Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What this is about, Part II

So now that I've set the stage with my discussion of bioregionalism in Cascadia, what does it actually mean in terms of specific topics of interest for this blog? The short answer is that any topic that relates to this framework, starting from my personal life and working outward to issues of global importance, is relevant here. Anyone who shares interest in these same topics is welcome to comment, even if your own personal and regional context is quite different. In fact, I particularly welcome comments from people in other parts of the world who nevertheless feel a sense of common experience or perspective. By enjoying the common ground that brings us together, we broaden the scope of the communities in which we live. On the Internet, many of those communities are united in experience despite strong geographical differences and long distances.

Personal issues relevant to this blog include my own personal experiences of and reflections on life in Cascadia that speak to broader concerns. These are likely to be the least common, but could range all over the map of possibility.

Local issues include:

  • The health of local watersheds, including possible daylighting of urban creeks, including Horse Creek in my own neighborhood
  • Water quality and animal and fish habitat in local creeks, the Sammamish River, and the greater Lake Washington watershed.
  • The protection of local wetlands and urban biodiversity in general, and the coexistence of humans and animals in urban and suburban environments.
  • Sustainable development and urban density, focusing on projects and policies in my immediate area in the northshore of Lake Washington, and particularly Bothell.
  • Occasional architecture musing and whining.
  • The protection of green space and parks.
  • Cycling trails and facilities.
  • Future transportation options between my local area and nearby towns and cities. Muttering about the lack of rail options in the Northshore area, and lamentations about Lynnwood.
  • Road projects that affect life in the area.
  • Cleaning up local air and water. Why I'm not bothered about the waste treatment plant and related pipeline in my neighborhood.

Regional issues include:

  • The water quality and bio-diversity in Puget Sound and other interior waters of the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia.
  • The health of local forests and other important ecosystems such as fisheries. What's the proper mix of ecological, recreational, and industrial uses?
  • Regional transportation issues. Why is monorail dead, and is there a place for it in the future? What's good and bad about Sound Transit? Why is there no prospect for high-speed rail? When can we stop favoring cars over everything else? Why can't Seattle and its environs ever get this right? What can we learn from Vancouver and Portland?
  • Urban and suburban sprawl in the Puget Sound region, and how to prevent it. The state's Growth Management Act. The King County Critical Areas Ordinance. The lies of "wise use."
  • Education
  • Local economics and important industries and companies
  • Lowering barriers at the US-Canadian border
  • Regional earthquake and other disaster preparedness
  • Other county, state, and regional cross-border issues

Global issues include:

  • Climate change and the health of our oceans and atmosphere
  • Poverty, disease, and underdevelopment
  • Natural disaster management
  • War
  • The impact of trade
  • Immigration
  • The proper role of international agreements and organizations, and how to integrate them with local and regional concerns.
  • National issues when I simply can't avoid ranting (or more rarely, raving) about them.

I'm not really an expert on any of these subjects. I studied history and political science extensively and my bachelor's degree relates to those areas. But mostly I'm just interested in these subjects as an informed citizen and resident in this part of the world.

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