Tag Archives: Environment

South Seattle Students Eye Third Consecutive National Solar Car Championship

by Ben Adlin


For hours before and after classes, a group of high school students in Tukwila can be found hunched over laptops and soldering stations, welding and angle grinding, and occasionally driving circles in the parking lot. Their goal: to design and build a solar-powered car capable of defending the group’s back-to-back championship titles this summer at the National Solar Car Challenge in Texas.

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OPINION: Impact of Cruises on Puget Sound Waterways and Beyond

by Tom Barnard, Iris Antman, and Jordan Van Voast


They’re doing the right thing, for the wrong reason. The Port of Seattle has decided that cruise demand in the foreseeable future does not warrant the construction of another cruise terminal adjacent to Pioneer Square and instead plans to promote Terminal 46 (T46) for other uses, primarily cargo. It’s possible that cruise ships’ dismal track record on health and the environment played a part in the cancellation, but, more likely, the change of plans was a business decision.

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Seward Park Neighbors Come Together to Save an ‘Exceptional’ Tree

by Agueda Pacheco Flores


You can see the tall western red cedar tree before turning onto South Mayflower Street in Seattle’s Seward Park neighborhood. Known as “May,” the tree is one of the tallest on the street. But one cannot appreciate May in full until you stand beside its thick trunk that splits into three, its branches soaring high above.

To the right of May is a house that’s under construction. Beside the tree is construction material: planks of lumber with stacks of heavy rebar on top. 

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OPINION: State Considers Clean Energy Equity Program

by Beth Doglio and Ben Silesky


Washington’s solar industry is booming. The end of 2021 saw a record number of residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar projects installed, in part due to the solar investment programs designed by the state of Washington in 2005 and again in 2017. Homeowners and building owners who install solar see their electricity costs plummet and enjoy the clean energy the sun provides to keep their homes and workspaces warm and comfy while simultaneously reducing their reliance on the fossil fuels that contribute to climate change. Unfortunately, solar still remains out of reach for millions of Washingtonians due to upfront costs, unsuitable roofs, and tree cover. Furthermore, about half the people in the state rent their homes. 

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Solar Project Devised by Highline High School Students Wins District Approval

by Ben Adlin


Members of Highline High School’s Environmental Club got the official green light last week to proceed with their plan to build a 100-kilowatt solar array on the roof of the school’s new building in Burien, marking a major milestone in the student-led renewable energy project. 

The array’s 252 solar panels are scheduled for installation in September, the students announced at an online briefing Saturday, Feb. 5, with a ribbon-cutting event planned around the start of 2022–23 school year.

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Seattle’s Heating Oil Tax: A Missed Opportunity for Environmental Justice

by Tushar Khurana


In September 2019, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a law that would tax home heating oil sold within the city and could eventually require residents to upgrade or decommission their heating oil tanks by 2028. The legislation was introduced to meet the City’s climate goals by hastening the transition to cleaner electric home heating across the city. It was also lauded in a mayoral press release as a “bold and thoughtful approach” to environmental policy that “help[s] our most vulnerable residents move off heating oil.” Revenue from the tax is intended to fund rebates for homeowners and help provide 1,000 fully paid electric heat pump installations for low-income residents.

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Cascadia’s Climate Champions Learn They Can Win at the Local Level

by Peter Fairley

(This article was originally published on InvestigateWest and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


Acting on international calls to freeze fossil fuel infrastructure, citizen activists working with environmental justice groups and Indigenous nations are pushing local governments to rewrite the rules for building everything from airports and gas stations to industrial zones. 


“We were here before the airport was. They forget that,” says Rosario-Maria Medina, a community activist in the South Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown, just north of bustling Boeing Field. When Seattle’s first commercial airport opened in 1928, Georgetown had been a vibrant community for more than half a century.

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In the Duwamish Watershed, Communities Respond as Coho Salmon Face a New Threat

by Tushar Khurana


Every year, salmon journey from the open waters of the North Pacific, pass through estuaries along the coast, and swim upriver to spawn in the freshwater streams and creeks in which they were born. Yet across the western coast of North America, coho salmon are dying in large numbers as they return to urban watersheds. In West Seattle, a team of citizen scientists are surveying salmon to understand how many are affected.

Since 2015, small teams of volunteers have gone out every day in the fall to document returning salmon along a quarter mile stretch of Longfellow Creek.

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Youth Activists Demand Amazon Do More to Combat Climate Change

by Alex Garland


On Thursday, Nov. 11, more than 15 youth activists ranging in ages from 7 to 15 years old took their demands directly to Amazon as they held a “climate teach-in” and delivered a report card on Amazon’s pledge to reduce the pollution from shipping by 2040. The young activists from Climate Action Families Seattle (CAFS) gathered outside the Amazon Headquarters in the Day 1 building in front of the Amazon Spheres. As each activist came to the microphone, they took turns reporting on Amazon’s climate goals and current profits and how those conflict with the reality of climate change. 

These youth demanded that Amazon step up and show leadership around promises to end maritime shipping pollution. Their demands included that Amazon commit to the Ship It Zero plan, wherein Amazon would transition to 100% zero-emission ships by 2030. The cargo ships used by Amazon currently use bunker fuel, a high sulphur fuel that leads to increased CO2 emissions. The activists are asking Amazon to switch to marine fuel, which burns cleaner and costs more. 

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