Environmental Elitists vs. the Small People

January 13, 2011 in Blog

Last summer during the BP oil spill, the chairman of BP was criticized when he said he wanted to protect the "small people" from the spill's impacts. Now the Afternoon Jolt at Publicola is advocating something similar.

When Environmental Science Catches Up With the Environmental Scares

January 12, 2011 in Blog

It may take some time, but good science often catches up with the political claims. Here are three examples from just the last few weeks.

Was Erin Brockovich Wrong?

A New Year's Resolution for the Department of Ecology

January 7, 2011 in Blog

Last week we asked people to vote for the worst environmental decision of 2010, giving five choices. The people have spoken!

The Environmental Year in Video

December 30, 2010 in Blog

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)?

Washington is a Prisoner to Wasteful Energy Projects

December 22, 2010 in Blog

Would you spend $880,000 to save $147,000?

Washington state did.

Greens vs. Science - Attacking ORCAA

December 15, 2010 in Blog

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.

Eco-Fadz: Practical Green for the Practical Millionaire

November 18, 2010 in Blog

This might be the quote of the year regarding the push to be "green":

“Green is a trend and people go with trends. People get them as fashion statements and they have, like, 50 of them. I don’t think people know the real facts.”

Oh, and By the Way, It's Good For the Environment

November 5, 2010 in Blog

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:

R-52 Supporters Will Take Any Port in a Storm

October 26, 2010 in Blog

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.

The author writes in the Herald:

The Climate Fix is in Seattle - Great Book Reading Tonight

October 18, 2010 in Blog

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:

Offering Environmental Salvation...For A Price

October 18, 2010 in Blog

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?

The Kings of Climate Comedy

October 4, 2010 in Blog

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Climate Contradictions - China Edition

September 30, 2010 in Blog

I am in Sydney this week at a conference, so China is on my mind having had the opportunity to speak with economists from Beijing and Hong Kong.

What Now for the Puget Sound Partnership?

September 8, 2010 in Blog

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.

Seattle's Outraged Tree Activists Will Probably Kill More Trees Than They Save

September 6, 2010 in Blog

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