Anna Fahey

Anna Fahey is a senior communications strategist at Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based research and communications center working on sustainable solutions for the Pacific NW.


Growing up green: How to shop for a green baby

Photo courtesy Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr I guess I’ve known all along that introducing a baby into the family meant introducing a whole slew of …

Clean Energy Economy

Is China winning the clean energy race?

Photo: Elizabeth Thomsen Today, in global talks, in the Senate, on the street, you still hear a murmur here and there about “not doing anything …

In the game or on the sidelines?

Northwest businesses weigh in — or bow out — on energy policy

This fall, Northwest-based global businesses Nike and Starbucks led a group of consumer brands to publicly champion muscular, science-based climate and energy policies. These companies …

It’s time for climate policy.

American Public Wants Climate Policy

After reading earlier this week that only 24 percent of Americans know what cap and trade is (and in the same day, that 88 million …

Connecting the economy-energy-environment dots

Seeing the light in the Pew poll on Americans' top priorities

At first glance, the latest poll numbers from Pew Research Center on Americans' top priorities for the new president might appear worrisome to climate policy advocates. Global warming is in last place in the top 20, and the environment in general slipped down in the list since last year. Andrew Revkin over at New York Times' Dot Earth blog goes so far as to say, "America and President Barack Obama are completely out of sync on human-caused global warming." (There are some startling new numbers from Rasmussen on that question ...) But I'm convinced that's not the point. The fact is, solutions that will address the top two concerns -- the economy and jobs -- as well as several other top 10 concerns -- energy, terrorism, helping the poor -- are all wrapped up in the best solutions for combating climate change. The fossil-fuel roller coaster has long whiplashed family budgets, and our economy remains shackled to its adrenaline-boosting unpredictability. Any economic recovery we muster in coming months will sputter if we fail to reduce our fossil-fuel dependence. As soon as the economy rebounds, oil prices are sure to shoot up again, negating the economic gains that we've made. Our job now -- and Obama's -- is to encourage fellow lawmakers and citizens to connect the dots and stop seeing the economy, energy policy, and the environment as even vaguely separate issues.

Step right up to the fossil fuel roller coaster!

Survey: Oil and gas industry leaders say the era of cheap gas is over.

The cost of oil has been a rollercoaster ride since the 1970s. Thankfully, we’ve hit a low in this season of recession, foreclosures, and a …

Moral obligation, patriotic duty

State poll shows Oregonians ready and willing to do what it takes to halt climate change

The National research firm Public Opinion Strategies recently conducted a survey of 500 likely Oregon voters to assess views on the issue of climate change and to gauge support for the basic principles of policy measures like the proposed cap-and-trade system in the Lieberman-Warner Act (a.k.a. the Climate Security Act -- legislation that was recently defeated last week in the U.S. Senate, but marked a step forward on national climate policy.) The survey, which presents arguments for and against cap-and-trade, clearly indicates that Oregon voters support this kind of climate legislation (72 percent). Beyond that, 73 percent deem it our "moral obligation" and "duty as Americans" to reduce global warming pollution. The poll, commissioned by the Nature Conservancy, found that global warming is the most frequently named environmental concern of Oregon voters, and more than four in five say it is a serious problem. Perhaps more importantly, 83 percent of Oregon voters say they're ready to make some changes (including personal sacrifices) to fight climate change. And 81 percent say they would be willing to pay higher energy prices every month to reduce global warming pollution produced by power plants (the single greatest proportion -- 21 percent -- choose the top of the price range: $45 per month).

High gas prices, healthy new habits

Gallup shows Americans making smart choices to break the gas habit.

It took soaring fuel prices for old habits to shift. But they're shifting alright. Just take a look at these poll results -- Gallup finds that big numbers of Americans are making changes in their daily lives to deal with higher gas prices. Here's a snapshot:

Green pay day

Green-collar jobs are real

There's lots of buzz about green-collar jobs these days (sort of like blue-collar jobs, but with a sustainable edge) -- whether you're listening to Obama, McCain, or Clinton; Gregoire, Kulongoski, or Schwarzenegger. You hear this kind of thing a lot: A study conducted by the RAND Corporation and the University of Tennessee found that producing 25 percent of all American energy fuel and electricity from renewables by the year 2025 would produce the following: "$700 billion of new economic activity, carbon emission reduction by 1 billion tons, and 5 million new jobs." Fine and dandy, but, some might ask "where are those five million new jobs? When will we see them?" Some skeptics have begun to ask whether it's bordering on hype. Big projections are just that - big projections. But there's nothing like local industry reporting 2000 new jobs here and 500 jobs there -- right in our neck of the woods -- and a steady stream of investment dollars to keep skeptics pondering the possibilities. So, we're happy to report a real-live green-collar workforce is materializing in the Northwest, and it's likely the wave is just gathering strength. With more policy measures encouraging green-tech investments and training programs it could swell to something much bigger. Looking at Oregon's green-collar boom, Ted Sickinger of the Oregonian calls it a "small tsunami." Some real numbers from Oregon and Washington: