Signs of climate change upheaval abound in Western United States

We have learned that climate science is not a source of decisive action. But now we have in plain sight California’s one year supply of stored water, its 9 percent of normal snow pack, its collapsing ground over depleted aquifers . Texas is now engaged in water wars. The Colorado River Basin is drying up....

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Kids in nature: Teaching the benefits of dirt

Scott Sampson’s guest column provides a breath of fresh air on the vital importance of getting kids outside in nature and away from the constant barrage of technology . Many films and books have painted dreary and bleak pictures of future societies where nature is neglected to the point of being an afterthought, even a...

Pacific trade deal: The problem with TPP is its secrecy

Unfortunately, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, failed to mention the major problem many find with the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations . Opponents are not against trade. That is a standard red herring used when one wants to deflect attention from the real underlying issues. No, the big issue is that TPP provides for...

Port’s Shell lease: Fight is not symbolic

The Times has it wrong with respect to the proposed lease of Port property for Shell’s Arctic drilling fleet . The Times argues that “undoing the Port lease would be a symbolic victory at the expense of the region’s vital maritime economy.” What is wrong with this argument? First, the world needs less, not more,...

Grizzly bears: Educate yourself before heading into bear country

I am an avid hiker and backpacker, and frequent visitor to the North Cascades. Having encountered grizzly bears in the North Cascades, and behaving circumspectly during the encounter, I have no hesitation in continuing to visit the area . I believe it is important to find out as much as I can about how to...

GOP budget trickery: No surprises here

As a frequent reader of Paul Krugman’s column, I’m shocked to learn of the latest fraud the Republican Congress is planning to pull on us: cutting “more than a trillion dollars” in social spending to have enough money to give the rich a big tax cut . As a 76-year-old woman, I well remember Reagan’s...

Port Shell lease: Don’t dismiss symbolism

The Seattle Times is right that the real fight over Arctic drilling has to be national, where the leases are granted . But The Times is wrong to dismiss the Port Shell lease as mere symbolism. What this argument overlooks is that politics is all about symbolism. Rejecting the Shell lease would dramatically enhance efforts...

Starbucks and race: Starting a conversation

When traveling in Ireland a few years back, I was surprised to learn that many of the Irish who first resisted English rule and sparked the revolution to be a free country were wealthy protestants — not the poor Catholic masses. I was reminded of this fact when reading about Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz’s...

Trans-Pacific Partnernship negotiations are an undemocratic process

The recent editorial concerning the City Council’s proposed resolution on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is misguided . Given the TPP’s proposed provisions allowing multinational corporations the ability to challenge local laws, such as those protecting the environment and workers, the City Council has a clear interest in this critical issue. In defending Obama’s push for...

Grizzly bears in the North Cascades would discourage recreation

I have been active in the preservation of old-growth forests and in the restoration of salmon habitats. I have camped hundreds of nights in black and brown bear country and have practiced the intelligent camping precautions one should follow in bear country. I am opposed, however, to the restoration of grizzlies into the Cascades ....

Parks smoking ban: There’s nowhere left to smoke

Please do not ban smoking tobacco in Seattle parks . As renters, we cannot smoke in our own homes. There is no public building where smoking is allowed. Smoking has been banned even in bars. A bill that would have permitted a few cigar lounges in the state was killed in the Legislature this year....