Yucca Mountain Is the Safest Spot for Nuclear Waste. We Should Pay Nevada to Use It.

An attempt to reopen the Yucca Mountain facility in Nevada, where it was built to store nuclear waste, was recently shot down in Congress. The state’s refusal to become the nation’s central repository for nuclear waste means that we are forced to store it at 80 sites across 35 states — an impractical, expensive and less safe solution. It’s time to tempt Nevadans with an outside-the-box approach: Let’s pay them.

Olympia Receives a Failing Grade

During the final days of the last legislative session, lawmakers in Olympia — seemingly without much thoughtful consideration — decided to overhaul education in Washington state by giving in to various demands from the teachers’ union. In a flurry of activity, lawmakers reversed a ban on affirmative action, essentially eliminated a basic competency test for prospective K-12 teachers and cut funding to charter schools. What effects will these policies have? Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society

The ongoing measles outbreaks across the United States and Europe prove definitively that our personal choices affect everybody around us. Although you have a right to your own body, your choice to willfully be sick ends where another’s right to be healthy begins. For that reason, people who “opt out” of vaccines should be opted out of American society. Read the rest at Scientific American.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s Green Record Should Raise Red Flags

Every four years the political circus comes to town. Unlike the actual circus, there are neither peanuts nor animals performing tricks. Instead, we get platitudes and pandering politicians who treat Seattle like a giant ATM and leave as soon as the check clears. If we’re lucky, they don’t come during rush hour. Read the rest at Puget Sound Business Journal.

Why the Pope Should Officially Embrace Biotechnology

In May 2015, Pope Francis issued an encyclical with the subtitle “On Care for Our Common Home.” The letter addressed various environmental issues, such as pollution and climate change, and it reminded all of us that we are to steward the Earth, not plunder it.

The Pope’s missive demonstrates that he is both theologically sound and scientifically literate, a very rare combination. That is why he should now author an encyclical urging the world to embrace the life-giving promise of biotechnology.

Read the rest at Leaps Magazine.

Washington Measles Outbreak Shows Anti-Vaxxers Are Literally Making Us Sick

The State of Washington has declared an emergency because of a measles outbreak in Clark County, which is across the river from Portland, Oregon. To the surprise of no one, the outbreak has occurred, almost exclusively, among the unvaccinated. The motivation of those who refuse to vaccinate their children—whether it is fear, ideology, or thoughtlessness—is irrelevant. They are putting the safety of thousands of people at risk. Read the rest at Newsweek.

How Many Have to be Hospitalized for Salmonella, E. coli Before We Try Food Irradiation?

The United States is being hit by two large foodborne illness outbreaks — first, the E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce, and now a salmonella outbreak in beef that has sickened more than 200 people. These high-profile cases underscore the inadequacy of the safety measures meant to protect our food supply. If we are serious about addressing this issue, we must implement food irradiation. Read the rest at USA Today.