Welcome to Open Spaces

Open Spaces is a forum for voices that speak with knowledge and understanding of matters currently affecting all of us.

“When artists, entrepreneurs, and agents of social change cluster, they look for forums where they can interact and be challenged and provoked. In Cascadia, Open Spaces plays this role. It is where thoughtful people publish essays that push readers to think outside their comfort zones.”

— Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day
and current president of the Bullitt Foundation

Book Review
Elizabeth Cosgriff

An insightful, passionate and entertaining examination of how voters make political decisions, and of what any party or politician needs to do to win their allegiance.

Climate and Health
Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH ; Jeremy J. Hess, MD, MPH ; Renee N. Salas, MD, MPH, MS

Historically, when Americans hear “climate change,” we imagine a polar bear struggling on ever-shrinking ice. But our perceptions are beginning to shift.

Incoming reports focused on climate change and health all present the same key messages: climate change is here, it is bad for your health, immediate actions can reduce future risks, and climate action has immediate and substantial health benefits.

In short, climate action is good for health, and it’s time.

Angela W. La Fon

My parents are missing. I am embarrassed to say that I was so consumed by being a new mommy that I didn’t notice at first that they had disappeared.

Don’t worry. My daughter has wonderful grandparents. But they are just not my parents. I call them the “replacements.”

Richard Benner

Poet Richard Benner (author of our recently featured poem “Godscape of Clouds”) offers his thoughtful insight into this uncertain time as we emerge from the pandemic.

Enjoy the poem

Environmental Policy
Christine Todd Whitman,
former head of the EPA

Must Congress authorize every policy by an agency, or can agencies act with authority? This case is not just about the breadth of one agency’s authority; the outcome of the case will determine the physical and economic health of the United States for years to come.

Marine World
Robert Bailey and Peter Hatch

Why are sea otters missing from the Oregon Coast? Learn about the history of otters in Oregon, how we got to this point, and about the Elakha Alliance’s restoration efforts to reestablish the ecological and cultural balance for future generations.

Artist Showcase
Photos by Harry Kingston

Top: Golden Crowned Sparrow on a Crabapple Tree

Left: Pelican

To see more of Harry’s work, visit his photography showcase.

International Climate Change

For updates, visit the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website, where one can find Summaries for Policy Makers from recent and upcoming Synthesis Reports.

Photo: Visible Earth, NASA