Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines
December 4, 2013
Thirty-three pounds of junk mail in 2012.
Here’s one whole year of my junk mail. Almost 33 pounds of it. A 20 inch stack of expensive, forest-destroying, unwanted trash. And that’s nothing! I’m five years into a crusade to defend my little mailbox from paper spam. Progress, yes, but it’s still an obscenity—to have to work so hard to keep other people from putting litter on my property.
Sightline | Green Living
Emergency crews ran for cover when they heard the noise, as they fought blasts of burning oil during the Lac-Mégantic rail disaster. The kettle-boil scream meant one thing: Oil vapours were shooting out of a derailed tank car and another fireball was about to rip from the broken train. But why was the oil so explosive?
Toronto Globe and Mail | Fossil fuels
Tribes and ranchers say they have reached a major breakthrough in negotiations over sharing water in Oregon’s arid Klamath Basin. They have the outline of a deal that could end 38 years of lawsuits and pave the way for removing four dams.
EarthFix | Water
This map highlights in yellow the nation’s Super Zips — those ranking highest on income and college education. (Spoiler alert: Seattle burns brightly on the Left Coast.)
Washington Post | Economy
The most prominent group pushing to expand coal exports in Washington state has fired its spokeswoman, Lauri Hennessey, and may be shifting its strategy in the aftermath of a hot mic incident.
The Seattle Times | Coal
Oil and coal companies hope to dispatch scores of trains across the Northwest each day, bearing fuel to refineries and port terminals. To help the public understand the magnitude of these schemes, Sightline is highlighting key rail crossings along the main path the trains would take. In this installment we examine communities in Snohomish County, Washington, where new trains would more than double rail traffic in some towns.
Sightline | Fossil fuels
When they meet today, shareholders of the Australian company trying to build coal export terminals in Oregon and Washington have little choice but to approve a deal giving a major investor more sway. The alternative is insolvency.
The Oregonian | Coal
The City of Portland announced a new solar project Tuesday that’s only half paid for — a big reason for all the fanfare surrounding its unveiling. What’s unusual, city leaders say, is their attempt to raise half the money for it through crowdsourcing.
EarthFix | Energy
The city of Vancouver has given developers $10 million in breaks on city fees through two rental housing construction incentive programs since 2009 — helping to create more than 1,300 units at a time when such housing hasn’t been built elsewhere. But now, in an effort to make sure rental housing is more affordable, the city is redrawing the rules to ensure developers aren’t targeting the luxury rental market.
Vancouver Sun | Housing
From discarded wood, welded scrap metal, broken tools, cigarette packets, soda cans and piles of trash, Tim Noble and Sue Webster make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows of people standing, sitting, smoking, drinking or anything easily recognizable. The result is surprising and powerful.
This Is Marvelous | Culture
More News from December 4, 2013
Garbage pick-ups in Seattle would change from weekly to biweekly if the Seattle City Council approves a plan discussed in a committee meeting on Tuesday morning.
Crosscut | Green Living
Many of Multnomah County’s river and stream culverts are blocking native fish passage through the water, according to a study released Tuesday. Of the 119 culverts in fish-bearing streams, 45 percent are impossible for a 6-inch fish to pass through. Another 40 percent are difficult, but not impossible.
The Oregonian | Water
Bicycle and pedestrian improvements top the list of proposals to spend $42 million Oregon lawmakers approved this year for transportation projects beyond the usual highway and bridge work. This is the first year that bike and pedestrian projects can qualify for the special pot of money, dubbed Connect Oregon.
The Oregonian | Transportation
The state of Washington should undertake a “comprehensive evaluation of the net economic costs” of siting huge coal export terminals at Longview and Cherry Point, according to request sent Monday by 23 Democratic legislators to Gov. Jay Inslee.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Coal
One report says sudden climate shifts could appear in years or decades and calls for an early warning system. Another says a widely accepted emissions cap is too high.
Los Angeles Times | Climate