Alan Durning

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

Clean-car dominoes

Clean-car dominoes keep falling. This week, it's Canada, with Oregon next. On Wednesday, word came that the Canadian government and the big automakers have signed an agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from new …

Feebates in the U.K.

Just like Canada, the United Kingdom is seriously considering vehicle feebates, reports the invaluable newsletter Green Budget News. To recap, feebates (sometimes called "freebates") are a great way to harness market forces to encourage energy …

A whale of a debate

The longtime Northwest controversy (discussed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) over the Makah tribe's whaling is rooted, like so many contemporary Indian issues in the Northwest, in the treaties of 1855, now 150 years old. I …

Doomed to repeat the past?

Did the dinosaurs die out because of global warming? Well, sort of. In an op-ed in Sunday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Peter Ward, a University of Washington professor of biology and earth and space sciences, takes a …

True preparedness

Most of the Northwest's coast is equipped with early warning systems for tsunamis. (See, for example, this article from the Newport (Oregon) News-Times.) But that doesn't make us immune from giant earthquakes and the resulting …

Tsunami response

If you're wondering what to do about the Indian Ocean tsunami, here is some advice I trust from my friend Vicki Robin of the New Road Map Foundation and Conversation Cafe: make a donation to …

Going local

The Bush Administration's plan to put greater control of National Forests into the hands of local forest rangers is provoking cries of outrage from the environmental movement and Democrats, as reported by many publications just …

The Gonad Test

Joel Gallob, who writes for the Newport (Oregon) News, has a fascinating column on Tidepool. It points out the awful time lag between how fishing is regulated and how fish populations change. There's too much …

Our daily oil spills

Most of the points I mentioned on Northwest Environment Watch's blog about the recent devastating oil spill in southern Puget Sound also apply to the Unalaska spill now unfolding in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Here's a …