fuel trade; explain the costs and consequences of coal and oil transport; and provide opportunities for citizen action.

Event Details

  • Forum: “Running the Risk: Washington’s Fight against Coal Export and Oil Transport”
  • When: Thursday, September 3, 6:30 pm (program

 …  read more »

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Five Things Northwest States Should Know about the Federal Clean Power Plan

Obama puts states on a path to pricing pollution.

Last fall I described how President Obama’s draft federal Clean Power Plan (CPP) gave Oregon and Washington a chance to leap into a clean energy future. The final federal rule is out, and it clears and fortifies the path for states. The CPP is a carbon-pricing powerhouse: it gives Oregon and Washington’s governors authority, even without legislative action, to price carbon pollution and to join other states in a regional or national price on electric power sector pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan is the progeny of the US Supreme Court’s 2007 holding that the Clean Air Act covers greenhouse gas emissions. The Clean Air Act uses a “cooperative federalism” approach; EPA sets goals for each state. It then lets the states write their own implementation plans for reaching their goal. States must submit plans by September 2016 and comply with the final goal by 2030. Last year’s draft plan aimed to cut nationwide power sector emissions about 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, but the final plan estimates it will get down to 32 percent below 2005 levels. While cutting global warming pollution, the CPP will also avoid 90,000 asthma attacks and 3,600 premature deaths. Read more »


What Montana’s Tongue River Railroad Means for Coal Export

A coal market analysis riddled with factual errors boosts the industry’s export schemes.

Weekend Reading 8/21/15

Why Americans are ashamed, the neoliberalization of higher education, Latino voices on climate change, and more.

3 Possible Outcomes of Governor Inslee’s Carbon Order

A rulemaking could give Washington a head start on action.

What Methanol Means for the Northwest

A look at China’s plans for three big export refineries.

Weekend Reading 8/14/15

Startups to reduce food waste, Tesoro's new oil export plans, fossil fuel money in politics, and more.