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Tag Archives: environment
Senate: Guy Palumbo
House Position 1: Derek Stanford
House Position 2: Shelley Kloba
Senate: Andy Billig
House Position 1: Marcus Riccelli
House Position 2: Timm Ormsby
Senate: Mark Mullet
House Position 1: Jason Ritchie
House Position 2: Darcy Burner
House Position 1: Lynnette Vehrs
Senate: Angie Homola
House Position 2: Doris Brevoort
Senate: Robert Hasegawa
House Position 1: Zachary Hudgins
House Position 2: Steven Bergquist
Senate: Tim Probst
House Position 1: Sam Kim
House Position 1: Strom Peterson
House Position 2: Lillian Ortiz-Self
Senate: Sam Hunt
House Position 1: Laurie Dolan
House Position 2: Beth Doglio
Senate: Christine Rolfes
House Position 1: Sherry Appleton
House Position 2: Drew Hansen
Senate: Kevin Van De Wege
House Position 1: Mike Chapman
House Position 2: Stephen Tharinger
House Position 2: Michelle Chatterton
House Position 1: Larry Seaquist
House Position 2: Randy Spitzer
Senate: Jeannie Darneille
House Position 1: Laurie Jinkins
House Position 2: Jacob Fey
Senate: Marisa Peloquin
House Position 1: Mari Leavitt
House Position 2: Christine Kilduff
House Position 1: David Sawyer
House Position 2: Steven Kirby
House Position 1: Michael Pellicciotti
House Position 2: Kristine Reeves
House Position 1: Cindy Ryu
House Position 2: Ruth Kagi
House Position 1: Tina Orwall
House Position 2: Mia Su-Ling Gregerson
House Position 1: Eileen Cody
House Position 2: Joseph Fitzgibbon
House Position 1: Irene Bowling
House Position 2: Craig Patti
Senate: Reuven Carlyle
House Position 1: Noel Frame
House Position 2: Gael Tarleton
House Position 1: Sharon Tomiko Santos
House Position 2: Eric Pettigrew
House Position 1: June Robinson
House Position 2: Michael Sells
Senate: Kevin Ranker
House Position 1: Kristine Lytton
House Position 2: Jeffrey Morris
House Position 1: Tana Senn
House Position 2: Judith Clibborn
House Position 1: Sharlaine LaClair
House Position 1: Nicole Macri
House Position 2: Frank Chopp
House Position 1: John Lovick
House Position 2: Katrina Ondracek
House Position 1: Roger Goodman
House Position 2: Lawrence Springer
House Position 1: Gerald Pollet
House Position 2: Jessyn Farrell
House Position 2: Patrick Sullivan
House Position 1: Patricia Kuderer
House Position 2: Joan McBride
Senate: Annette Cleveland
House Position 1: Sharon Wylie
House Position 2: Alishia Topper
The Washington Conservation Voters has released their first round of endorsements for the 2012 elections.
The Primary Election is August 7, 2012.
The General Election is Nov. 6, 2012.
Here is their list of endorsed candidates:
Sandra Romero, County Commissioner
Thomas L Friedman of the New York Times in an opinion entitled “The Inflection is Near?” continues his insightful questioning of our current worldwide economic predicament by asking what he calls a radical question. I don’t consider it radical at all and have been thinking the same thought for quite a while. The question is one of sustainability – is our current economy based on excessive consumption, throwaways, never ending growth and planned obsolescence part of the problem?
As Friedman asks:
“Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”
We have created a system for growth that depended on our building more and more stores to sell more and more stuff made in more and more factories in China, powered by more and more coal that would cause more and more climate change but earn China more and more dollars to buy more and more U.S. T-bills so America would have more and more money to build more and more stores and sell more and more stuff that would employ more and more Chinese …”
It’s time to rethink where the world is heading and whether it is where we really want to go. Many are now realizing that the idea of a “free market economy” really was just another campaign slogan for businesses to promote and maximize profits without reasonable oversight and regulation and that it cost us all dearly while a few made out for a while like bandits.
Growth is another one of those economic slogans that has had too little questioning but that has many consequences. Nature has checks and balances. If growth exceeds the carrying capacity of the environment, collapse of the population occurs. An economy based on ever increasing consumption can not sustain itself and part of the current economic collapse is the result of trying to set up ever increasing patterns of growth in consumption of material goods that are derived from limited resources and involve environmental cots. These costs now potentially include the very survivability of the planet and life as we know it.
