by Kevin Schofield
This weekend’s read is a look at the effectiveness of environmental education programs for children and adolescents. Here in Washington, State law requires teaching students “the worth of kindness to all living creatures and the land,” and the State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has interpreted that to require “instruction about conservation, natural resources, and the environment” at all grade levels. Many other governments have similar requirements. But do environmental education programs actually work?
Continue reading Weekend Reads | Do Environmental Education Programs Work?
by Ronnie Estoque
Last month, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced several resources for teachers and students to learn more about the intersection between climate change and health. The DOH partnered with the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) to create the Washington Tracking Network (WTN), which is the nation’s first Environmental Public Health Tracking program to offer learning modules for high school students. The free materials lead students through various lesson plans that utilize DOH data to understand topics such as the connections between asthma and wildfires.
Continue reading DOH Creates Resources to Highlight Intersections of Climate Change and Health
by Cedar Bushue
I have my own tragic experience which attests to the devastation a city can go through if there are not large amounts of tree canopies. When I was in AmeriCorps NCCC during the spring of 2013, I was sent to help with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief. I saw vast amounts of urban sprawl and a complete lack of meaningful tree canopy, both downtown and along the residential neighborhoods by the coast I helped. Since that experience, I have since become increasingly more interested in the benefits trees provide and have recently been helping out a tree doctor.
Continue reading OPINION | Why Caring for Trees Is So Important in Urban Environments
by Kevin Schofield
Growing up in a rural area, as I did, one learns that a regular rite of summer is bugs getting smashed on your car windshield. There’s the odd one here and there, and then occasionally when driving by a field a swarm will cross the road and … well, it’s pretty disgusting. But over the past couple of decades, many people have started to notice that there don’t seem to be nearly as many flying insects as there used to be. At the same time, scientists have been gathering data that seems to confirm the phenomenon: Insect populations are in decline in many parts of the world.
Continue reading Weekend Reads | Your Windshield May Have Important Data Splattered on It
by Patheresa Wells
Last week, Seattle temperatures reached into the 90s, a sweltering indication that the long-awaited summer had arrived. And for many, it was already too much. But, all complaints aside, the increase in temperature can turn dangerous quickly if safety is not kept in mind. Cooling centers throughout the area are designated to protect people from heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. With extreme heat continuing to become common “with more than two weeks of 90 degree (F) days likely each summer,” according to the City of Seattle’s Projected Climate Changes, the need to provide resources to beat the heat is a matter of public health.
Continue reading South End Guides | Beat the Heat: A Cool-Off Guide for the South End
by Jill Freidberg
As I write, we are exiting the longest heat wave in Pacific Northwest history. Last year, we watched freeways buckle from the heat. BIPOC elders died in South End homes with no air-conditioning. Millions of shellfish cooked to death at low tide. In four short years, we’ve added “Fire Season” to our calendars, witnessed historic and devastating floods across the state, and watched an endangered Southern Resident killer whale carry her dead calf for 17 days. With each occurrence, the City, County, and State have issued declarations about the urgency with which we must respond to climate change.
A tradition built around fossil-fuel-guzzling, exhaust-spewing jets and boats is not in line with those declarations.
Continue reading OPINION | In a Climate Emergency, Is Seafair Obsolete?
A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!
curated by Vee Hua 華婷婷
After an especially scorching week and with more to come, today’s News Gleams center on health and the environment. Read on about unexpected but ambitious progress on national climate change legislation, Audubon Society’s anti-racist name change, and COVID-19 updates on a city, county, and national level.
—Vee Hua 華婷婷, interim managing editor for the South Seattle Emerald
Continue reading NEWS GLEAMS | COVID-19 Updates, National Climate Change Legislation Passes Senate, & More
by Megan Burbank
As we prepare for this summer’s wildfire season in King County and throughout the state, it’s essential to track disproportionate impacts on People of Color, folks living in poverty, young children and older adults, and people with underlying health conditions, like asthma and cardiovascular disease. These impacts are well-documented, but a new report shows that pregnant people are also at risk when air is unhealthy to breathe, and the toll can be even greater when other factors, like poverty, converge with expecting a baby.
Continue reading OPINION: PNW Wildfires Threaten Health Equity, Especially if You’re Pregnant
by Beau Hebert
Dear The Beauster,
It took me months but I finally just watched the movie Don’t Look Up. How is this not our future?
Continue reading Dear The Beauster: Give Me a Reason for Some Hope!
by Amanda Ong
South Jackson Street’s King Street Station is an iconic landmark for Seattle history as an entry point for Chinese immigrants and Black migrants in the early 1900s. A bustling transit center today, the station is also a lively arts space and gallery hosted by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture — ARTS at King Street Station. The nickname rings true as a warm invitation to its public arts space and for showing some love to underrepresented artists.
Continue reading Art Exhibit Speaks to Extinction, in Animal Kingdom and Black America