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Down To Earth economy archive

FRIDAY, NOV. 29, 2013


It’s a strange thing when you find something from the past that’s every bit as relevant now as it was when it originated - it really makes you put time into perspective. 2007 seems like ages ago, and our world today is certainly a lot...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 23, 2012

The Economics Of Happiness 

Gary Snyder once said "more and more of us in the industrialized world are feeling a spiritual void, and coming to believe that moving away from consumerism and towards community may be an important step in recovering that nameless thing we've lost." But if money...

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STCU's new branch features car-charging station 

Here's another reason to love your local credit union: The Spokane Valley’s first 240-volt charging station for electric cars opens to the public when Spokane Teachers Credit Union starts serving members at its new South Valley Branch location on Monday, December 12th. From Dan Hansen:...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 18, 2011

How many jobs would solar create? 

Here's something to debunk the myth that green job investments are a job killer. Stronger solar policies could create over 100,000 jobs rather quickly, according to the above infographic from One Block Off the Grid. Thinking longer term, over ten years, if state legislators instituted...

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FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2011


How bicycling will save the economy 

If we let it. Elly Blue has a series on Grist about bikes and the economy. (If this infographic isn't coming in clear, check it out here. In her latest column, she writes, "the bicycle economy, unlike its fancier cousin transit-oriented development, is not about...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 27, 2011

More jobs in bike lanes than other road projects

Just a lunchtime quickie: The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst published a new report that indicates building pedestrian projects, bike lanes and bike boulevards create more jobs per million dollars spent than strictly focusing on road repairs and road resurfacing....

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The myth of green jobs

That’s what The Economist says of course. We don’t buy it. For instance, they don't share these figures--- how the renewable energy industry has added jobs at more than twice the national rate this decade. The half-baked commentary stems more from politicians pretending that everything...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 27, 2009

What you need to know

When the new issue of Newsweek came featuring a shot of space and the words proclaiming, "In Search of ALIENS: NASA is out there looking and 24 other surprising things you need to know now", we were all but ready to settle into a fascinating...

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More proposed state budget cuts

The new cuts will seriously undermine the poor in the state, and it seems like only constitutionally protected items are safe. But the environment took a massive hit. Below is a press release from the Washington Environmental Council. The proposed state budget would: Leave our...

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FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2009

Cascadia sustainability report card 

We’re geeking out on the Cascadia Scorecard from the Sightline Institute, a comprehensive Northwest sustainability report that is frequently updated with graphics and shocking figures.For the uninitiated, the site studies the region known as “Cascadia,” merely as a transnational cooperative identity because of ecological similarities...

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Mt. Spokane to close? Maybe.

It’s on the list, another potential victim of the state budget. Park and Recreation officials will meet today in Olympia and figure a way to deal with a $23 million budget cut over the next two years which includes temporarily closing, or worse, Mt. Spokane...

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The $790-billion pie

Everyone wants a piece of the stimulus package, and as we reported last week, there is a significant amount of pie available in the recovery that addresses green investments - money for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy projects, and green jobs. The recovery is also...

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WEDNESDAY, FEB. 11, 2009

Laugh hard it's a long way to the bank

One would hope this is a day of reckoning for the nation’s top bank executives when they testify before a House committee. Most likely though, it will be a toothless dressing-down, where executives squirm their way out of accountability, and rationalize symbolic sacrificial gestures like...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 27, 2009

We hate polls

After yesterday’s historic steps to regulate emissions, we couldn’t help but think of the recent Pew Research Poll. The survey asked Americans to rank their priorities for President Obama, and “global warming” polled dead last.Obviously, the survey indicated the public is focused on immediate economic...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 22, 2009

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21, 2009

About last night... 

Yesterday felt like the Day The Earth Stood Still--- a collective phenomenon best defined by various conversations with all walks of life as to what the moment meant to them. The conclusion was unanimous: There is hope. Of course, we’re referring to Daily Tip #...

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THURSDAY, JAN. 15, 2009

Building something out of nothing 

New construction leaves a big carbon footprint, and after reading “Unsustainable Seattle,” we think it makes perfect sense for environmentalists and historic preservationists to form an alliance in creating a sustainable urban landscape for Spokane. And if there’s a good thing about a bad economy,...

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FRIDAY, JAN. 9, 2009

How the economy affects clean tech

Freakanomics hosted a debate on whether an investment in clean technology will be affected by the recession. It was a question that has lumbered around in our brains for a while and our apprehension was confirmed when George Tolley said “the major kicker clouding the...

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MONDAY, JAN. 5, 2009

TUESDAY, DEC. 30, 2008

Skirting high costs for green homes

There’s an interesting article in the Columbian about what builders are doing to make green homes affordable. “We’re not just throwing economics out of the equation and going full-tilt green,” said Vancouver City Council member and civil engineer Tim Leavitt. On his own home construction,...

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MONDAY, DEC. 15, 2008

Another Green Monday 

In vino veritas. “In wine is truth.” Our Latin pretty much stops cold there. But one familiar story that always catches our attention and turns us sideways: The relationship between climate change and wine growth in Washington. Our state is second to California in premium-wine...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 9, 2008

Spokesman-Review story roundup

Photo courtesy of Greater Spokane. STA budget dilemma might include raising fares. The Spokane Transit Authority has a problem: While ridership has increased, revenue is falling since more than 70 percent of their funding comes from sales taxes. According to the S-R, the $79 million...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 18, 2008

Take a Bow Hypermiling

But now good luck escaping the word paparazzi. Hypermiling – the act of maximizing one’s gas mileage, often exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon, by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's car and one's driving techniques, has just been named 2008 “Word of the Year...

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Down To Earth

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