Planet Gore

Who Now Wants the Enviable Title of ‘Greenest Mayor in America’?


It was a dark, dreary, drizzly November morning in Seattle when I visited Greg Nickels, the city’s lame-duck mayor and an influential national voice on the need for climate action over the last decade. Outside the LEED Gold-certified City Hall, a gray murk hung in the air, nearly obscuring Elliott Bay five blocks away.

I went to ask Nickels about the role cities can play in addressing climate change. And I went hoping to learn why he would be out of a job in a few weeks. That is, why this supposedly environment-minded city — the Emerald City — rejected a genuinely green politician, handing him an ignoble third-place primary finish in August that eliminated him before the general election.