An overview of environmental policy in 2010 would not be complete without reviewing the best videos of the year. Videos provided some of the most entertaining and disturbing moments. Here are five of our favorites.
We have to lead off with the video that caused the biggest stir of the year - a video the producers called "extremely funny." And really, what isn't funny about murdering children and your political opponents (yep, they actually do that in the video)?
Just a few years back, Washington voters passed legislation requiring utilities to provide increasing amounts of renewable energy to their customers. The definition of "renewable" is fairly narrow, but it does include "biomass," which is energy from wood waste, predominantly, that is burned to generate electricity.
Seeing an opportunity to profit, a company called Adage has announced its plans to build a large biomass plant near Shelton to sell the electricity to Washington state utilities. Some greenies, however, aren't happy about it.
When listening to politicians and campaigns, the message people lead with often reveals the real reason they support a particular policy. Some are very good at "staying on message," but most soon reveal their primary motivation.
Which is why these comments from two of R-52's biggest advocates struck me:
Today, supporters of Referendum 52, which would add nearly a billion dollars in state debt to fund energy projects in state schools, write in the Everett Herald about why voters should vote "yes." Interestingly, the study they cite indicating R-52 will make schools healthier has nothing to do with the projects R-52 would fund.
Roger Pielke Jr., who spoke earlier this year at our annual environmental conference, is in Seattle today to read from his new book "The Climate Fix." It is one of the most thoughtful books on the subject I've read in some time. Here is what I wrote on Amazon about The Climate Fix:
Friday, the state's Clean Energy Leadership Council held a public meeting in Seattle to unveil its approach on how the state can "grow the clean energy sector and promote economic development and green job creation in Washington."
The event concluded with a speech from Ash Awad, McKinstry's Vice President of Energy and Facility Services, who promised that with the right policies the state could achieve "environmental salvation." What policies did he propose?
In recent weeks the Puget Sound Partnership has received a growing number of complaints about the way it is making decisions about Puget Sound cleanup. Here is a list of recent pieces on the PSP, the challenges it faces and critiques.
The City of Seattle is considering a revision to private property tree restrictions for the first time since they were enacted in 2001 and, not surprisingly, activists are "outraged." The proposed rules would change the regulations relating to trees on private property, and The Stranger reports that the Seattle Department of Planning and D
There may be no issue where science and politics have been more thoroughly conflated than climate change. Rhetoric and politics have too often masqueraded as science. The last few days provided some text book examples of how acute this problem has become.
Last week's Wall Street Journal Saturday Column is from Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, and chronicles his effort to build a "green" home. Interestingly he notes some of the very problems we've highlighted with green schools here in Washington state.
Last week, the Department of Energy announced it is funding a test of the Smart Grid, an upgrade to the current electrical grid. Developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in the Tri-Cities, the Smart Grid would improve the stability of the grid and allow consumers to receive real-time information about rates and adjust their energy use accordingly.