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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

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

Another Green Monday

Whether you are for or against Proposition 4, there has to be a reasonable debate amid the current hysteria. What we predicted became true: There’s a witch hunt for those associated with Envision Spokane, and it’s spilling over into the city council race. Case in point: At the Riverside neighborhood forum this week, candidate Mike Fagan (Tim Eyman’s svengali) lied and said The Lands Council supported Envision Spokane. “Don’t believe her when she says she opposes it,” he added. Amber Waldref, the Lands Council development director and city council candidate, who does not support the charter, just shook her head in confusion. (Remember when Eyman called her a “crazy-wacko-Seattle-greenie, Envision-Spokane-supporter?”) His strategy worked in her favor as he played the taunting bully, her the victim. Perhaps it’s because she wants to grow the green-job sector in her downtrodden district and cites what Greater Spokane, Inc. and Avista are doing to promote clean energy. But elsewhere, we’ve been witness to similar examples. The Spokane Homebuilders and blog commentators labeled District 2 hopeful Jon Snyder, “the Envision Spokane candidate” and one can only speculate why. Are his pro-environment ideas all it takes to associate with the bills “rights by nature?” Councilman Richard Rush said he was against it but lauded their principles and people are asking why he doesn't show up at "No on Prop. 4" rallies. Enough is enough. (Furthermore, to address a few misconceptions about the bill itself, it isn’t the "work of outsiders", or “thrown together hastily"--- it’s a locally grown project two and a half years in the making, only propelled by one outsider who became a resident.)

“Why doesn't the Spokesman or any other paper in this city do an expose on this bill of rights, Envision Spokane, and the trail leading all the way up to the UN?" said Fagan. The crazy-wacko-California-liar, 1033 supporter is in good company with Eyman, another incurious mind. An elected official saying this sort of tripe would mean we live in a city less serious and funny than the one we thought we were living in. But as Proposition 4 gets closer to its inevitable and most-likely dismal outcome, the opponents are embarrassing themselves each day.

University of Idaho looks to transition to sustainable energy system.  It was announced by the University fo Idaho last week that the theme for the university's third annual President's Sustainability Symposium is "Transition to Sustainable Energy Systems."  In a press release, the university said, "transitioning to a smarter, sustainable energy system based on renewable technologies is one of the greatest challenges facing the U.S, and the University of Idaho is helping lead the way by bringing together experts, policy makers and the general public to ask the difficult questions and further the discussion."  The two-day event, held October 22-23, will feature five presentations on topics ranging from carbon markets to energy legislation, a panel discussion on sustainable electric energy, and an innovative, educational game designed to stress the trade-offs required to reduce carbon emissions.  Read more about this event HERE.

The Northwest's energy conversation plan overlooks carbon emissions and coal.  We've written several times about the report by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NPCC) that said 85 percent of the Northwest’s new energy needs can be met simply with energy conservation via more energy-efficient technology and practices.  And each time we've did, we wrote about how it would help us move past coal.  But a recent opinion piece in the Seattle Times says, "the plan would not reduce the region's greenhouse-gas emissions at all, and fails to address closure of the coal plants that produce almost all of the power system's climate pollution."  The special to the Times was written by LeeAnne Beres, executive director of Earth Ministry and  Sara Patton, executive director of the NW Energy Coalition.  Beres and Patton close by saying, "public involvement is critical if the final plan is to satisfy Northwest needs and values," so we urge you to contact the NPCC and tell them we applaud their efforts thus far, but that we need to phase out dirty coal plants.  Read the opinion piece HERE. 

Game changers.  We've all got an opinion, which is what makes voting on lists and rankings so fun.  So take some time to vote on the HuffingtonPost's "Ultimate Green Game Changer," and learn more about some innovators, visionaries, and leaders who are harnessing the power of new media to reshape their fields and change the world.  To be honest, we'd barely heard of some of these folks, but now we'll be keeping our eyes on them.  Check it out HERE. 

Down To Earth

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