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Cascadia: borderless solutions

Most of us grew up listening to the songs of government in four-four time. The metronome ticked off a familiar beat: city, county, state fed. But the world has never been that plain. There are all sorts of borders, lines of government jurisdiction written with distinct rhythms. Thesounds also can come from international agreements and treaties, from tribes, and from Read More ›

Harcourt warns of growth crisis

A human tsunami is heading for British Columbia and Washington state, and threatens to devastate cities in its path, former B.C. premier Mike Harcourt said Friday. Harcourt, an expert on sustainable cities, was the guest speaker for the second Cascadia Mayors' Council, a day-long event held at the Victoria Conference Centre. The council and conference, initiated two years ago by Seattle Mayor Paul Schell, was created to encourage cooperation between the regions in Cascadia -- B.C., Washington and Oregon. Harcourt told more than 25 Cascadia mayors, including host Victoria Mayor Bob Cross, the region must implement an urban growth and sustainable development strategy in the next few years. If not, population growth will devastate the area -- socially, environmentally, economically. In 1960, the region was home to 2.6 million people, he said. "Today over six million people live here. By 2020 there may be an additional three-to-five million here," he said. Read More ›

Rapid rail may link more of our cities

In the Pacific Northwest...backers of improved "Cascadia" service -- trains linking Vancouver to Seattle, Portland and Eugene -- have set a national example by pressing successfully for sleek, big-windowed "Talgo" trains....Annual Cascadia train ridership topped 550,000 last year, 137 percent more tha 1993. Legislatures of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia are starting to collaborate on funding. The environment is being spared hundreds of tons of carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides pumped into the atmosphere each year. Listen to Bruce Agnew, head of the Cascadia Project at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based nonprofit, and you hear a full set of "gateway and trade corridor" strategies to avert mounting traffic gridlock. Example: A joint U.S.-Canadaian Corridor Corporation, with a variety of infrastructure banks to tap and combine U.S. and Canadian federal, state, provincial and other funds for rebuilt, and in some areas relocated, rail and highway lines. Agnew suggests direct baggage-checking facilities -- onto international flights from Vancouver, Seattle or Portland -- at train stations. Collaboration between the airports and with rail, sharply reducing the hundreds of commuter flights along the corridor. New train tracks to move containerized frieght off the highways. The result would be a cleaner, more efficient, more competitive, customer-friendly region. Read More ›
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Stapler and remover

Q&A: Wedge Issues

It's not only in politics that leaders forge movements. Phillip Johnson has developed what is called the "Intelligent Design" movement, which contends that time plus chance (the mechanism for change in Darwinism) could not bring about the complex order of life around us. Mr. Johnson is a Berkeley law professor who, spurred by the crisis of a failed marriage, converted to Christianity in midlife. He has written many books including, most recently, The Wedge of Truth. Read More ›
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White pinwheel and windmill with blue sky and white cloud background, symbol of happiness
White pinwheel and windmill with blue sky and white cloud background, symbol of happiness

Fact, Myth, and the Scopes Monkey Trial

People who only want unbiased, honest science education that sticks to the evidence are bewildered by the reception they get when they try to make their case. Their specific points are brushed aside, and they are dismissed out of hand as religious fanatics. The newspapers report that “creationists” are once again trying to censor science education because it offends their religious beliefs. Why is it so hard for reasoned criticism of biased teaching to get a hearing? The answer to that question begins with a Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee play called Inherit the Wind, which was made into a movie in 1960 starring Spencer Tracy, Gene Kelly and Frederic March. You can rent the movie at any video store with a “classics” section, and I urge you to do so and watch it carefully… The play is a fictionalized treatment of the “Scopes Trial” of 1925, the legendary courtroom confrontation in Tennessee over the teaching of evolution. Inherit the Wind is a masterpiece of propaganda, promoting a stereotype of the public debate about creation and evolution that gives all virtue and intelligence to the Darwinists. The play did not create the stereotype, but it presented it in the form of a powerful story that sticks in the minds of journalists, scientists and intellectuals generally…

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Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds

Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds is directed at a lay audience who is trying to understand how to open up serious dialogue over evolution. UC Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson and program advisor for the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, explains that the core question in the creation/evolution debate is not about the age of the earth, but about Read More ›

Science Friday, Scopes Trial 75th Anniversary, part 1

To hear in Real Audio go to “http://www.sciencefriday.com/” HEADLINE: SCOPES TRIAL AND THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION VS. CREATION IRA FLATOW, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION/SCIENCE FRIDAY. I’m Ira Flatow. Today is the 75th anniversary of the day a Tennessee jury, after deliberating for nine minutes, handed John Scopes a guilty verdict. The crime: violating Tennessee’s law that banned Read More ›

Plans for Cascadia go full steam ahead

South of the border, the new Connecting the Gateways plan was released by Seattle's Discovery Institute think-tank earlier this year, outlining a wish list of Cascadia transportation improvements. Meanwhile, similar planning efforts continue to pick up steam at UBC's Cascadia Institute and the Whatcom County regional government in Bellingham. Among the numerous Cascadia initiatives: "Seamless" border crossing measures including the expansion of PACE lanes, development of an electronic-transponder system allowing commercial vehicles to cross without stopping, and various reductions in border paperwork; A second daily Amtrak passenger train between Seattle and Vancouver. The Washington state government has already committed to help fund the subsidized service; negotiations continue with the B.C. government to pick up a share. Eventually, about a half-dozen trains a day between Portland and Vancouver are envisioned, reaching speeds of up to 200 km/h; Cooperative promotion of a "Two-Nation Vacation," where international travellers are encouraged to hop between the top attractions throughout Cascadia. "We dream the big dream, the trick is how to finance it all," said Bruce Agnew, director of the Cascadia Project at Seattle's Discovery Institute. And the proposed "trick" is perhaps the most ostentatious of all the plans: the creation of a rare binational organization, the Cascadia Corridor Development Corporation. Read More ›

Freight mobility gets attention

The Cascadia Project had been working to support improvement of highways and railroads that link Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., so that cargo could move to and from those port cities more efficiently. The project had focused on the Interstate 5 corridor as a "Main Street" for the fast-growing coastal region. Then, Lynn Snodgrass, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, suggested an inland corridor also be considered for moving freight north and south, (Cascadia Center Director Bruce) Agnew says. "This project was born in Oregon," he says of the inland corridor idea. Other states and provinces quickly adopted Snodgrass' idea, and the recently formed Washington-British Columbia task force took on the inland corridor as its first initiative, says task force co-chairman Mike Harcourt, former premier of British Columbia. Read More ›