Tmyers

The Taylor Swifting of Seattle Climate Policy

February 22, 2013 in Blog

The City of Seattle's Office of Sustainability and Environment has released what has to be the most embarassing government video ever produced. Considering the Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Partnership's dog poop rap video is also out there, this is saying something.

The video, titled "We're So Green," has a message about as complex as a Taylor Swift song. With lines like "We are Seattle and we're leading the change," to call the video self-absorbed doesn't seem to go far enough.

Governor Inslee's Climate Legislation: Some Promising Signs

February 15, 2013 in Blog

Yesterday, Governor Jay Inslee released one element of his climate strategy, creating a "climate and legislative work group." The legislation calls for an analysis of a range of strategies to reduce carbon emissions. That analysis would be used by legislators to develop a final strategy.

Flame Retardant Ban Advocates Admit New Ban Repeats Errors of Last Ban

February 8, 2013 in Blog

Last week the House Environment Committee in Olympia considered HB 1294 which would ban a certain type of flame-retardant compound and create a process for identifying alternatives. Supporters of the legislation argue this will get us off the "toxic treadmill" of moving from one risky compound to the next.

Three Questions for Advocates of the Latest Ban on Flame-Retardants

February 5, 2013 in Blog

Tomorrow, the House Environment Committee will consider HB 1294, the latest ban on flame-retardant compounds. The bill would ban a compound called Tris and would give the Department of Ecology the authority to ban future flame-retardants "unless a manufacturer demonstrates that there is not a technically feasible safer alternative to the flame retardant."

State Finds Choosing "Precaution" Over Science on Vaccines Creates Significant Health Risks

February 1, 2013 in Blog

The Department of Health explains that Washington state law limits the amount of thimerosal "as a precaution." In other words, the state is ignoring the science in favor of an amorphous standard of "precaution." What is the result of that precaution? Selecky’s agency goes on to explain:

New Environmental Documentary Tells Other Side of "Fracking" Story

January 22, 2013 in Blog

We don't have much natural gas in Washington state, but the impacts of the boom in natural gas production are certainly being felt here with lower prices. The low cost has also caused natural gas to replace coal in many parts of the country, causing a steep decline in nationwide carbon emissions.

Governor Inslee and Climate Policy: Measuring Success and Failure

January 16, 2013 in Blog

In his inaugural address today, Governor Inslee highlighted the need to reduce the risk of climate change from carbon emissions. He specifically emphasized the need to "replace rhetoric with quantifiable results." This is critical. Washington politicians have been heavy on rhetoric the past several years and the results have been poor.

Longtime Opponent of Biotech Crops Says Movement is "Anti-Science"

January 4, 2013 in Blog

As activists opposing biotechnology crops and genetically modified foods, known as GMOs, were turning in signatures for their new labeling initiative, another anti-GMO activist was giving a speech about his past activism. The speech, however, doesn't begin as you might predict:

Washington's Climate Strategies Waste 95 Out of Every 100 Dollars

January 2, 2013 in Blog

As the governor and legislature debate various environmental proposals for 2013, here is one fact they should keep in mind: many of the State of Washington's climate policies waste about 99 percent of the money spent to cut carbon emissions. Even those policies that perform better than that standard are only slightly better, missing huge opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.

Washington State Brags about Its Failed 'Green' Building Standards that Other States Are Abandoning

December 28, 2012 in Blog

Pointing to a recent television news story, the House Democrats yesterday touted the Washington state law requiring that school buildings meet "green" building standards, claiming "taxpayers pay less for electricity every month." There are several problems with this claim, however, and stubborn support for this failed law despite the evidence has resulted in less money for schools, an actual increase in energy use and more environmental damage.

Is Climate Change Already Here? Seattle Times 'Science' Article Ignores Actual Data.

December 24, 2012 in Blog

The Seattle Times recently featured a story on climate change with a sub-headline that declared "Scientists analyzing the effects of climate change say they are surprised to see how much winter has already changed and the cascade of effects that unleashes, from outbreaks of pests and diseases to fewer days of skiing."

USA Today Report Echoes WPC Finding on 'Green' Schools

December 11, 2012 in Blog

A report in the USA Today found that "green" schools in other states don't actually perform as promised. The report, "Green Schools: Long on promise, short on delivery," gave this example from the Houston Independent School District:

Wherein I Plagiarize Blatantly From the Sightline Institute

December 7, 2012 in Blog

It is a bit of a dreary, winter Friday. Since my coffee has not yet kicked in, I will simply plagiarize this excellent paragraph from Alan Durning of the Sightline Institute.

Navy's New Solar Installation: Lemonade Stand Economics At Work

November 2, 2012 in Blog

A couple weeks ago, solar energy company SunPower announced a new agreement to provide the U.S. Navy with solar power, claiming it would save the military branch $13 million. One solar energy blog wrote this about the announcement:

On World Food Day, A Question for Greens Opposing GMOs

October 16, 2012 in Blog

Today is World Food Day, a day designed to focus on reducing worldwide hunger and poverty. According to the United Nations, more than 800 million people worldwide are undernourished. While that number is tragically large, it is a dramatic improvement on where we might have been.