Inslee's Hot for Change; Local Soldiers Lost in the Other War

Selections from the Daily Weekly, our news, politics, and media blog.

Another Local Soldier Killed in the Philippines

America fought and lost in the Philippines, then Gen. Douglas MacArthur returned victoriously 60 years ago. It may have gone unnoticed that American soldiers are once again dying there as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the war on terror more commonly called the war in Afghanistan. Among the latest is Army Staff Sgt. Joseph F. Curreri, 27, a Special Forces soldier from Fort Lewis who was helping battle Islamic militants in the island nation. The Pentagon says Curreri, who had been captain of his swimming team at USC, ironically drowned in a lake in the southern Philippines. Details were sparse, but he joins Army Sgt. Thomas Allison, 22, of Roy in Pierce County, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan M. Ridout, 36, Oak Harbor, who both died in action there since 2001. Also, Army Staff Sgt. Robert K. McGee, 38, a Fort Lewis Green Beret from Tennessee, died in Manila from non-combat-related injuries. With Curreri's death, along with two more locals killed in Iraq last month—Marine Lance Cpl. Jeremy W. Burris, 22, of Tacoma, and Army Spc. Vincent G. Kamka, 23, of Everett—the toll of soldiers with state connections killed in Southwest Asia and the Pacific has now topped 250.

— Rick Anderson

Inslee: Climate Crisis "Now Upon Us"

So Rep. Jay Inslee, out for dinner with Al Gore in Seattle recently, says he was teasing him about underselling this whole global warming problem: "It's much worse than you told us," Inslee says he told the former VP. "Since his movie came out, the scenario has gone to the worse side of the spectrum. No one predicted the melting in the Arctic (covering an area six times the size of California) would be as bad as we saw this summer."

Inslee's in town this weekend to promote his own global warming opus, Apollo's Fire, at Town Hall. (He's also participating tomorrow in a field hearing of the newly formed House global warming committee as part of the mayors' conference climate protection summit at the Edgewater.) He says the climate crisis is "now upon us."

"We need to start thinking in terms of urgent action instead of long-term committee formation," Inslee says. His Apollo Project includes a proposal to cap carbon dioxide emissions and put in place a trading system for carbon credits. It would also require the use of more renewable energy sources, give manufacturers incentives to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles, and cut subsidies for oil and coal. "As long as coal can use the atmosphere as its personal garbage dump, new technologies won't come to fruition. We've got to level the playing field," he says.

All sounds good, but there's always that little thing called Political Will. There's a compelling argument that things must get much worse on the planet (or in our pocketbooks) before habits/funding/regulations will actually change. I asked Jay if he needs a Democrat in the White House for his plan to have a chance. He says: "We need a thinking person in the White House," and adds that the book details some of his discussion with George Bush and Dick Cheney about his proposal. "People will be stunned by the reaction of these people to clear science."

— Aimee Curl

 
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