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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Another Green Monday

Where did we go wrong?  That was the question posed last week by The Inlander for their cover story that allowed local writers, politicians, scientists, artists, teachers, conservatives, liberals, etc to answer the question from any angle, field or point of view they desired.  We were proud to see so many of our friends, colleagues and acquaintances as representatives of the smartest people in the Inland Northwest.  Which of course means we were happy to see issues like alternative transportation and water and nature conservation addressed by people we respect greatly.  If asked the question, "Where did we go wrong?", we'd answer this way: greed.  From creating the miracle material plastic to digging a mile deep for precious minerals, generations have failed to look past immediate pleasure at the long-lasting effects of their actions. The Inland Northwest is a prime example of this.  Land is destroyed and local waterways forever polluted, all because no one had the forsight to put mining regulations in place.  So now that we know where it all went wrong, let's do something to make good.  An attempt to reform the 1872 mining law is before congress, and now is the time to make it happen.  Contact your representatives and tell them to support reforming of the 1872 Mining Law

Tapping in to an underground energy source.  Montana is ripe with potential energy sites caused by geothermal hot spots, and the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Department of Environmental Quality's geothermal energy program offices are preparing for leasing activity this summer.  Though the technology or funding might not be in place for capturing this alternative energy source, it's just another example of exploring alternatives and the sort of thinking that we need to move away from coal.  Read more HERE. 

Rights to nature.  Here in Spokane we've been hearing a lot lately from small thinkers about how preposterous Envision Spokane's Community Bill of Rights initiative is - "rights for nature, are you kidding me?".  But how crazy are rights to nature?  Crazy only if you don't believe in social justice or being afforded fair treatment and an impartial share of the benefits of society.  Clean water, fresh air, and a sustainable ecosystem should all be considered benefits to our society - and by not protecting these we are denying ourselves said benefits.  For an interesting look on this subject, check out this article written by the Boston Globe called, "Should nature be albe to take you to court". 

You’re the one that’s mature. Recently, it’s become fashionable for us to diss Seattle. However, Knute Berger at Crosscut has been at it for years. And when Mayor Greg Nickels, said “we now join the cities of the world. We are growing up…” at the light-rail inauguration, he pounced.

His hilarious response: “What could be less grown up than a city constantly comparing itself with its others, forever gazing in its world-class mirror to preen over its sophistication and maturity? This Seattle seems like an adolescent looking for the hint of a whisker. Hey guys, how do you like my light rail mustache? Can I hang out with you?”

Berger’s contrarian position shouldn’t be misconstrued as bitter, anti-environmentalist mind you. He argues the community that recycles and has farmer’s markets will make light rail work, rather than the big “grown up” city. Okay, so he’s bitter. MORE. His book, "Pugetopolis," will be reviewed later in the week.

Dear Science: Sarah Palin and George Will (again). Grist’s David Roberts is back from vacation--- it was good, thanks for asking he said---and takes the Washington Post appropriately to task for publishing two bizarre columns by Sarah Palin and George Will on climate legislation. Because we're feeling argumentative this Monday morning read HERE. (Bye bye Sarah, it was fun while it lasted.)



Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.