Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category
This is a commentary that I wrote for Crosscut on the controversy about the exclusion of gays in Scouting. Outside my role with the WCTA, I serve as vice chair of the council of the Magnolia United Church of Christ. I was Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 80 for five years. My son, JT, and I are Eagle Scouts. My wife, Melissa, works for the Boy Scouts. (My daughter has absolutely nothing to do with Scouting — including a determined objection to camping of any kind.) Source: Tom Ranken, Crosscut, May 6, 2013.
My church, the Magnolia United Church of Christ in Seattle, has conflicting legacies. It has been an open, affirming church accepting of gay people for decades. It has had several leaders that are gay.
It has also been the sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 80 and Cub Scout Pack 80 since the 1940s.
Read the full story here. Please comment!
This week, I started hearing Prince on my local oldies radio station. Not old school, classic rock or R&B, but O-L-D-I-E-S, as in the last way station before commercial radio’s cultural irrelevance. Admittedly, I wasn’t just scanning the dial and happened to catch His Symbolness; I plead guilty to listening to the station, meaning that marketers are almost demographically done with me. Read More…
Commentary by J. Thomas Ranken, Washington Clean Technology Alliance
All too often, diversity has no real meaning in the success of an organization. It often has everything to do with internal politics and little to do with actually bringing people together to work intelligently on solving problems. It presumes that if you create an organization that has people with different colors, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity, you will get a superior organization with a superior result. Read More…
By Daniel J. Evans and Jorge Carrasco. Daniel J. Evans is a former U.S. senator and former Washington state governor. Jorge Carrasco is superintendent of Seattle City Light and a member of the Alliance’s Commission on National Energy and Efficiency Policy.
The U.S. should pursue President Obama’s recommendation to double energy productivity in the next 20 years, according to guest columnists Daniel J. Evans and Jorge Carrasco. Read More…
Governor Inslee released his February clean energy policy brief last week. It was full of references to clean transportation—as a means for economic development as well as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. While there are many aspects that are worthy of highlighting, I am highlighting just a few items in Governor Inslee’s brief.Washington spends more than $20 billion each year on energy. “Shrinking our dependence on imported energy and boosting home grown clean energy will strengthen and expand our economy.” Approximately ¾ of the $20 billion dollar energy goes for traditional transportation fuels. Governor Inslee wants to quickly move to electrify our state transportation system by taking advantage of clean and affordable electrical power. “We will ensure that state investments in transportation contribute to clean energy and climate solutions while we generate jobs and save taxpayer dollars.” Read More…
Be honest: if you were offered a 30 percent raise in your current pay and a move up the corporate ladder in exchange for moving to Mississippi: would you do it?
For most people, the answer would be a resounding “NO!” and the reasons are all too familiar. Mississippi has a public relations problem the size of a fast food waistline with extra corn syrup—and no one wants to be associated with it. If you live somewhere suffering from low education standards, high poverty and illiteracy rates, or a chronically obese population, the first unstated question is always, “Are we at least ahead of Mississippi?” Read More…
The numbers are in, and they ain’t pretty. They tell us that 2012 represented the worst year for cleantech investment since the dark days of 2009. Depending on whose numbers you accept, investments in cleantech declined 28%, from $4.6 billion in 2011 to $3.3 billion in 2012 (PWC Moneytree, or MT for short), or 29% in the case of the Cleantech Group’s (CG) numbers. Meanwhile, the venture industry as a whole contracted by only 10%.
Reading news like this could get one thinking back fondly to the halcyon days of 2007, when it seemed cleantech was growing so fast as to be unstoppable. 2008 was even better; well, until Q4, when it all turned pear-shaped. So let’s not go there. 2007 was awesome!
What went wrong? From $3.1 billion invested in cleantech in 2007 (MT; CG says $6.1 billion), we’ve declined to $3.3 billion/$6.5 billion.
Wait a second. That’s not a decrease – it’s an increase!
Read the full blog at the source: Keith Gillard, Pangea Blog, February 4, 2013.
Fifty Shades of Grey has a new meaning thanks to Beijing’s air pollution index recording 755 on a scale of 0 to 500, with 500 being the most unhealthful air imaginable.
For the first (and I suspect) not the last time, Beijing’s local council restricted construction and industrial activity, curbed vehicle use by government officials and ordered schools to limit outside activity. On the same day New Yorkers went about their normal business with an air pollution rating of 19, or about 40 times less air pollution that the Chinese capital. Read More…
Washington Governor Jay Inslee devoted about one-seventh of his inaugural address to climate change and the state’s moral imperative and economic opportunity in responding to it.
While the longtime environmental champion left detailed policy proposals for later, his address—along with an op-ed published in Publicola last month—provide a sense of the specific markets and initiatives he might prioritize.
Cleantech backers, meanwhile, are hoping that Inslee will use Washington state’s government purchasing power to support local products and services.
In his prepared remarks (PDF), Inslee positions the state’s response to climate change as a moral and economic imperative, as well as a challenge for which Washington is well-suited with its “particular brand of genius and ingenuity.”
“Now I know Washington can’t solve this global problem alone, but we must embrace our role as first responders as our children’s health is in clear and immediate danger,” he says. “We must also embrace our role as entrepreneurs and pioneers, ensuring that economic solutions to climate change begin here.”
Inslee counts “clean energy technology” alongside aerospace, IT, life sciences, military, agriculture, and maritime trades as industry clusters that drive Washington’s economy now and will in the future.
Read the entire article by Benjamin Romano, Xconomy, January 22, 2013.
Bringing a carbon tax to Washington state could provide the funds we need to maintain our transportation infrastructure, according to guest columnists Yoram Bauman and Ian Siadak. Read More…