Archive for December, 2009

Design Standards Ordinance FAIL

Take a minute to admire the adorable tacked-on faux balcony in the photo above. And now thank the genius code writers of Leavenworth, WA. Cause apparently, if you want to put up a commercial building more than one story tall in Leavenworth, a nordic-style balcony it must have. Not that it has to be usable. […]

Yes Virginia, Density Causes Sprawl—Lorax Edition

Among  all the wonderous myths of the density NIMBYs, surely “density causes sprawl” is king. Long ago Yogi Berra, of all people, nailed the illogic of that argument with his famous quip that “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”  (Mr. Berra also coined “it’s deja vu all over again,” a sentiment that seems all too […]

Seattle’s Transportation Carbon Footprint: Can Electric Cars Save Us?

[ Seattle’s 2008 GHG emissions from the transportation sector, which accounts for 62 percent of total emissions ] Transportation is not only the single largest source of Seattle’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—accounting for 62 percent—but it is also the only sector from which emissions are still escalating: Seattle’s GHG inventory shows a seven percent increase […]

Winter Light

Tunnel Resurfacing

Yonah Freemark recently wrote on The Infrastructurist that Seattle’s proposed deep-bore tunnel is one of “The 4 Highway Projects that Would Be the Biggest Waste of Money.” Meanwhile Mayor-elect McGinn is still questioning the cost overrun provision,  House Speaker Frank Chopp might want to play, but head of the House Transportation Committee Judy Clibborn definitely doesn’t.  And […]

Seattle’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory: Buildings

As noted in a previous post, the most striking success revealed in Seattle’s latest greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory is in the residential building sector: between 1990 and 2008, per capita GHG emissions dropped by 28 percent. To make sense of that, it helps to take a look at the residential energy data provided in the […]

Seattle’s Carbon Footprint: Assessing The Assessment

The City of Seattle just released its 2008 greenhouse gas inventory, and in most of the media reports, the results get distilled down to this headline:  Seattle’s emissions are seven percent below 1990 levels. Or perhaps even further distilled to:  Seattle is meeting the Kyoto protocol. Sure sounds good, but the reality is much more […]

Information Is Beautiful

Click on the image to see the whole enchilada.  Via the amazing Information is Beautiful.

The Editorial Boards Of The Wall Street Journal And The Washington Post Are In Agreement: 2+2=5

[ Nick Anderson; The Houston Chronicle ] In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal the paper’s deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens writes, “The earth has registered no discernable warming in the past 10 years… Am I missing something here?” Could be. On Monday the World Meteorological Organization issued a press release stating: “The decade of the […]

The Battle Over Energy Code

[ How many of those new Bellevue buildings would be using less energy if we had stricter State energy code? ] The construction industry and the automobile manufacturers must be cut from the same cloth. Because when confronted with the critically important task of increasing the energy efficiency of their products, instead of providing bold […]

Climate Change Mitigation Is A Win-Win-Win-etc.

Assessments of mitigation strategies in four domains—household energy, transport, food and agriculture, and electricity generation—suggest an important message: that actions to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions often, although not always, entail net benefits for health. In some cases, the potential benefits seem to be substantial. This evidence provides an additional and immediate rationale for reductions in greenhouse-gas […]

What Just Happened?: The meaning of McGinn’s win

There is a story being told (see Grant Cogswell’s piece in The Stranger, “Late Returns”) today about what Michael McGinn’s big win means. It goes like this: McGinn raised an army of volunteers, called them into service to reverse the defeat of the Monorail, slap passive aggressive Seattle in the face and crush the Establishment. […]

My Work Is Done

The reason for my lack of posts over the past five days has now been revealed: Clearly I subconsciously intuited that today would bring the pinnacle of my blogging career, the sweet payoff for two years of sleep deprivation and bad posture hunched over a laptop. Yes, today my blog was mentioned by the Uptight […]