As Jenny Durkan Delays Bike Lanes and Transit Projects, Seattle Spends Another Day in Smoke



"...a city whose air has been severely polluted by smoke from wildfires caused by anthropogenic climate change"

There is not a single atmospheric scientist who would agree with this statement. Climate change absolutely did not cause the fires or the smoke, full stop. Was it made worse by climate change? Probably. But to what degree, we don't know yet, even based on the latest climate research.


Durkan putting a stop to tranist projects like the Center City Connector streetcar have nothing to do with her being a climate-change denier. Those projects are being re-evaluated because they're boondogles that will do nothing to alleviate traffic in Seattle (and do nothing to alleviate manmade climate change).

As far as new construction is concerned, there are plenty of new units being built without parking, which simply encourages new residents to store their cars on streets and get in the way of our already poor-performing transit.


@1 Bark beetles. They die when British Columbia gets nice and cold winters. That hasn't happened for a long time, and they've been killing off their forests.

Ok, forestry practices have been poorly thought out in the past (and perhaps at the present) as well, which contributes to the current smoke. But bark beetles are a real thing that's really leaving a massive amount of dead wood in our forests. And they wouldn't have if we had our traditionally cold winters.


@3 I was under the impression that Washington's bark beetle damage has been confined to the Columbia River Gorge. How is it possible that these insects are the cause of our current wildfires outside of this region?


@4 Our smoke is mostly coming from BC. Here's the pine beetle map for BC.

It's not just a problem here - we've been seeing a huge die-off of pine trees across northern north america from this same problem.



Here's a good zoomed-out view:


@2: "As far as new construction is concerned, there are plenty of new units being built without parking, which simply encourages new residents to store their cars on streets and get in the way of our already poor-performing transit."

Gosh, and here I thought there was a distinction between traffic lanes and parking spaces. Hey, you learn something new every day.

Oh, I wasn't aware that the purpose of the Center City Connector "to alleviate traffic in Seattle" until you said so. Here it looks like I've learned a couple new things today.

Y'know, the Center City Connector may very well be an ill-advised project, although, as I've said before, the worst of all worlds would be to NOT build it but to keep running the two existing disconnected lines. But I think I can find better arguments against it than those coming from an aspiring transit concern troll.


@6 I guess you lost me with "But bark beetles are a real thing that's really leaving a massive amount of dead wood in our forests" in @3. I assumed "our forests" meant our forests, not Canada's.


Yeah, looks like I switched to the global "our" somewhere around halfway. We're Americans, but we're also Cascadians.


Poppycock Charles. And, I do believe in climate change.


Yes, if we could only get rid of those single family houses we could all live in an Urban Paradise. Everyone I know would be happy to live in a tiny apodment, way up in a high rise. I can't envision any problems with this idea whatsoever.

Certainly getting rid of all those pesky yards that single family housing has - with trees, gardens, birds, etc - can only help us in our war on smoke, right Charles?


What, Washington's carbon footprint is like 1/10,000th to the rest of the world. And it's our fault?

Charles, do us a favor.


Jenny Durkan, bicycle advocates and now Dori Monson have come out against streetcars. Probably nore. It is irresponsible as a journalist to only blame one, but that is exactly what is going to happen. Dori don't give a damm about transit but the bicyclists supposedly do. They are hanging back, hoping iit will fall apart on its own without making waves. But if you read their Twitter pages it is more hostile. Way more hostile than the mayor. Meanwhile they are suing the other 2 lines. Not like our tax money means anything to them. It is all Jenny Durkan's fault. No one else to blame.


Charles, if you change "caused by" to "exacerbated by", you'd not only be more accurate, you'd also defang a lot of the trolls.


Thomas Sowell hands down is America's greatest economist. What would it take to get Charles Marx to read something from this century?



He would, but he can't.

Charles is a truth-seeker, in the pejorative sense. Like a teen-ager, he is searching for a Grand Theory to explain every thing he can see, to free his poor head of all the terrible nuance and uncertainty and moral complexity and contradiction that the world presses upon him.

Some people do this with a collection of gods. Charles instead uses a collection of devils.

Charles believes in the Capitalism Devil. This devil is responsible for all the poverty in the world, and for half of its disagreeable political outcomes.

Charles believes in the Global Warming Devil. This devil is responsible for every destructive weather event in the world, for any and every disagreeable natural phenomenon.

Charles believes in the White Devil. This devil is responsible for the unhappiness of every unhappy non-white person, and for the other half of the world's disagreeable political outcomes.

He is a very religious man!

His writings, his theology, is a juggling of his devil-gods, a neverending effort to apportion causality in every manner of unpleasantness to the correct devils in the correct order.

And like any true believer, he can not just change his words around here and there, or throw in caveats or modulate-- he must always express his faith as a certainty.


Good Evening Charles,
I've actually read "On the Theory of the Leisure Class" by Thorstein Vleblen. I have a hard copy of the essay. I very much liked it. Curious fellow Vleblen was. A son of Norwegian immigrants and raised in Wisconsin. He was an academic at the then nascent, University of Chicago. Evidently he got fired after having an affair with another professor's wife.

Believe he went on to other faculty appointments. But that treatise remains an American scholarly classic.


A retort from your last post to this:THERE IS NO SMOKE IN SPACE,Charles...


Thank you and bless you for citing Veblen’s book. It should be required reading. Seattle’s Only Public Intellectual.



It may surprise you to learn that bark beetles don't carry passports, nor are they required to check in with authorities whenever they cross the border between the U.S. and Canada.


I'm sure the Soviet cosmonauts who put out a fire on their MIR space station back in '97 would be very relieved by your incredibly scientific refutation of their near-catastrophic event.


Let's get this straight: The Ecoterrorists are NOT those fighting against The Koch Bros, LLC, EXXON, BP, et al ad nauseum -- The Ecoterrorists* ARE the Koch Bros, LLC, EXXON, BP, et al, ad nauseum.

Let's get that straight.

(This is not an endorsement of EITHER groups' policies.)

*those who actually Terrorize the Planet;
not those fighting AGAINST those who Terrorize the Planet.


@25: Are you saying bark beetles migrate? What if they’re African or European?

“...Soviet cosmonauts who put out a fire on their MIR space station back in '97...”

In Soviet Russia, time travels you!


Consumerism does sell us each on the promise that we can consume like kings. More, more, and more; better, better, and better. Some of the luxuries we can buy are amazing, and we literally won’t say no, regardless the cost. Charles is absolutely right. We are all Nero, fiddling while the world burns.


Being a contrarian just to be contrary creates a high risk of just being silly. That's this article all over. Veblen would be pleased to see the well-to-do riding expensive road bikes for pleasure while recoiling from employment at manual labor. Nothing says "Veblan good" like a carbon-fiber track bike and hundreds of dollars of synthetic clothing used only for cycling.