Alan

If the obesity epidemic is caused by sedentary lifestyles and overeating, or by high-fructose corn syrup, or something else about human lifestyles, then why are pets, lab chimps that are kept in unchanging conditions of activity and diet, and even feral rats living among us all getting fatter? Could it be pollution is messing with our metabolisms or microbiology?

Tim Egan expresses well the crush I have on the Pope.

Would you rather see Congress mauled by grizzly bears or set upon by fire ants?

How to dry your hands thoroughly with just one paper towel.

The solution to housing affordability may not be more “affordable housing.” A parable from the Bay Area that applies perfectly to the Northwest.

Clark

Europe’s emissions have fallen 18 percent below 1990 levels—adding to the evidence that putting a price on carbon actually reduces emissions of carbon!

Apparently, kids these days don’t use email. (They also need to get off my lawn!)

Nicole

How did your street get its name? One man’s curiosity led him to the place of Chief Leschi’s hanging. I appreciated this article in the News Tribune—important local history that I know far too little about:

“A Dollar Tree, a used book store, the ubiquitous nail salon. But under a large tree in the otherwise concrete expanse is a large stone marker with a weathered message etched into the stone.

‘Leschi
Chief of the Nisquallies
Martyr to the vengeance
Of the unforgiving white man
Was hanged
300 yards S.E. from here
February 19, 1858’”

Anna

How Oreos work like cocaine.

Bill Moyers talks to constitutional law professor, Heather Gerken, about the question of secret Big Money derailing our democracy. It’s worth your while to hear her explanation of what’s at stake in McCutcheon v. FEC, the campaign finance case before the Supreme Court.

This is your city…under water. A marine biologist brings climate change impacts home with some gripping (er, dripping?) visuals. (P.S. the Twitter hashtag is #drownyourtown.)

Finally, for a breath of fresh air: Bernie Sanders’ Playboy interview. Here’s a choice excerpt on capitalist greed and climate change:

People have lost sight of America as a society where everyone has at least a minimal standard of living and is entitled to certain basic rights, a nation in which every child has a good-quality education, has access to health care and lives in an environmentally clean community, not as an opportunity for billionaires to make even more money and avoid taxes by stashing their money in the Cayman Islands. Can you argue that the era of unfettered capitalism should be over? Absolutely. Does this system of hypercapitalism, this incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income, need fundamental reform? Absolutely it does. You have the entire scientific community saying we have to be very aggressive in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Yet you’re seeing the heads of coal companies and oil companies willing to sacrifice the well-being of the entire planet for their short-term profits. And these folks are funding phony organizations to try to create doubt about the reality of global warming.

Big business is willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits. I regard that as just incomprehensible. Incomprehensible. And because of their power over the political process, you hear a deafening silence in the U.S. Congress and in other bodies around the world about the severity of the problem. Global warming is a far more serious problem than Al Qaeda.

Eric

Joel Connelly brings a historical perspective to Whatcom County politics and what is certainly the nation’s most important county election as far as the climate is concerned.

  • Tar Sands SOS lets you track tar sands-bearing tanker vessels in real time as they thread their way through the reefs and islands of the Salish Sea.

    DeSmogBlog goes another round with the coal industry over their spokesperson mocking the Northwest.

    Conservative Ross Douthat eviscerates Republicans for the failed standoff over the debt ceiling and government shutdown:

    It was an irresponsible, dysfunctional and deeply pointless act, carried out by a party that on the evidence of the last few weeks shouldn’t be trusted with the management of a banana stand, let alone the House of Representatives.

    Last but not least, I should alert readers that my worst fears about marriage equality were realized this past summer. Even as I worked the phone banks in support of Referendum 74, I worried that us straight dudes would get shown up in the romance department.

    Turns out, I was right to worry. You can imagine my chagrin when I watched this unfold outside my office window. It was a proposal so heartfelt, well-orchestrated, and good-humored that it’s now earned a national audience via Upworthy.

    I think my co-workers will vouch for me when I say that I’m not known for displays of sentimentality, yet I confess to actually choking up when it happened.

    Anyway.

    A big congrats to the happy couple. And I can’t pass up the opportunity to add a couple of possibly obnoxious remarks: this sort of thing is proof—proof—that the progressive movement is pointing the world in a better direction. It’s also proof that Washington Bus rocks, and that the Vance Building where I work is the coolest office building in Seattle. So there.