Eric de Place

Eric de Place is a senior researcher at Sightline Institute, a Seattle-based sustainability think tank.

Hybrid hype: Incentives gone wild

Incentives should reward fuel efficiency, not hybrids per se

Hybrid cars are good for us, right? So policymakers should provide incentives -- things like tax breaks, access to HOV lanes, and free parking for hybrid drivers. Well, not so fast, says a great article …

Looks matter (to ecosystems)

Sagebrush ecosystems are overlooked by conservationists cause they’re, um, not pretty

Oregon State University just won a $3.6 million grant for sagebrush-ecosystem restoration. That's good news -- sagelands conservation always seems to take a back seat to other landscapes. I wonder if the explanation for sagebrush's …

The backyard bog

Landscaping for water-runoff management

Not quite two months ago, my wife and I became homeowners. We love it. But in addition to the pride of ownership, there are also the worries: Can we really afford this house? Should we …

Go fish

The decline of hunters and anglers augers poorly for conservation

Over the weekend The Oregonian ran a good short series on the diminishing numbers of hunters and anglers in the state. While the state's population has doubled since 1950, the number of hunters and fishermen …

To save a species, shoot here

Is buying up hunting rights a smart conservation move?

From the wilderness of British Columbia comes an innovative conservation tactic about which I am strongly ... ambivalent. Raincoast Conservation Foundation is acquiring the guide-outfitting hunting rights to five areas along the central BC coast, …

Public lands: Mine, all mine

In an ominous new development, Congress may soon authorize private "patents" of public land, a wildly outdated and abused provision of an 1872 mining law. The patents are functionally equivalent to fee-simple purchases of the …

Sprawling alone

Sprawl is often thought to erode social capital, but the evidence is mixed

In Bowling Alone, Robert Putnam argues that the decline of social capital in the U.S. can be attributed partly to urban form. In other words, according to Putnam, sprawl is at least partly to blame …

Capturing carbon

Carbon sequestration smells fishy.

In the midst of the recent climate pledging lovefest, it's easy to lose sight of the unhappy truth that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have already reached levels that effectively guarantee us at least several …

The debate is over. Finally.

USA Today says the globe is warming!

Mark today in your calendars because USA Today's headline just made it official: "The debate's over: Globe is warming." My first reaction was astonishment. I kept scanning their website for other up-to-the-minute revelations. What's next? …