Alan Durning

Alan Durning directs Sightline Institute, a Seattle research and communication center working to promote sustainable solutions for the Pacific Northwest.

Kerry-Lieberman, Luke Skywalker, and Stewart Udall's son

Winning on climate may require reforming the U.S. Senate

Tom Udall (D-N.M.)The chess game of climate politics — or, more specifically, of putting a binding limit on climate-changing pollution from dirty fuels — is at a moment of great uncertainty. President Obama continues to …

a step in the bike direction

Tricked-out cargo bikes give SUVs a run for their money

It’s been a hard few months for us fossil-fuel-addicted societies: calamity in the Gulf of Mexico; coal mining disasters in China, West Virginia, and Russia; still-frustrated attempts to win climate and clean-energy policies in Salem, …

Game Changers

Un-democracy and the U.S. Senate, undercutting EPA edition

Last week, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) sponsored a measure to ban the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities under the Clean Air Act, as ordered by the U.S. …

Rebutting CBO's climate policy and jobs paper

The Congressional Budget Office issued a briefing paper yesterday concluding that climate pricing will slightly reduce employment overall in the United States, because green jobs gains won’t quite offset other job losses. Unfortunately, this paper will likely be misquoted and misunderstood repeatedly. It’s not what it seems.

Shape shifting bike trailer-cart-strollers.

My 1994 Oregon-made Burley bike trailer-stroller (above) is still dear to my heart, but innovations in newer Burleys and in other companies’ offerings show that tools for human-powered urban mobility are developing at a rapid …

Community Carts Remove a Barrier to Walking.

When I was growing up in Seattle in the sixties, the neighborhood grocery where my mom shopped let her and other regular customers push purchases home in the store’s shopping carts. We lived two blocks …

Updating the "Granny Cart"

Transport guru Todd Litman says the biggest vehicular breakthrough of recent decades is the rolling suitcase. That’s not the conventional wisdom. Most recent attention to the wheels of the future focuses on electric cars, and …

A Representative Senate?

When I consider the hurdles to reforming state or federal constitutions, I’m reminded of the tale about the lost traveler who called out for directions to a farmer in a field. “If I were going …

Canada Rules

The undemocratic design of the US Senate is a huge obstacle to progress in the Northwest. How did the Senate get set up in the first place? Richard Rosenfeld, writing six years ago in Harper’s …

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