climate change

Spokane Council Takes Two Steps Related To Climate Change

May 21, 2020
Global Covenant of Mayors

The Spokane City Council this week took steps not related to the virus. It approved two resolutions related to climate change.

In one, Council President Breean Beggs says the council voted to rejoin a group of more than 1,700 local governments that are working on sustainability issues.

City Of Spokane Releases Climate Survey Results

May 7, 2020
City of Spokane

Health and economic issues are top of mind for most people right now. But results of a survey released this week by the city of Spokane show the environment is still important to people.


More than 1,400 residents answered questions in a recent online poll about climate change.

City Of Spokane Surveys Residents About Climate Change

Feb 27, 2020
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

A Spokane City Council citizens committee studying climate change has developed a survey for city residents. The results are expected to be used to help the city update its Sustainability and Climate Action Plan.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

Washington Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz has unveiled a Plan for Climate Resilience for the state.

Franz’s plan proposes a range of ways Washington can protect itself from the effects of climate change. That includes a strategy Franz has been vocal about: using timber harvests and controlled burns on state forest lands to prevent the frequency and intensity of wildfire.


A number of health care providers in Washington are coming together to ensure they are prepared to deal with climate change and its impact on patients.

The Washington Health Care Climate Alliance includes eight health care systems statewide that represent 40 hospitals.

University of Washington

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, we talk about climate change and human health.

A few weeks ago, Gonzaga welcomed University of Washington researcher Dr. Kristie Ebi [E-bi] to campus for its Next Generation Medicine lecture series. The topic was how a warming planet is affecting human health. What are some of the challenges, especially right in our backyard? And how might this affect our food supply?

Dr. Ebi has studied climate change and public health for about 25 years. She’s a professor of environmental and occupational health sciences and global health. She spoke with us before her talk at Gonzaga.

Spokane Candidates Discuss Climate Change

Oct 3, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane’s mayoral and city council candidates have addressed a wide variety of issues during this fall campaign, from homelessness to land use.

On Wednesday evening, the topic of the day was one that some of the candidates don’t even consider a local issue: climate change.

Swinomish Tribe/

Representatives from Northwest tribes continued their discussions today [Wednesday] about how they’re adapting to climate change.

Some of the time has been spent sharing their own stories, but this afternoon [Wednesday], delegates were briefed on international climate discussions.

Northwest Tribes Convene Climate Summit In Spokane

Jul 30, 2019
Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians

There’s no debate among American Indian leaders about whether climate change is real. This week, representatives from the region’s tribes are talking about how they’re adapting to climate change at the Northern Quest Casino.

Many of the tribes represented by the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians have created or are working on climate adaptation plans, including one in western Washington that's leading the way.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The Washington State House of Representatives passed what its supporters call a "clean energy" bill Thursday on a 56-42 vote. 

The law would require the entire electric grid to be powered by 100% clean energy by 2045. It would require removing coal from the electricity grid by 2025 and accelerate closure of coal plants in Montana and Wyoming.

The Gonzaga Environmental Law Clinic has filed a friend of the court paper in a case that pits several young people against the U.S. government for failing to stop climate change.

The suit contends that the federal government pursued energy policies that caused climate change even though it knew for more than a half century that carbon emissions would destabilize the climate.

Inland Journal, February 22, 2019 Podcast: Climate Change

Feb 22, 2019
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Today on the Inland Journal podcast, environmental groups are asking the Washington legislature to adopt firm timelines to wean the state from fossil fuels. We’ll get two views: from a member of the 350 Spokane group, which is lobbying for the  bill, and a lobbyist for Avista. And we’ll meet a Maryland researcher who has created a map that projects what local climates like ours will be like in 2080.

Council Sidesteps Mayor; Forms Sustainability Committee

Dec 17, 2018
350 Spokane

The Spokane City Council has taken the latest step in a disagreement with the mayor about an renewable electricity ordinance the council passed last summer.

Gonzaga Trustees Approve New Investment Strategy

Dec 11, 2018
Gonzaga University

Gonzaga’s Board of Trustees says it has adopted a new approach to socially responsible investing. The board approved the strategy at its meeting last Friday.

School leaders say it allows the university to balance making money with supporting the university’s mission. Some students and faculty members, though, are disappointed.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Of all the issues that divide Americans, climate change might be the most difficult on which to build consensus.

Former South Carolina Republican Congressman Bob Inglis learned that the hard way. In 2010, he lost his U.S. House seat after expressing his opinion that climate change is real and human-caused.  

