Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

September 2, 2015

1. Seattle’s ‘grand bargain’ with developers for affordable housing

Rent prices in Seattle are increasingly out of reach for many people. As Seattle grows, the city council and the mayor want to require funding for affordable housing units with all new developments.

KPLU | Affordable housing | Tweet This

2. Why NW doctors oppose oil-by-rail development

“An unacceptable threat to human health and safety.” That’s how more than 300 medical professionals are describing plans to build out crude oil-by-rail facilities in the Northwest.

Sightline | Health impacts | Tweet This

3. In AK, massive achievement gaps separate Native and white students

While President Obama’s trip to Alaska this week has brought new attention to climate change, some in Alaska are hoping that the president’s visit also helps shine a light on the needs of the state’s public education system.

Washington Post | First Nations | Tweet This

4. Multnomah County ready to add $3M energy efficiency program

At its core, the program will help commercial building owners save energy.

Puget Sound Business Journal | Energy efficiency | Tweet This

5. Advocates seek to ‘green up’ Portland’s industrial belt

There’s Forest Park—the largest forested, urban, wilderness park in the United States—and right along its east side a strip of factories, container bays and chemical storage tanks.

Portland Tribune | Green development | Tweet This

6. Shell’s Arctic rig failed Coast Guard drills in Seattle

The records describe problems with anti-pollution equipment and a botched fire drill by the crew of another Shell-contracted drilling rig months before it began boring an exploratory oil well in the Chukchi Sea.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Arctic drilling | Tweet This

7. Obama uses the ‘gigaton’ to put glacier lost into perspective

In Anchorage, President Obama gave a rousing speech about just how dramatically global warming is transforming Alaska and the Arctic more broadly. That included getting pretty nerdy when it comes to the science of Arctic change.

Washington Post | Climate Change | Tweet This

8. Are rent specials for Seattle’s tech workers discriminatory?

Many of the city’s newer housing complexes offer special deals to workers at the big tech companies, including Microsoft and Google. The incentives may include cuts in deposits and fees to lure in those tech renters.

GeekWire | Housing | Tweet This

9. Climate change’s big effects on tiny, but important, marine organisms

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean—the result of human greenhouse gas emissions—could have a major effect on microscopic marine organisms known as cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae.

Washington Post | Climate Change | Tweet This

10. Video: NASA reveals how ocean garbage patches are made

The Scientific Visualization Team used computer models to show how plastic and other refuse collects in five spots.

TakePart | Pacific Garbage | Tweet This

More News from September 2, 2015

Climate-threatened communities face relocation, bureaucratic hurdles

Arctic coastal communities that are primarily indigenous and forced to relocate because of the effects of climate change face not only environmental threats but also bureaucratic hurdles.

Alaska Dispatch News | Climate Change | Tweet This

Marine protection a top issue for Vancouver voters

From coast guard closures to oil spills, local issues are dominating voters’ concerns as the main parties fight a three-way race for Metro Vancouver’s seats.

CBC British Columbia | Marine protection | Tweet This

Want your energy efficiency program to succeed? Aim it at poor people

California’s 20/20 program, implemented in 2005, can solve two problems simultaneously.

Grist | Energy efficiency | Tweet This

What Netflix’s new maternity leave policy doesn’t tell us about inequality

Activists gathered at Netflix’s corporate headquarters in Los Gatos, Calif., to protest a new workforce policy: Granting unlimited paid maternity leave to the relatively well-compensated workers on its digital side, but not the line workers who stuff DVDs into envelopes.

Washington Post | Inequality | Tweet This

New study reports 99% of sea bird species could be eating plastic by 2050

Plastic—it’s what’s for dinner, tragically, if you happen to be a hungry sea bird.

City Lab | Plastic Waste | Tweet This

First Nations chiefs talk tough on oil sands wealth

“Canada will no longer develop pipelines, no longer develop transmission lines or any infrastructure on our lands as business as usual,” said newly elected National Chief Perry Bellegarde on Wednesday, according to many press reports.

| First Nations | Tweet This