Tag Archives: Climate Change

Joe Nguyen Pushes Free Transit, Police Accountability in Run for County Executive

by M. Anthony Davis


The last time the Emerald spoke with State Sen. Joe Nguyen, we profiled him soon after he announced his candidacy for King County executive. Now that it is well-known that the incumbent, Dow Constantine, will face a significant challenge from Sen. Nguyen, we caught up with him again to dive deeper into some of the key issues facing King County.

In this interview, we cover how Sen. Nguyen plans to use minimal cuts from the law enforcement budget to fund much-needed services like free transit, his three-tier approach to addressing homelessness, his views on the youth jail and police accountability, and the significance of the King County executive choosing the county sheriff and how this position can be leveraged for culture shifts in law enforcement and building trust in the community.

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POETRY: Ode to Malcolm On The Anniversary of His Birth

by Paul E. Nelson


(This poem is dedicated to Georgia McDade)

Spike in urban heat waves and loss of Alaskan permafrost signal climate change is intensifying, EPA report finds. The report … delayed from being released to the public under the Trump administration, shows the country has entered unprecedented territory when it comes to global warming, according to federal scientists. The agency relaunched a website detailing these climate change indicators to convey to the public how these damages are becoming more severe. — Washington Post, May 12, 2021

For Georgia …

No Malcolm, the chickens did not come back to 
roost with white people, they came back
to roast. Roast he of the dominator ethos, he

the enslaver, he the
fossil fueler, he the 
corporate exec earning
500 times that of the lowest
corporate employee, he

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More Wildfires in Western Washington Spur Increased Firefighting Funding and Training

by Jack Russillo


Washington’s 2021 fire season has already begun and forecasts are saying that it could be just as bad as — and potentially worse than — the 2020 season that saw nearly a million acres burn and more incidents of wildfire than the historic 2015 fire season.

In the latest session, the State Legislature passed House Bill 1168 that will allocate more than $125 million over the next two years to firefighting and forest restoration efforts across the state to tackle wildfires, an increasingly destructive issue for Washingtonians on the west side of the Cascades, even in urban areas. In recent decades, more people have moved into forestlands, and this creates more challenges for responding to wildfires on the borders of urban areas, the bill says.

“Because the climate is changing, we in western Washington are experiencing a drier climate and we’ve had wildland fires in March, which is pretty much unheard of,” said Battalion Chief Brian Dodge of the Puget Sound Fire Authority. “It’s an issue that everyone here on the west side needs to be aware of. And because of the milder winters and the warmer summers, it’s going to continue. It’s all about climate change. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, it’s happening. Because our weather is changing, it puts us at greater risk for these fires. And because we haven’t had these fires regularly, which leaves a lot of dead and down fuel on the ground, which puts us at risk for more intense wildfires.”

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Weekend Long Reads: The Climate ‘New Normal’

by Kevin Schofield


This week’s “long read” takes us into the world of climate change and how the nation’s lead agency on climate and weather tracks it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, is responsible for all things weather and climate in the United States: It runs the National Weather Service, supplies forecasts to other government agencies and to the public, and collects and archives atmospheric readings from a collection of tracking stations across the United States. That data is used to improve weather forecasting models, but it is also used to analyze broader climate trends.

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A Highly Compelling Session: An Evaluation of the 2021 Washington State Legislature

by John Stafford


“The Legislature has just wrapped up an historic and truly extraordinary session. It has been the most innovative, having produced unprecedented and legacy making advances as all-encompassing as any session in the last 25 years.”

— Governor Jay Inslee, April 25, 2021

The Washington State Legislature has just completed its 2021 session — a 105-day event charged with passing three state budgets (operating, transportation and capital) and hundreds of policy bills, conducted exclusively online. From a liberal perspective, this has been an exciting and momentous session, with major legislative achievements in a wide range of areas.

I’ll evaluate the 2021 Legislative Session in 14 different areas: state budgets, tax reform, pandemic response, economic relief, housing and homelessness, K–12 education, health care, racial justice, criminal justice, gun control, labor, climate change, growth management act, and other, and give the session an overall grade. 

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OPINION: Seattle Public Schools Commit to Going Fossil Fuel Free by 2040

by Rae Rose


In a landmark decision last month, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) became the first district in Washington state to commit to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The unanimous vote came after years of work and testimony provided by youth, SPS employees, community members, and community organizations. This will definitely spotlight SPS as a leader and role model for other districts across our state to learn from in the fight for climate solutions. 

This monumental decision will (I hope) serve as a catalyst for other districts to model and follow. United in their decision, all board members voted that the time to transition from fossil fuel dependency to clean renewable energy sources is now. The resolution, dated January 2021 and voted into action on Feb. 10, 2021, is a light of hope after an extremely hard and disheartening 2020. 

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The 2021 Washington State Legislative Session: A Midway Review

by John Stafford


Introduction

The Washington State legislature is in the middle of its 2021 session, a 105-day session that convened on Jan. 11 and will end on April 25. This year’s session is being conducted via Zoom and will generate three budgets — an operating budget, a transportation budget, and a capital budget. These budgets are two-year documents. They will be created this year (2021) and then again in 2023. In addition to the budgets, more than 1,000 bills are being introduced and debated for potential passage. There are a series of cutoff dates for bills, and we have just passed the Mar. 9 deadline for bills (other than revenue bills) to pass their chamber of origin in order to remain alive.

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Q&A: Mayoral Candidate Andrew Grant Houston Shares His Vision for Seattle, Starting With Housing and Climate Justice

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Andrew Grant Houston, AIA, Founder and Design Head of House Cosmopolitan and Board Member of Futurewise, officially announced his run for Mayor on Jan. 12, and he is clear about the cornerstone of his campaign: housing. The queer, Black, and Latino architect and small business owner has a vision for meeting the demand for affordable housing in Seattle, and is eager to share just how housing is directly linked to climate justice and defunding the police by 50%. Houston serves as Interim Policy Manager for Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, and is a member of AIA Seattle, Share The Cities, The Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, The Sunrise Movement, and the 43rd Democrats. He plans on contributing a portion of the campaign funds he receives to mutual aid groups he has worked with over the last year. 

Houston, also known as “Ace,” recently spoke with the  Emerald, telling us about his background, and the immediate actions Seattle needs to take in the next eight years to curb climate change. Check out his website at agh4sea.com.

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Declining Marine Health Threatens Traditional Subsistence Fishing for Tribes

by Frances Lee

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist‘s mission. 


Melissa Watkinson recalls a time in the past when she could go crabbing at the end of the dock in the Puget Sound and catch a great deal of crab. She can’t do that anymore. These days, she has to go on a boat into deeper waters to catch any. 

“My nieces won’t know what it’s like to be able to throw a pot at the end of a dock and catch some crab,” Watkinson said. 

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What Happens to Professional Dance in a Socially Distant World?

by Beverly Aarons 


Dance is physical, primal, and ephemeral — bodies brush against each other, and sometimes audience members are so close that they could reach out and touch dancers as they glide by only a few feet away. So what happens to dance in a socially distant world where bodies must remain six feet apart and preferably masked? And how do dancers, choreographers, and the community adapt, change, and provide a sustainable model for the future? Donald Byrd, the artistic director of Spectrum Dance Theater, introspected about how he and Spectrum are transforming and how he hopes to leave a legacy that will provide a model for creating dance performance in the future. 

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