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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Spokane

County’s Earth Day proclamation became lukewarm, critics say

French defends changes to original: ‘It’s our’ document

Proclamations are the Cocoa Puffs of government pronouncements. They mainly nourish the imagination.

A Spokane blogger acknowledged that, but still complained that county commissioners failed to deliver meat and potatoes for Earth Day, April 22.

Commissioners substituted their own verbiage for the globally warmed rhetoric proffered by an Earth Day committee.

Failure to stick with the suggested text demonstrated that commissioners have an “anti-science agenda” and answer to a “loopy base” that is “full of flat-earthers,” according to the author of the Spovangelist blog.

Commissioners edited out a pledge to implement “critical policies on land use, public transit provision, environmental management and economic development directed towards stimulating fuel and technology markets with low carbon impact in mind.”

Instead, commissioners touted the environmental work they actually do, such as preserving open space and providing sewer service.

They encouraged residents to use renewable energy, ride the bus and make their homes more energy efficient.

“I went through and edited it to what I thought the board was probably going to be more comfortable with,” Chairman Al French said. “It’s our proclamation.”

Commissioner Mark Richard said he helped remove some of the “political discussion” he couldn’t support.

The Spovangelist blogmeister declined to comment “in any official context” or to be identified except as The Apostate. That’s a term for someone who abandons his beliefs.

The text commissioners are accused of eviscerating was submitted by Paul Dillon, who writes an environmental blog for The Spokesman-Review’s marketing department and is Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder’s legislative aide.

Dillon said he acted as a member of an ad hoc Earth Day committee, not on behalf of Snyder or the newspaper. He said he doesn’t know who runs the Spovangelist blog, but The Apostate didn’t speak for him or the Earth Day committee.

Commissioners “do a lot of good environmental work,” and the proposed proclamation was “pretty strong,” Dillon said.

Nevertheless, he was amused by the editing because the proclamation he sent the commissioners was the one they approved last year.

For the record, Richard publicly objected to the global-warming language last year, and French wasn’t on the board then.

Commissioner Todd Mielke presented both years’ proclamations, citing his efforts to protect the Spokane River and the Spokane-Rathdrum Aquifer.

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