Education Sneak Peek

Read the Dirt’s latest project is its Ear to the Ground newsletter. The newsletter is a civic intelligence service. We read local [read more …]

US Climate Movement: Funnel Money Downward if You Want to Survive

This Read the Dirt production was published by Earth Island Journal. Since the election of Donald Trump, many people who have not [read more …]

For Teachers and Citizens: How to Respond to Federal Immigration Raids

Editor’s Note: TeachDream is a “group of educators and counselors working in New York City Public Schools, as part of an Inquiry [read more …]

How To Respond When Your (Local) Government Gets Sued By A Corporation

Editor’s Note: This piece, by Tish O’Dell of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Ohio Community Rights Network, was written [read more …]

Occupy’s Not So Invisible Work

Editor’s Note: What do Naomi Klein, Occupy Sandy and the mathematics of predicting the future have in common? Originally published by Reader Supported [read more …]

Getting Specific About What We Want

Editor’s Note: Rex Burkholder tells an American tale—incorporating his lessons learned as an urban planner into a broader discussion on how American [read more …]

National Sovereignty At Stake

Editor’s Note: Read the Dirt intern Emily Petrovski does some background research on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Your sovereignty would appear to [read more …]

Lessons Learned By A Federal Enforcer

Editor’s Note: Tim Ragen enforced federal environmental policy as executive director of the Marine Mammal Commission. He reflects here on what he [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-The Marriage of the Ethical and the Moral

Editor’s Note: In a look back on his previous columns, Damon asks, “what is it that marries the secular to the sacred?” [read more …]

A Briefing On The State-Owned Bank of North Dakota

By Adam Gillman The Bank of North Dakota is state-owned and run financial institution located in Bismarck, ND. The bank was established [read more …]

Politicizing a Social Worker

Editor’s Note: How does ‘neoliberalism’ and the concept of government ‘neutrality’ relate to initiatives like Washington’s recent I-522? A social worker in training [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-Enlightenment and Democracy

Editor’s Note: In a retrospective piece on the New Age, Damon navigates the link between personal awareness and democracy in his seventh [read more …]

The People Know Best, Should We Listen?

Editor’s Note: Willmeng, actively working to pass a Lafayette, CO Community Rights Act to prohibit all new oil and gas extraction, asks [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-Democracy: a Work in Progress

Editor’s Note: In Philip Damon’s sixth Sacred Democracy column he provides an antidote to the mainstream media’s high-frequency buzz. For links to [read more …]

Dispatches from Denmark-Ærø

Editor’s Note: Sarah Vaira, a former EarthFix intern, is studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark–a world leader in clean energy and environmental planning. [read more …]

Protect The Local Initiative Process-Why Support WA Initiative 517

Editor’s Note: Envision Spokane offers a preface to their support for I-517: “Eyman [who backs I-517] is no friend of [Envision Spokane’s] [read more …]

Questions for a County Council Could-Be

Editor’s Note: Rud Browne, running for Whatcom County Council this November, was the only candidate for Council willing to respond to our [read more …]

A Brief Chat about Workers’ Rights

Editor’s Note: Sakuma Farms Inc. farmworkers have been striking and fighting for more humane wages, living quarters and working conditions. A local [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-Glimmers of Empathy in the Shadows of History

Editor’s Note: Damon’s fifth ‘Sacred Democracy’ column.   In previous columns, I’ve made—or at least argued—the case that the core value of [read more …]

Native Resilience and Interethnic Cooperation: How Natives are adapting to climate change, and helping their non-Native neighbors follow suit

Editor’s Note: Natives are used to challenges—colonization offers an example. Natives’ historic resiliency and local traditional knowledge, along with their political sovereignty, [read more …]

Imagining a New Society: Comparisons from Iceland

Editor’s Note: Davis Maas, a retired political science professor, looks at recent events in Iceland as a source of learning for the [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-Rites of Nature

Editor’s Note: Now that legal rights of nature exist, what will this mean as they scale up? Damon contributes to the conversation. [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-The Beatitudes of Fairness

Editor’s Note: In Phil Damon’s third Sacred Democracy column for Read the Dirt he contemplates fairness across multiple scales. This article is [read more …]

Speaking With a ‘Fractivist’: Data Acquisition to Federal Exemptions

Editor’s Note: A written conversation between Read the Dirt editor Simon Davis-Cohen and Shane Davis. Davis has pioneered “a method of data [read more …]

Selections from the Public News Service-July 2013 (Audio)

Editor’s Note: The Public News Service is a free, public interest, audio news service. Their stories run from one to four minutes [read more …]

How the Declaration of Independence got Hijacked

Editor’s Note: Boskey discusses the difference between ‘unalienable’ and ‘inalienable’ rights. This July 4th Americans celebrated their 237th Independence Day. The Declaration [read more …]

A Bright Future: Creative, Passionate Students at Class Academy in Portland Participate in Read the Dirt Environmental Writing Contest

Editor’s Note: Elementary students at Class Academy in Portland, Oregon, have been studying environmental issues that affect the Pacific Northwest and beyond.  [read more …]

(Audio): Read the Dirt’s Coverage of the 2013 Public Interest Environmental Law Conference

Editor’s Note: Read the Dirt was in attendance at this spring’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference in Eugene, Oregon. We recorded three [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-Living Democracy as Spiritual Practice (Or Vice Versa)

This article is co-published with Living Democracy. Editor’s Note: In Phil Damon’s second Sacred Democracy column for Read the Dirt he begs [read more …]

Sacred Democracy-The Moral Blueprint

This article is co-published with Living Democracy. Editor’s Note: Phil Damon, who taught writing and spiritual literature at the University of Hawaii [read more …]

