You can read about it on the Seattle Times website here.
You can read about it on the Seattle Times website here.
It didn’t get covered much locally but Senator Cantwell visited Mountain Gear last Tuesday for a joint press conference lauding Mountain Gear’s LEED Gold Award and also calling on congress to renew the renewable energy tax credits set to expire this year. It was well attended and Eco Depot’s Bruce Gage and former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite also spoke. MG has only the 4 commercial building in the COUNTRY to be certified LEED Gold by the latest LEED standards. You can read the short piece we have about it in the new issue here. (more…)
Richard Manning’s will be presenting, “Sustainability and Other Crimes Against Nature,” at Spokane Community College on Wednesday, February 27th at 7:00 p.m. (2nd floor, Library – LRC building 16) Manning, an environmental author and investigative journalist from Lolo, Montana, is the author of seven books — his most recent one called Against The Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization (published in 2004). Not one to shy away from provocative titles, he also wrote an article called “The oil we eat: Following the food chain back to Iraq,” published by Harper’s Magazine in February 2004 (http://www.harpers.org/archive/2004/02/0079915).
The Seattle Times has been running some great bicycle related stories lately. If you never thought police would use DNA evidence to catch a bike thief you need to read this.
I saw this by the side of the road in Touchet, WA a couple days ago. I’m already thinking about trying to make one. My only problem is that I don’t water my lawn so I don’t need to mow it much. Do you have a bike picture that can top this? Send it to us and we’ll post it.
OTM Correspondent Jon Jonckers reports on Langlauf:
The never-ending shoveling last month insured that there would be more than enough snow for the Langlauf Race this year, however the rain in recent days didn’t insure the snow would be very enjoyable. Eric Barrett and I met in a parking lot to carpool up the mountain to the Spokane nordic trails, and we both cringed at the weather. We each asked the other one what he was wearing for the race, as if a rainshell or softshell decision might determine anything.
The conditions in the parking lot around 9:00 AM, two hours before the race, were cold and foggy but not too windy. Thankfully, these were fairly fast snow-conditions. We did a portion of the course to test skis and warm up. Eric generously loaned me his older racing skis and so I gave them a short test run. They were the fastest track skis I’ve ever used.
All in all, the day did prove to be among the fastest in Langlauf history. Since Snoqualmie Pass was closed earlier, there’s no telling if any west side cross country skiers could have contributed to some even faster times, but the 2008 winning time crushed last years rainy, winning times by a long shot. The first place finisher, Erik Bjornsen from Winthrop, blew over the 10k course in 27:22 – the fastest time in the past four years. Perhaps even more impressive, six people finished under 31 minutes.
This also marked the Pearl anniversary (30th year) for the Langlauf, and in an effort to show some pearl spirit – plastic pearl necklaces were given to all 259 finishers.
Following the race, inside the Selkirk Lodge, I have to say the soup was fantastic and the coffee was excellent. Sure hope all of these elements can come together again next year.
Paul Green is one of the folks who wrote in to give us an addition to our current “”21 Things” cover story. He’s got a great point:
Your list of 21 things was fun to read. There are a few excellent adventures that should be added to the list, however, I do not want more people in my favorite wild areas. Here is one exccellent adventure to add to the list.
Whitewater rafting through the Bowel and Pitcher – Devils Toe Nails section of the Spokane River. This wonderful river experience will change the way you view the river. There are 5 commercial outfitters or join the Northwest Whitewater Club or take a rafting course at EWU or Go with EWU’s EPIC program. I will take you on the river this spring with my rafting class students to show how wonderful this section of the river can be for a local adventurer.
Dr. Paul Green, professor
Eastern Washington University
Amen. I’ll have to take you up on that. In the mean time here’s a link to the Northwest Whitewater Association.
Picture by John Speare
I’m happy to report that the Mayor’s Planning for Climate Change and Energy Security event last night was a huge success. The 150 chairs available at the Downtown Library’s first floor conference room filled up quickly and it was standing room only by the time the discussion started.
I’m not going to shock anyone by pointing out that local sustainability stalwarts such as the Community Building’s Jim Sheehan and half the citizens of Peaceful Valley were in attendance. More interestingly, I recognized folks from business and development concerns, including NAI/Black, the Spokane Home Builder’s Association, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Black Rock Development. Add to the list politicos Steve Corker, Richard Rush, Nancy McLaughlin, and Bonnie Mager and you have a roomful of people with the ability to advance some serious change in this community. (more…)
On Monday the Seattle Times had a really interesting piece about bike lanes in Seattle called “Danger in the Bike Lane.” It brings up some great issues. Read it at this link.
I am waiting for someone to convince me that carbon offsets aren’t stupid.
I’ve just returned from the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the world’s biggest outdoor industry tradeshow, where companies are trying to go green with a vengeance. Which is great, that’s something I love about the outdoor industry. Outdoor companies are beating the heck out of each other to try to come up with the coolest recycled, sustainable, lightly treading products they can. But because selling outdoor goods, like selling all goods, requires a lot of manufacturing and shipping-two energy intensive pursuits-carbon offsets are a big buzzword.
For those unfamiliar with the term, carbon offsets refers to purchasing carbon credits from companies who promise to plant a tree or invest in renewable energy to balance out whatever carbon you generate from your fossil fuel use.
It’s a bulimic approach to environmentalism. Go ahead and buy the Hummer, just pay some unregulated, unproven company ten grand to offset your fuel emissions and drive guilt-free.
I visited a bunch of travel publishers at Outdoor Retailer for our book review column. One company, which prints English language travel guides to everywhere from Sri Lanka to Tunisia, exhorts readers to travel closer to home to reduce their carbon footprint from air travel. Another one claimed to be “The World’s First Carbon Neutral Publisher.”
You’ve published this beautiful guide to the Trans-Siberian Railway and how do you expect me to get there? Swim?
Enough already. You can’t have it both ways. You’re either cutting down trees and burning fossil fuel or you aren’t.
Green commerce today is too often based on the idea that if you just pay out some more money you won’t have to worry about your impact on the earth. Instead of purchasing a bunch of phantom credits to become carbon neutral why not change the way you live? Consume a little less. Grow some of your own food. Plant a tree. Drive the car less. Walk and bike more. Turn the thermostat down. Switch to compact fluorescents. Support open space and wilderness.
People concerned about climate change and environmental destruction have other options than carbon offsets that only the wealthy may be able to afford. Become self-offsetting instead of paying someone to do it for you.