Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015: “Climate 8” Assert a Stable Climate System Is a Human Right

If the "climate 8" get their way in Seattle's King County Superior Court, the right to a stable climate system could become as "inalienable" - and as groundbreaking - as any right conceived by the founding fathers, similar to the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In an era of growing climate chaos where youth the world over will pay the highest price, the lawsuit argues that the state Department of Ecology has a mandatory duty to protect natural resources, including the atmosphere, for future generations. The eight tween and teen students who brought the legal action against the state argue that they do, and that it's government's responsibility to protect those rights. Martha Baskin has more from Seattle.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 3, 2015: Stopping Shell in Its Tracks: Washington State Communities Say No to Oil Trains

“Shell No!” is again a rallying cry for environmentalists in Western Washington committed to derailing the oil giant's plans to build a railspur for its Puget Sound refinery. Years of derailments and explosions throughout North America combined with Shell using the Port of Seattle as a homeport for its Arctic drilling plans, spurned a new coalition, Stand Up To Oil, Communities Fueling Change, whose goal is to stand up to threats posed by rapid and dramatic changes in oil transportation while working to improve safety measures for oil currently traveling through the region. Martha Baskin reports.

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Friday, September 25, 2015

September 25, 2015: Terra Nostra - A Symphony for the Planet

Many symphonies have been written as musical testaments to war - Shostakovitch's "Leningrad," written to honor the estimated 25 million Soviets who lost their lives in World War II, is just one example. But a symphony about climate change is altogether new. And something a French composer and environmental scientist based in Seattle decided the times demanded. Terra Nostra, "Our Earth" in Latin, has its multimedia symphonic premiere later this month. What happens after that remains to be seen.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

September 14, 2015: Plastic on the Rise in Oceans & Waters Everywhere

Plastic, large and small, macro and micro, has become a scourge of oceans and waterways everywhere. Researchers reported in the August issue of Science that about 4 million to 12 million metric tons of plastic washed offshore in 2010 alone - enough to cover every foot of coastline on the planet. That’s just the beginning of the problems, the team says, as scientists still don’t know where more than 99% of ocean plastic debris ends up. We take a look at the problem beginning with a clean up crew on a beach on Vashon Island, southwest of Seattle.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28, 2015: Pilot Water Transfer Project Fights Drought with Innovation

Drought isn't new in the west. But in Washington state, those who grow the region's food have never experienced a growing season as water-challenged as this year. Farmers in the fertile Snoqualmie River Valley outside Seattle have come up with a temporary solution, a pilot water transfer project. The pilot is helping some farmers grow and harvest the organic fruits and veggies many have come to rely on.

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Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015: Edible Gardens & Cool Tips for Growing in a Hot Summer

Drought in the West has hit Washington state pretty hard in the summer of 2015. Fires are raging in traditionally wet rain forests on the coast while farmers are stealing water in the Eastern part of the state to feed thirsty crops. Urban gardens are also feeling the pinch in cities like Seattle. But with the right techniques – there's no water rationing in the city to date - many edible gardeners are reaping a harvest. Martha Baskin took an edible garden tour and brings us this story.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 1, 2015: Global South Realities on Rise in Climate Justice Battle with Shell Over Arctic Drilling

"Climate justice" has become a rallying cry in the battle being played out in Seattle to pressure Shell from drilling in the Arctic this summer. We caught up with two climate justice activists with roots in the global south, Katrina Pestano and Sarra Tekola, to find out why.

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015: Seed Lending Libraries Place a Premium on Diversity

Seed lending libraries are sprouting up all over the country. Their purpose is two-fold. One, to exchange, share, and maintain a diverse supply of open pollinating non-GMO seeds. And two, to cultivate more gardeners and growers to join the seed saving effort. In this feature we visit a seed library in Seattle and get some advice from those committed to growing the movement.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17, 2015: Raft Up! Resistance to Shell's Arctic Drilling Builds in the Pacific Northwest

Royal Dutch Shell's Polar Pioneer, a 400-foot-tall Arctic drilling rig reached the Washington coast today. The subject of intense controversy after the Port of Seattle offered Shell a home port to facilitate Arctic drilling, the rig will remain in Port Angeles for several weeks before being escorted to the Port of Seattle. Our story brings us to Elliott Bay in Seattle, where a kayak fleet is in training. Mass direct action on land and sea is underway in preparation for the Polar Pioneer's expected arrival in Seattle in mid-May.

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Friday, April 3, 2015

April 3, 2015: Derailing Fast Track 9-0: Seattle City Council Takes on Obama's Free Trade Agenda

The vote was 9 to 0 against Obama's request for trade promotion authority commonly called “fast track”. The Seattle City Council vote followed a similar resolution passed earlier by a smaller port city in Washington, Bellingham, and follows those passed in Hollywood and Berkeley, California; Madison, Wisconsin; and others. The resolutions may be symbolic – trade agreements are written by industry advisers and signed off at the federal level – but Seattle's vote is considered significant coming from a state that often bills itself as the nation's most trade dependent.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015: Opposition Mounts to Seattle Hosting Shell's Arctic Drilling Fleet

The lease is signed. But whether the Port of Seattle becomes a home port for Shell's Arctic drilling fleet this Spring is uncertain. Public opinion at a recent Port meeting was 6 to 1 against the action. Seattle's Mayor Murray asked for a review of the city's Shoreline Management Act and the non-profit law firm Earthjustice has filed a lawsuit to stop it. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015: The cities and the oil trains. Unsafe at any speed?

Two more recent oil train explosions have opponents of what many call "bombs on rails" on edge. This week they gathered at Seattle's King Street Station. The Great Northern Tunnel that runs beneath it continues under the city's famous Pike Place Market. An estimated 19 oil trains each carrying 100 tank cars of flammable crude run through the city and the state every week.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015: Positive Trends for Winter Seabirds on Some Puget Sound Near Coasts

In a marine world where good news is sometimes hard to find, an increase in winter seabirds is cause for celebration. Eighteen species along Puget Sound's near coasts are on the rise, including loons, surf scoters, buffleheads and rhinoceros auklets. A recently released report, Using Citizen Science to Identify Local Hotspots of Seabird Occurrence, tells all about it. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015: Trading Away Our Environmental Future with the Trans Pacific Partnership

Although making sure trade deals don't harm communities and the planet may not be a government priority yet, activists are convinced that if they can stop fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it could mean an improvement for future trade negotiation. This week we take a closer look at the agreement opponents call "NAFTA on steroids," with guests Naomi Klein; Ilana Solomon, Responsible Trade Director with the Sierra Club; and Alisa Simmons, Deputy Director of Global Trade Watch. The three took part in a national call-in to "FlushtheTPP," the trade agreement the Obama administration has pledged to support.

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