Also an economy driven by ever increasing consumption that does not internalize the costs of its production but instead externalizes the costs of waste and pollution and throwaways onto the larger society is doomed to fail. While a few may reap short term economic benefits, such an economy ultimately will collapse because of its accumulated negative impacts on the environment and humans.
Climate change and polluted air and loss of drinking water and accumulating toxic waste are all part of a Faustian bargain driven by an economy run on greed rather than the common good. Eventually the unmitigated costs outweigh and will collapse a system that exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet.
Population growth is another one of those issues people don’t feel comfortable talking about. Yet looking the other way is not going to make things better. More does not mean better. Are we more free if we have more people competing for the same limited resources? More people competing for the same pie, means each of us has less.
This crisis can be an opportunity for paradigm changes in the way we do things. Let’s take some time to see if what we’ve been doing really makes sense before we just try to repeat the past.
A number of Washington State environmental organizations have endorsements posted for this November’s General Election.
Washington Conservation Voters have an extensive list of endorsements of environmental candidates including local endorsements for Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce,Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom Counties.
They also recommend a Yes vote on Proposition 1 – the Roads and Transit Package to be voted on by King, Pierce and Snohomish County voters. They urge a No vote on Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 to give a minority of one third of the Washington State Legislators veto power over any revenue or fee increase in the state budget.
The Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club urges a No vote on Initiative 960.
Endorsements for County candidates for King, Pierce and Snohomish County are listed as well as urging a No vote on Proposition 1 – The Roads and Transit Package.
A list of endorsed City Council candidates is included for the cities of Bellevue, Bellingham, Burien, Camas, Edmonds, Everett, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mercer Island, Mill Creek, Seattle, Tacoma, University Place, and Vancouver.
Futurewise urges a No vote on Initiative 960 and a Yes vote on Proposition 1 for Roads and Transit.
The Washington Environmental Council urges a No vote on Initiative 960 and a Yes vote on Proposition 1 for Roads and Transit.
Transportation Choices Coalition urges a Yes vote on Proposition 1 for Roads and Transit.
The Cascade Bicycle Club has a list of endorsed candidates for King and Snohomish Counties, port of Seattle, and a lengthy list of endorsed local candidates for Mayor and City Council. They urge a No vote on Proposition 1.
The environmental community has overwhelming come out against Initiative 960, realizing that it poses a real threat to many environmental programs including park and wild land preservation programs and environmental protection programs and global warming action. A visit to the No on I-960 shows a long list of environmental groups opposing I-960, including American Rivers, Audubon Washington, Climate Solutions, Conservation Northwest, Earth Ministry, Environment Washington, FutureWise Green Party of Washington, People for Puget Sound, Sierra Club – Cascade Chapter, Transportation Choices Washington, Vancouver Washington, Washington Conservation Voters, Washington Environmental Council and WashPIRG.
The Yes on Proposition 1 – Roads and Transit proposal includes the following environmental groups supporting it – Washington Conservation Voters, Transportation Choices Coalition, Washington Environmental Council, Futurewise, Tahoma Audubon Society, Environment Washington, Bicycle Alliance of Washington, and the Cascade Land Conservancy. These groups believe that the transit component of the package is a significant boost for moving toward a better transportation system that puts greater emphasis on transit solution and reducing dependency on cars.
As mentioned above the Sierra Club – Cascade Chapter and the Cascade Bicycle Club oppose Proposition 1 – believing it still moves in the wrong direction by supporting a roads package. They would rather see a transit only package. The question is whether a defeat of Proposition 1 would allow a transit only package to emerge or whether nothing would happen for many years to come.
April 22 has passed but We and the Earth are still here. Did you make any resolutions or promises to yourself and our fellow earth travelers to do something to help the planet or even to just not make things any worse? Here are a few thoughts on some small and large actions that you can do. Feel free to add your own at the end.