Transforming Faith

Editor’s Note: What is the role of faith within social and environmental movements? How do people with different beliefs work toward common [read more …]

Park Rangers to the Rescue

Editor’s Note: A sneak peak at a thrilling novel set in Yellowstone that cannot escape the reality of our underfunded National Park [read more …]

Washington’s Renewables: An Introduction

Photo: NW Energy Coalition Editor’s Note: The status of Washington State’s efforts to transition to renewable energy. Written by Marc Krasnowsky, Communications [read more …]

Species Banks

Photo: Great Blue Heron in flight over wetland home in Oregon. Steve Hillebrand, courtesy of USFWS. Editor’s Note: This piece is written [read more …]

Our Slaves

Photo: Book: THE ENERGY OF SLAVES Oil and the New Servitude, by Andrew Nikiforuk Andrew Nikiforuk is the author of THE ENERGY [read more …]

NW Coal Ports: Voice your concerns, voice them loud!

Photo: Rae Louise Breaux, Cherry Point Editor’s Note: This piece was written by a representative of our engaged and concerned youth (Olivia [read more …]

Meditations on our Future

Photo: Simon Davis-Cohen By Robert McClure, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Investigate West   Editor’s Note: This is a questionnaire with Robert McClure, [read more …]

Book: Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence

A Vision of Oil-Free Schools By Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) and Lisa Bennett and Zenobia Barlow of the Center for [read more …]

Equity, Environmental Justice, and Industrial Pollution in Portland

Photo: Eline Leemans By Andrew Riley and Eline Leemans, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Portland, OR Editor’s Note: If we want to understand [read more …]

Cities advising Counties?

Editor’s Note: Cynthia Pruitt is the Coordinator of Snohomish County Tomorrow. Read on to learn about the power dynamics at play between [read more …]

Talking with Washington State Legislators-Stanford

Editor’s Note: We asked our state legislators a lot of questions, below is what we could extract from Representative Derek Stanford. Stanford [read more …]

Talking with Washington State Legislators-Pollet

Editor’s Note: We asked our state legislators a lot of questions, below are Representative Gerry Pollet’s answers to two of them. Name: [read more …]

Help! I’m being Climate Changed!

Photo: Maureen Ryan, Fairhaven College, Climate Adaptation Class, Spring 2012 Editor’s Note: David Trapp [second to the right] is a student at [read more …]

Questionnaire for the authors of: THE GOLDILOCKS PLANET The 4 Billion Year Story of Earth’s Climate-Oxford University Press

Editor’s Note: The new book The Goldilocks Planet, published by Oxford University Press, details Earth’s climate history. Below are the responses to [read more …]

Can City Planning Make Us Cooler, Healthier and Friendlier?

Photo: U.S. Geological Survey: 1897 Map of Portland, OR By Rex Burkholder, Councilor, Metro regional government, Portland, Oregon Editor’s Note: We are [read more …]

The Results-2012

Editor’s Note: The submissions are in and the judges have spoken. Below are the results of our 1st Annual Read the Dirt [read more …]

Making Clean Local Energy Accessible Now (Part 1)

Photo: Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy By Judy Barnes, Co-Founder, Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy (OREP) Editor’s Note: If local citizens produce [read more …]

Our Right To Know

Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons {PD-US} By David Seago, board member of the Washington Coalition for Open Government. He retired in 2008 [read more …]


Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Read The Dirt along with countless other online publications, information networks, and outlets for human expression depend [read more …]

Talking About Our Nuclear Hazard

Editor’s Note: This video presentation was sent to us by our friends at Heart of America Northwest, our region’s leading nuclear watchdog [read more …]

Why make Mt. St. Helens a National Park?

By Sean Smith, Policy Director for the National Parks Conservation Association Editor’s Note: Increased funding for scientific research, protection from open pit [read more …]

The Story behind the Book, A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest

By William deBuys, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2008 Pushcart Prize recipient, founding chairman of the Valles Caldera Trust (2001-2004), which manages the [read more …]

McKibben Comments on Expansion of Coal Exports at Cherry Point (Whatcom County)

Editor’s Note: This article, written exclusively for Read The Dirt, concerns the proposed expansion of the deepwater terminal at Cherry Point north [read more …]


By Matthew Moroney Editor’s note: This piece, like our other article Turning Pollution into Energy, focuses on the benefits of anaerobic digesters. [read more …]

Meet Some Environmental Consultants

Editor’s Note: We have published this article because we believe it contains interesting information concerning the inner workings of environmental stewardship in [read more …]

Using Dirt to Teach

Lexi Koch grew up with no connection to the plants and physical labor that brought food to her table. Seven years ago, [read more …]

The We, The I and The Dirt

There are numerous reasons for valuing dirt, water, air, flora and fauna. These reasons can be both selfish and selfless.  The selfish [read more …]

Turning Pollution Into Energy

Qualco Energy in Monroe Washington is operating an anaerobic digester with lofty goals.  It is taking animal waste, trap grease and other [read more …]

Orange and Green

Underneath my hunter orange this fall you’ll find another color: green.  I have to be careful where I show the earthier shade, [read more …]

Election 2010: Talk with a WA State Supreme Court Candidate (Wiggins)

Editor’s note:  As we all know, the 2010 election is just around the corner.  Below is a questionnaire for our Washington Supreme [read more …]

Election 2010: Talk with a WA State Supreme Court Candidate (Chief Justice Madsen)

Editor’s note:  As we all know, the 2010 election is just around the corner.  Below is a questionnaire for our Washington Supreme [read more …]

Our Dirty Web Designer (Video)

turkey Take a look at one of our web designers from Media Drink, Russell Davis-Cohen (the one in the green shirt), playing [read more …]

Articles On Ideas

Ideas: Lessons learned, perspectives, advice and more by and for organizers working toward a more democratic society.