WPC's Center for the Environment brings balance to the environmental debate by promoting the idea that human progress and prosperity work in a free economy to protect the environment.

Environment Blog

Sierra Club’s Donation to UW Coal Study Raises Red Flags

September 28, 2015 in Blog

"Unable to fund the project through traditional sources, they went online and found 271 people who were willing to make an average donation of $75 to have experts answer the question."

That is how the University of Washington described the funding for Professor Dan Jaffe’s project to measure coal dust from trains in Washington state. Crowdfunding, it was argued, was a more pure approach to funding, free of ideological obligations, allowing the scientists to go where the sciences leads.

It wasn’t exactly true.

A Few Facts About The Department of Ecology's Billion-Dollar Climate Regulations

September 22, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday, the Department of Ecology released the process for Governor Inslee’s announced climate change regulations. The notice of rulemaking says only that those covered by the new regulations will “have an obligation to reduce emissions over time,” and it promises that a “wide variety of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be available.”

California's Cap-and-Trade Significantly Increases Gas Prices In First Year

September 13, 2015 in Blog

Earlier this year, California applied its carbon cap-and-trade system - much like Governor Inslee has proposed - to gasoline sales. There was a great deal of attention paid to how it would affect gas prices.

Over at the left-wing Cascadia Advocate, they cheered in January when the impact on gas prices appeared to be minimal.

Seattle Environmentalists' Bold Plan To Reduce Air Pollution by Up To 0.5%, Ten Years From Now

June 29, 2015 in Blog

This weekend, Governor Inslee announced he would forego mandating a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) as part of the agreement on a transportation package. The environmental community had been making a last-ditch push on the LCFS, including taking out ads and an e-mail blitz to their members.

The primary talking point has been that an LCFS would improve air quality and reduce asthma. That claim, however, is not supported by any science, including the Governor's own reports.

Many have made the link between the LCFS and air quality.

Ocean Acidification Update from a Shellfish Grower on the Front Line

June 19, 2015 in Blog

Over the past year, there have been many claims about ocean acidification and the impact on oysters. Many of those claims have withered under scrutiny. Taylor Shellfish is on the front line of dealing with environmental issues facing oyster growers. They agreed to answer questions about the current state of science and what they are facing. What follows are their answers and do not reflect our views.

Seattle's Air Quality and Climate Change: Day 4

June 19, 2015 in Blog

The clouds moved in yesterday, but the high temperature was still about six degrees above average. Again, this correlates to the high end of the temperature projections for 2100 according to the IPCC.

Despite those temperatures, once again, air quality in the Puget Sound area was good:

Seattle's Air Quality and Climate Change: Day 3

June 18, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday was another warm, beautiful day in Seattle. The high temperature was seven degrees more than the average. This temperature is toward the highest end of projections from the IPCC for 2100. Again, if we expected to see air quality impacts due to rising temperatures, we might expect to see some evidence yesterday.

Here is the air quality chart for the Puget Sound area from yesterday afternoon:

Seattle's Air Quality and Climate Change: Day 2

June 17, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday, we noted that temperatures during the last two weeks have been significantly above average, about 11 degrees F during that period. One of the claims about rising temperatures associated with global warming is that air quality will worsen significantly, causing health and other problems.

We decided to share the actual air quality impact of these warm temperatures day by day to test the accuracy of these projections.

Temperatures cooled off a bit on June 16, but were still about three degrees above normal. That models to temperatures expected in about 2050.

Seattle's Air Quality and Climate Change

June 16, 2015 in Blog

Among the arguments made by those pushing a costly cap-and-trade carbon emissions policy is the claim that higher temperatures will bring big increases in air pollution. Both the Washington Environmental Council and Puget Sound Sage have recently used air pollution as a justification for pushing these polices.

Does the real world match their claims? We have a chance to test.

“I will stay away from the math.” Why Washington’s environmental policy has failed.

May 27, 2015 in Blog

One sentence sums up the last ten years of Washington's environmental policy.

"I will stay away from the math and instead tell you all a short story about my son."