Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines
May 20, 2013
Last week the Sightline Institute released a study about fossil fuels that gives a numeric value to the amount of global-warming carbon dioxide that would be emitted by all the energy-exporting projects now in the planning stages across the Northwest. It’s breathtaking, that kind of industrial concentration: Cascadia has suddenly become the nexus of mining and energy companies anxious to get their products off to power-hungry Asian markets.
Vancouver Sun | Climate
Tukwila’s astounding cultural mash-up is one of the more obvious signs of the global migration that has transformed this once sleepy Seattle suburb into an international city of the future. Largely ignored, sometimes mocked, and often mistaken as “Southcenter” after the shopping mall that occupies the city’s south end, Tukwila has quietly taken its place beside New York and San Francisco as one of the most diverse cities in the country.
The Seattle Times | Race
How the fight over fluoridated water is splitting Portland’s Left.
Wall Street Journal | Health
In this video for the Nature Conservancy, rapper Macklemore explains how municipal green space in his home city of Seattle influenced his career: He and his friends didn’t want to kick it at their parents’ houses, so they went and freestyled in parks. The moral here is clear: Want more rappers? Make more parks. It’s just science.
Grist | Land Use
A full hour on climate, from radio show This American Life.
This American Life | Climate
It turns out that we are only 10 percent human: for every human cell that is intrinsic to our body, there are about 10 resident microbes — including generally harmless freeloaders, favor traders and, in only a tiny number of cases, pathogens. It appears increasingly likely that this “second genome” exerts an influence on our health as great and possibly even greater than the genes we inherit from our parents.
New York Times | Health
We’ve laid out our priorities. Now it’s time for the vision thing. In a word: tolling.
Crosscut | Transportation
A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life.
New York Times | Health
In a report released this morning, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) says bicycle traffic counts for 2012 were up 3.3 percent over 2011 levels. These counts, which have been conducted annually since 1991, provide an important barometer for how many people are riding bikes in Portland. In addition to bike traffic volumes, the counts also tally gender and helmet usage.
Bike Portland | Transportation
Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess’ bomb shell announcement that he’s withdrawing from the mayor’s race changes everything. Here’s how it helps and hurts the remaining field.
Publicola | Politics
More News from May 20, 2013
Troubles in Oregon’s timber country have reached a tipping point since the expiration last year of federal subsidies that were sent to rural counties across America for 11 years to offset revenue losses caused by reduced logging on federal lands to protect endangered and threatened species.
Associated Press | Forests
A dilemma for Hanford, eastern Idaho, and similar federal nuclear sites is that the contamination already there makes them targets for receiving even more when federal officials go looking for locations to store chemical or atomic wastes. Of potential concern for Cascadia is whether the two Northwest sites might be the recipients of large radioactive inventories of waste from commercial facilities, which are expected to generate the majority of these wastes in the future.
Sightline | Pollution
While soaking up the rays in what’s been an unusually sunny season, Portlanders have broken away from their polite chatter about food, wine and outdoor adventure to fight about whether to fluoridate the water supply.
The Seattle Times | Health
Export markets are crucial to farmers and processors because Oregonians eat only a fraction of what’s grown here. Despite consumer support for locally grown food in restaurants and farmers markets, about 80 percent of the state’s agricultural production is sold out of state. Roughly 35 to 40 percent leaves the country.
The Oregonian | Food
Plans for an underground coal mine near Buckley Bay on central Vancouver Island were dealt a set back Friday with provincial rejection of Compliance Coal Corp.’s application for the Raven Underground Coal Project.
Vancouver Sun | Coal
The news that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the most important global warming gas, have hit 400 parts per million for the first time in millions of years increases the pressure on President Obama to deliver on his pledges to limit this country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Which is just what he will have to do. The prospects for broad-based Congressional action putting a price on carbon emissions are nil.
New York Times | Climate
The growth of bicycle traffic in Portland slowed in 2012, but still clicked up by 3.3 percent, according to Portland Bureau of Transportation data released Friday.
The Oregonian | Transportation
Dispatches from a day at King County’s award-winning government sustainability conference.
Crosscut | Government