Eight years later, Inglis is still trying to convince conservatives it’s ok to admit the climate is changing.

Northwest Public Broadcasting

Here are excerpts from Wednesday evening's debate at Walla Walla Community College, sponsored by the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce and Northwest Public Broadcasting.

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

On Monday, the Spokane City Council will take up an issue inspired by climate change. The council will hold a hearing and perhaps vote on a proposal to create a Sustainability Action Commission. Its job would be to review and update the city’s Sustainability Action Plan, approved in 2010. That included a provision to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. Last year, the city council put into law those emissions goals.

This new version would push the city farther.


Members of a national group devoted to creating bipartisan solutions to climate change are promoting a revenue-neutral proposal they believe will reduce demand for fossil fuels. Their measure would increase the price of carbon-emitting fuels, but seek to minimize the burden on consumers.

The group Citizens’ Climate Lobby is promoting what it calls a free-market solution to climate change. It’s called ’carbon fee and dividend.’

Inland Journal, Nov. 16, 2017

Nov 16, 2017

Inland Journal for November 16, 2017

This week on Inland Journal...

    ▪    Steve Jackson reports on the debate in Newport over a proposed silicon smelter. An Alberta company proposes to build a facility that would take silica shipped from the company’s mine in British Columbia and turn it into a material used to build solar panels. Opponents say the smelter will endanger the air quality in the region.
    ▪    We’ll talk about climate change with two volunteer members of a bipartisan group holding a series of public meetings this week around the Inland Northwest. We’ll talk with a climate scientist from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Steve Ghan) and with a member of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Conservative Caucus (John Sandvig). They’ll talk about their proposal for what they call a “Carbon Fee and Dividend.”

Three young environmental activists are visiting Sandpoint, this Saturday, to talk about a pair of lawsuits challenging government to do more to combat climate change.

The trio is involved in two lawsuits filed by young people, ranging from age 9 to 21, that say the government has failed in a duty to protect young people from the ravages of climate change.

One suit is making its way through federal court in Oregon, another has been filed here in Washington State.

When scientists tallied the temperature readings from around the world last month, this is what they discovered:

"July, 2016 was the warmest month we have observed in our period of record that dates back to 1880," says Jake Crouch, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And July wasn't a freak occurrence, he notes. The past 10 years have seen numerous high temperature records.

Compound May Cut Down on Cow Belches

Aug 4, 2015
Cattle Cows
Flickr - Chelsea Nesvig

Here's a significant world-wide problem you probably never thought much about - cow belches. Cattle and other livestock are enormous producers of methane, one of the worst elements of global greenhouse gasses. 

Predictions Hot For Summer in Northwest

Mar 30, 2015
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

After the winter-that-wasn't, what can Inland Northwest residents expect for the summer? University of Washington climatologist Cliff Mass isn't willing to make an unqualified prediction, but says "I believe the probability of a warm summer is quite high."

The daffodils and tulips are up and so are hungry black bears. Our unseasonably mild winter is bringing black bears out of hibernation earlier than usual.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown has made what is perhaps her boldest political statement since she took office in February.

Five scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have concluded that Earth is on the cusp of warming at unprecedented rates. In a paper published this week in Nature Climate Change, the lead researcher, Doctor Steven Smith, said "Essentially the world is entering a new regime - changing at a rate that natural processes might not be able to keep up with".

Warm Winter Is Harbinger of Winters to Come

Feb 19, 2015
Winter weather in Spokane
Paige Browning / Spokane Public Radio

A noted Washington State climatologist believes this snowless, warmish winter is good for at least one thing -  a grim forecast of Inland Northwest winters to come half a century from now. University of Washington climate specialist Cliff Mass said we don't need a time machine to experience what winters will be like on the downslope of the 21st century.

Feds Allocate Money for Climate Study

Dec 22, 2014

Through a fledgling science center tailored to study the Inland Northwest, the US Department of the Interior has awarded several new grants to guide planning for climate change. The Northwest Climate Science Center, headquartered in Corvallis, Oregon, is getting seed money for 13 new climate studies.

The work will focus on figuring out how climate change affects natural resources, and ways to mitigate damage to ecosystems and species. For example, planners will try to understand how wildfires and land-use changes will affect northwest watersheds and water supply in the region.

From a temperature standpoint, autumn is off to an unusually mild start across the Northwest.

A panel of experts discusses the global implications of the latest IPCC assessment.