Commentary

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, at a May 24 ceremony held at the Alaska Sustatinable Energy Conference, holds up a bill he just signed to encourage development of nuclear microreactors. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Nuclear microreactors are a solution for Alaska, not a joke

BY: - January 6, 2023

In response to Lawrence D. Weiss’ commentary published by the Alaska Beacon on Nov. 30 I will first say, “What a waste of energy and print space.”  I’m sure all his friends found humor in his musing. Equating nuclear reactors to nuclear bombs is not a reasonable consideration under any circumstance.  Right now we have […]

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) walks offstage at the Día De Muertos Camino al Mictlan festival at Freedom Park on Nov. 2, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Democratic candidates around the state attended Day of the Dead festivities in an effort to get out the vote ahead of the Nov. 8 general election. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

How Democrats won the West

BY: - January 4, 2023

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s win in Nevada guaranteed that Democrats would retain control of the Senate after the 2022 midterm elections. It also confirmed the strength of the Democratic Party in the West. Since 1992, Democrats have flipped the region away from Republican control, a shift that began with the end of the Cold […]

Chugach Electric Association board members meet in December at the cooperative’s Anchorage headquarters. (Photo by Nathaniel Herz)

Are Alaska utilities up to the challenge of climate change and a looming gas crunch?

BY: - January 3, 2023

Last month, I decided to attend a board meeting at Chugach Electric Association, a cooperative that’s Alaska’s largest electric utility and serves more than 90,000 members in and around Anchorage. After I filled out a form, an employee sent me a Zoom link. I responded that I wanted to attend in person, as both a […]

Rainier winters make life more difficult for Arctic wildlife and the humans who rely on them. (Scott Wallace/Getty Images)

Arctic Report Card 2022: The Arctic is getting rainier and seasons are shifting

BY: , and - December 26, 2022

In the Arctic, the freedom to travel, hunt and make day-to-day decisions is profoundly tied to cold and frozen conditions for much of the year. These conditions are rapidly changing as the Arctic warms. The Arctic is now seeing more rainfall when historically it would be snowing. Sea ice that once protected coastlines from erosion […]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), center right, listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes of the 2020 presidential election in the House Chamber on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.(Photo by Erin Scott - Pool/Getty Images)

Congress passes legislation that will close off presidential election mischief

BY: - December 23, 2022

Presidential elections are complicated. But in a move aimed at warding off future crises like the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, the Senate and House have passed legislation to clarify ambiguous and trouble-prone aspects of the process. Currently, all 50 states and the District of Columbia hold simultaneous elections in November. The […]

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 19: Members of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol hold its last public meeting in the Canon House Office Building on Capitol Hill on December 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. The committee is expected to approve its final report and vote on referring charges to the Justice Department. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What the criminal referral of Trump means

BY: - December 22, 2022

After 18 months investigating, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol held its final public meeting on Dec. 19, 2022. The panel recommended that the U.S. Department of Justice bring criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. The House […]

Fall chums, coho, and whitefish harvested by fish wheel in Tanana, Alaska, in September 2008. (Photo by Freddie R. Olin IV)

Alaska governor’s proposed budget glosses over Chinook and chum fisheries crash

BY: - December 20, 2022

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed state budget does not come close to rectifying the dire straits and circumstances caused by the Chinook and chum fisheries crash on the Kuskokwim and Yukon River drainages. I have written multiple commentaries about the Chinook and chum fisheries crash and subsequent crisis for many Alaska Native communities and fisherwomen and […]

West 2nd Avenue in downtown Anchorage is seen on Dec. 15, 2022. Southcentral has seen repeated large snowfalls in December. (Photo by Andrew Kitchenman/Alaska Beacon)

In changing climate, Alaska faces risk of extreme precipitation

BY: - December 15, 2022

Alaska has been experiencing unprecedented extreme weather, but what does that really mean for Alaskans? During the past week, 2 to 4 feet of snow fell widely across the Southcentral part of the state, seriously disrupting pre-Christmas activities for more than half of Alaskans. At the same time, record-breaking high temperatures on the North Slope […]

Health care didn't get the headlines as in previous election cycles, but health care advocates won big anyway. (Getty Images photo)

Health care was also on the ballot, and health care won

BY: - December 14, 2022

In November, millions of voters in red, blue and purple states voted on the future of our health care directly on the ballot. And U.S. Sen. Warnock ran his re-election campaign and run-off on health care. Health care won decisively. Voters decided to expand Medicaid in South Dakota, meaning more than 40,000 low-income South Dakotans […]

Today, technologies are transforming the world’s forests and oceans into new frontiers of digital commoditization and investment. (Image by One Earth/Wageningen University & Research, CC BY-NC-ND)

Digital technologies for biodiversity protection and climate action: Solution or COP out?

BY: and - December 13, 2022

With biodiversity declining at unprecedented rates and less than a decade remaining to avert the worst effects of climate change, world leaders and policymakers are on the hunt for new and innovative solutions. In the halls and meeting rooms of global COP conferences, digital technologies have been heavily promoted to address these interrelated threats to […]

The Cannon Beach rainforest in Yakutat is seen in March 2012. (Photo by Freddie R. Olin IV)

Survey of Alaska Native Corporations on adapting to climate change shows urgent work is needed

BY: - December 10, 2022

In 2021, I was awarded research funding to complete my undergraduate thesis for a Bachelor of Arts in rural development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The funding was sourced by the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology through the National Science Foundation. My research idea was to survey shareholders, staff and board directors of Alaska […]

(Photo provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration)

Cherokee Nation wants to send a delegate to the House

BY: - December 7, 2022

In 1835, the Cherokee Nation was promised a delegate in Congress as part of the same treaty – Treaty of New Echota – that led to the death of thousands on the Trail of Tears. Nearly 200 years later, the Cherokee are still fighting to make that promise a reality. “The Treaty of New Echota […]