1. buy food grown locally to reduce transportation costs
2. buy organic foods to reduce pollution by chemicals
3. buy fluorescent lights to save energy
4. recycle to conserve resources and reduce energy costs
5. buy reusable canvas bags instead of using paper or plastic
6. when you don’t need a bag say so
7. give reusable items to thrift stores, saving resources and creating jobs
8. walk to local destinations rather than drive
9. urge public officials to build more sidewalks
10. support local transit – ride the bus one day a week or month
11. don’t buy unnecessary gifts of little or no use
12. support those working to protect the environment – join an environmental group
13. vote for candidates with strong environmental records or positions
14. write letters, e-mail or call legislators to support strong environmental laws
15. support negotiation and diplomacy, instead of war, to resolve conflicts
16. support environmental education programs at schools and colleges
17. ask to be removed from junk mail lists
18. have your pet spayed or neutered
19. support programs for birth control education around the world
20. put outside lights on motion sensitive detectors
21. tell Congress to pass stringent fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks
22. tell Congress to require pre-testing before new chemicals are sold
23. tell Congress to pass new legislation to make polluters pay for cleanup
24. car pool when you can to work and meetings
25. plants some trees
26. take your children to the beach or a park or for a hike in the mountains
27. ask hotels and motels and restaurants where to recycle your recyclables
28. make sure your local schools recycle
29. don’t use toxic chemicals on your lawn
30. don’t dump toxic chemicals or medicine down your drain
31. support local and state land use planning
32. support renewable energy programs
33. turn down your thermostat as well as buy a programmable one
34. if uncertain, give cash rather than gifts so people can buy something they really want
35. think of others ways you can reduce your impact on the earth
John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry spoke passionately last night at Seattle’s Town Hall regarding “this moment in time”. Using their recently written book entitled “This Moment in Time” as a stepping off point, John Kerry and his wife spoke about their ongoing concerns regarding real threats to the future of “Mother Earth.”
John Kerry derided the Bush Administration for going backwards on dealing with environmental threats to our future and said that it was “intolerable.” Citing environmental concerns today as broader than global climate change with its impending threats, he said we are “facing tipping points on a series of issues” dealing with the environment.
Citing Bush’s “shameless attack” on the environment, he gave a series of examples. In 19 states you can’t take your kids fishing. Some 44 states have advisories against eating fish and in some 44 rivers and harbors you can’t fish or swim. Bush’s “Clean Skies” legislation actually allowed 5x as much pollution than if the law had been left intact. Our major fisheries are all over fished. The “polluter pays” cleanup legislation was abandoned by Bush. Roadless areas were opened to new roads and cutting. The list is numerous.
The incentive for the Kerry’s to write their book was to give people hope and to write about what individuals across the country have been doing despite the wanton assault by Bush. The book details stories of people fighting to protect our future. The book ends with a series of things individuals can do to help, noting it is important to act because the US contributes 25% of the global pollution contributing to Global Warming. And if we hope to get action on reducing China’s threat to build a new coal plant every week, we must be sincere in reducing our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
Citing that 928 peer reviewed scientific studies point to man’s impact on global warming and not one peer reviewed study speaks to the contrary, Kerry says the prudent thing to do is to apply the “Precautionary Principle.” If all these studies are wrong and we still acted on them, at the worst, we would have a cleaner world and be energy independent . But if we don’t act on them and they are right we will have “a catastrophe.”
Teresa Heinz Kerry described her work on what I consider one of the unacknowledged sleeper threats facing us. That is the cumulative impact of all the different chemicals that we have released into the living environment that have unforeseen impacts and consequences. Of some 80,000 different chemicals produced for the market, only 10,000 have been vetted by the FDA as to safety. And this speaks nothing to synergistic effects or impacts of random combinations of chemicals.
Sewage treatment does not remove minute quantities of most chemicals. For example, medicines people take eventually wind up in the water supply, in either the original form or altered form. Heinz Kerry noted for example the reported presence of chemotherapy waste in one study and the presence of Prozac in London in another, appearing in water. Birth control chemicals and other chemicals that affect reproductive behavior in humans also impact other living species. Yet there is little attention being paid to these chemicals accumulating in the environment and their long term impacts.
Heinz Kerry said that one of her life lessons is that if you don’t do certain things to protect yourself when you know there are potential consequences you will pay the price. From her childhood in Africa she learned it’s common sense not to go into the stream with piranhas when its feeding time. She said it is frequently blind arrogance and greed that contribute to needless suffering. Using the Precautionary Principle she said means we look at the facts and work to prevent or mitigate potential harm and disaster.
John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry may not be in the White House but they are living their principles and passions by acting on them. We are all fortunate to have such caring individuals continuing to do public service for the world by speaking out and writing books like “This Moment in Time: the New Pioneers on the Environmental Frontier.”
