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

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."

Cap-and-Trade in Washington state. Phase 2: the big buyoff

May 13, 2015 in Blog

Having failed to garner enough support from House Democrats, the Governor’s cap-and-trade bill now enters what has become a traditional phase for cap-and-trade legislation: the Big Buyoff. A new version of the cap-and-trade proposal was released this week, this time with hundreds of millions of dollars intended for selected industries to earn the votes of particular representatives.

This is a familiar pattern for cap-and-trade. The examples are plentiful.

The Phony Math and Ironic Economics to Justify Electric Car Tax Breaks

April 30, 2015 in Blog

Math errors. Exaggerations. Phony metrics. Trickle-down economics. The recent e-mail from JJ McCoy of the Seattle Electric Vehicle Association to the legislature has it all.

Electric car advocates in Washington state are again asking for a sales tax break on top of the existing federal tax credit they receive of $7,500. Their sales tax break costs the state about $10 million a year. To put that in context, that is about one-quarter of the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board’s annual funding.

How Free-Market Environmental Solutions Are Helping Nicaragua's Sea Turtles

April 23, 2015 in Blog

Today's guest post is from Wendy Purnell. Currently, she is the Director of Outreach at PERC, the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana. For six years, she worked with Paso Pacífico, learning everything she knows about sea turtles from their dedicated rangers.

Earth Day highlights dreadful record of environmental predictions and policies

April 21, 2015 in Blog

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and activists, politicians and the media will push for policies they say will reduce our environmental impact. Often, it is simply assumed these policies will work and the only question is whether we have the "will" to adopt them.

Actually, the environmental left has a terrible record when it comes to environmental predictions and effectiveness. Repeatedly, their policies fail or even increase environmental damage to our planet.  Their policy announcements are applauded, but their policy failures are rarely highlighted.

The Folly of Connecting Air Quality to Climate Policy

April 15, 2015 in Blog

Today's guest blog is from Dr. Kay Jones. Dr. Jones is a retired U.S. Public Health Service officer.  He served as the senior advisor for air quality at the President’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) under the Ford and Carter administrations. He was responsible for initiating the national program to investigate the effects of acid rain.

Washington's Cap-and-Trade is Dead

March 27, 2015 in Blog

House Democrats released their budget today and the revenue from the Governor's proposed cap-and-trade carbon policy is not included. Bills necessary to implement the budget are never truly dead, but the exclusion of cap-and-trade from the House budget means the Governor's carbon policy is fundamentally dead.

Thurston County Data Shows Plastic Bag Bans Increased Water and Air Pollution

March 24, 2015 in Blog

Now that Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and unincorporated areas of Thurston County have implemented a ban on plastic grocery bags, Thurston County Solid Waste completed a study of what kind of grocery bag residents now use. The results show the ban has likely increased emissions of greenhouse gases and increased water pollution that contributes to "dead zones" in the ocean.