As Seattle's residents, educators, and politicians attempt to help their salmon, there is no easy solution to the larger problem of global warming. The nearby Olympic Cascade snow pack is already down 50 percent since 1950, attributed by many experts to global warming. Some local politicians may be daunted by the complexities, but that hasn't stopped Seattle Mayor, Greg Nickels from addressing the problem at home and across the country.
In 2005, Nickels made national news when he challenged the Bush Administration's policy on global warming. He convinced up 200 U.S. cities to voluntarily meet the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse emissions — an agreement the Bush White House refused to sign. To meet the Kyoto target dates, Nickels committed to non-polluting transportation and sustainable building practices to help solve Seattle's problems. Nickel's "Environmental Action Agenda" includes the city's efforts to improve healthy habitats and clean water, increase sustainable forests and reduce paper use and increase recycling.
While Nickels organizes nationally, he actively addresses the problem locally. One of his initiatives is sustainable building in commercial and residential areas of the city. "As we build new facilities for the city," says Nickels, "(and) as we authorize and permit new building for the private sector…we're trying to look at how do we do that in a sustainable fashion."