In Germany in 1933 they burned the books for having “unGerman ideas”. Here in America today the Bush Environmental Protection Agency is literally doing the same on behalf of its conservative corporate patrons supporting the Republican Party by closing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Libraries and destroying material.
The EPA, under Bush’s directive is quietly and rapidly closing the libraries in their national and regional offices without Congressional oversight or approval. The head of the EPA is appointed by Bush and does his bidding.
As the Kansas City Star reports, regional EPA libraries in Kansas City, Chicago, and Dallas have been closed. The National EPA library has closed along with a specialized library on chemicals. Other libraries like in Seattle are on reduced hours and are in imminent danger of being closed.
It is another action by the Bush Imperial Presidency that believes it can do whatever it wants. It is another example of the Bush Administration’s blatant hostility toward science and environmental concerns. They are carrying out the anti-environmental agenda of their corporate patrons with the fervor of Nazi Stormtroopers.
The American Library Association reports that:
“the EPA is closing libraries and dispersing resources in accordance with an Administration budget directive that has neither been approved nor formally enacted by Congress. Implementation of the library reorganization is proceeding at a rapid pace. Reports of the library closures, information destruction, and property auctions continue to surface despite the objections to the plan raised by EPA professional staff, EPA employee union representatives and the American Library Association. “
As one after another of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional libraries close, both public access and access by EPA scientists is lost, further hindering the implementation of public policy based on science rather than politics. As books and scientific studies are being boxed up and sent to storage, material is also being destroyed. It is Bush’s modern day equivalent to Hitler’s “Book Burning.”
Ironically this closing of the libraries of the EPA is not hypocritical on the part of the corporate friendly anti-science Bush/Cheney Administration. Most of their decisions have not been based on science anyway but on politics. Global warming is just one example.
Democrats in Congress have tried to stop the library closings but have been ignored by Bush. They have asked that all closing of libraries be stopped immediately. As noted in a November 30th letter to the EPA :
“Eighteen Senators sent a letter on November 3, 2006, to leaders of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them to direct EPA “to restore and maintain public access and onsite library collections and services at EPA’s headquarters, regional, laboratory and specialized program libraries while the Agency solicits and considers public input on its plan to drastically cut its library budget and services”(attached). Yet, despite the lack of Congressional approval and the concerns expressed over this plan, your Agency continues to move forward with dismantling the EPA libraries.
The National EPA Library closed on Oct 1, 2006. I know there really wasn’t any need for any of the Republican Congress or Bush’s cabinet or Presidential staff to really have an environmental library, particularly in Washington, D.C. They never used it. But the EPA library also had been open to the public and of course the EPA staff. But with things changing in Congress Bush doesn’t want any facts and science to get into the hands of any incoming Congressional Democrats who might read it and use it as they pass laws. So shut the damn thing down quick before anyone has a chance to stop what’s being done. No public input. No budget approval.
Beginning October 1, 2006, the EPA Headquarters Library, located in Room 3340 in the EPA West Building, located at 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC, will become one of three EPA repositories for paper copies of EPA documents, reports and publications. The other two repositories will be located at the EPA-RTP Library, 109 T.W. Alexander Drive, Durham, NC 27711, and at the Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, 26 W. Martin Luther King Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45268.”
Rather than the regional offices having access to scientific information in each of their offices the plan is to box it up and send it to a repository. And probably destroy any duplicates. It’s much easier to only have one copy or no copies of a negative pesticide report to hide than multiple reports in offices around the country. And when you close a library you no longer have a need for a librarian to run the library – that’s one less person who knows about the reports.
The Bush EPA PR people are saying that the material will be digitized and put on the computer. But wouldn’t you do that before you shut everything down? Where is the plan. It’s just like Iraq? No plan – shoot first. The Republican scheme of things is box it up, because once it’s boxed up, fewer people will have access to deciding what is to be digitized. Its called controlling and denying access to information. Like you can really expect that the reports critical of Bush’s position of doing nothing on global warming are going to put up on the Internet?
On Dec 13, 2006 ALA President Leslie Burger issued the following:
It is a gross oversimplification to state that everyone benefits when libraries go digital.
This is only true when there is a thoughtful digitization plan that ensures valuable information is not lost and public access is retained. We are still waiting for the EPA to disclose its digitization plan and budget,” Burger said.
All this is just one more reason to support a Democrat for President in 2008. Bush represents the Republican philosophy of supporting corporations over public health and the environment. He supports controlling access to information over open public libraries that foster a free exchange of information. He doesn’t support science or the use of science in making public policy.
Do you hear any Republicans running for President protesting the closing of the EPA libraries? I don’t. Things just get worse and worse under Bush, despite the Nov elections because he is not going to listen or act in the behalf of the public interest. Shutting down the EPA libraries has nothing to do with saving money. It has all to do with the continued assault by corporate America on science and putting economic interests of the corporations above public health and the environment.
I urge you to contact your members of Congress and demand the EPA libraries be kept open. Congress needs to hear from us that this assault on science, libraries and the environment is not acceptable. If we don’t speak up who will?
The latest attempt by the conservatives and corporate interests is to mimic a proven tactic from the Bush and Rove notebook of deceit. Remember when they tried to solve the Hanford radioactive waste problem in Washington State. Simple, just rename toxic waste as non-toxic and you no longer have a problem.
Others call it framing.
Well it seems the Competitive Enterprise Institute also likes these ideas of Bush and Rove.. You may have seen the two ads they have just started running on TV. The latest corporate solution to solve the global warming problem is to rename it. Don’t call CO2 a pollutant. Call it life. I kid you not. They will just advertize the problem away.
Watch the ads for yourself. Unfortunately they are right. Global pollution and global warming from CO2 will be your future life all right if they get their way.
Here’s the first ad:
“There’s something in this picture you can’t see.
Its essential to life.
We breathe it out. Plants breathe it in. It comes from animal life, the oceans, the earth and the fuels we find it in.
It’s called CO2 . The fuels that produce it have freed us from a world of backbreaking labor, lighting up our lives, allowing us to create and move the things we need, the people we love.
Now some politicians want to label carbon dioxide a pollutant.
Imagine if they succeed.
What would our lives be like then
Carbon dioxide, they call it pollution, we call it life.”
There’s something in this picture you can’t see.
It’s essential to corporations.
They gather it in. It’s called wealth and power.
Now corporations want to accumulate as much as they can.
They want you to believe global warming is a myth.
They’ll tell you again and again.
Imagine if they succeed
What would our lives be like then?
Global warming, they call it a myth.
We call it greed.
Plug – Get more informed on this issue – Watch “An Inconvenient Truth“
Today Saturday April 22nd is Earth Day. Here are a few suggestions of things you can do to celebrate the Earth. The first things you can do anywhere on earth. Then I will suggest a few things for people in Washington state.
Take a deep breath of air.
Have a drink of fresh water.
Take a walk outside.
Take time to look at the plants and animals.
Think about the world you live in.
Think about where you are now.
Think about the future.
Think about what kind of earth we should leave for future generations.
Think about something you can do for a better future.
Then do that something.
Some Washington State action items:
Go to the website Yes on I-937. Volunteer to collect 100 signatures to help get the initiative on the fall ballot. I-937 is the Clean Energy Initiative. It would require that by 2020 15% of Washington State’s electricity would come from renewable resources.
Go to the website for Washington Conservation Voters and look over things you can do, including go to an environmental activist training session on May 6, 2006. Make an on line donation to further their work to elect environment friendly candidates in Washington state.
Go to Puget Consumer’s Coop and buy local natural food. Go to PCC ‘s webpage for the PCC Farmland Trust. Make an on line donation to help save threatened local farmland and turn it into organic production.
If you have to go somewhere today consider taking the bus or walking instead of driving.
The Washington State environmental community continues to grow in strength and sophistication. They met yesterday to rally the troops around their Priorities for a Healthy Washington campaign.
The top priorities for this years legislative session are:
1. Energy Independence Through Renewable Fuels
2. Clean Up Puget Sound
3. Launch Electronics Waste Recyclng
4. Protecting Kids Health by Eliminating Toxic Flame Retardants
5. Defend Land Use Protection
You can go directly to their website by clicking on the link above. A Citizen’s Lobby Day for the Environment will occur in Olympia on Thursday, Jan. 26th. They have a link on the website that you can use to sign up to go.
Over 19 environmental organizations are part of the effort to push the Priorities for a Healthy Washington. Links to their websites are also located on the website.
The whole coordinated effort by the environmental community over the past several years to select priorities and work together is a good role model for the progressive community to work towards.