David Buerge

Waiting for the Big One: What Duwamish Taught Us About Earthquakes

The ancestors of the modern Duwamish Tribe have lived here for more than 600 generations surviving every great subduction quake, volcanic disaster, and local cataclysm.  They have much to tell and teach us. 

Out of the Dark: Christmas Music

In all these ways, religious, seasonal, and secular Christmas music answers deep and persistent needs during times of darkness. 

Saving Luma, the CMT

Tribal elders and an archaeologist declared Luma a CMT, a Culturally Modified Tree, as it was split when young to mark a trail.  The Snoqualmie Tribe also argued that rocks strung from limbs made them grow at right angles to mark directions to resource areas.

In The Grand Potemkin Tradition: Putin’s War on Ukraine

His critics claimed that he constructed faux villages and hired actors to portray adoring peasants during Catherine’s leisurely triumph through Ukraine, and moved the sets to the next stop to re-stage the performance.  This gave rise to the notion of a fake façade erected to convince observers that things were better than they actually were, the famous Potemkin Villages.

Deserving Better Words: A Tale of Two Maritime Disasters

The fatal spectacle of silly rich men on an egotistical lark is far less disturbing than the monstrous attention paid to their foibles while the yearly deaths of desperate thousands at sea elicit a concern like that voiced over the demise of a shoal of herring.

Clues for Sustainability: Three Ancient Creeks into Lake Washington

It took Americans only three generations to level lowland forests and ransack the fisheries.  Modern clues to how the Duwamish and their neighbors succeeded may be found in three watersheds I want to examine: Thornton Creek in north Seattle, and McAleer and Lyons Creeks in Lake Forest Park. 

Blood-Soaked Histories: Ukraine and the American West

It is not difficult to understand why Ukraine would seek freedom from Russian domination.  But Russia’s refusal to let go of Ukraine and its Russian-majority provinces can also be understood.

Look West: Choreography of the Stars

Gazing westward these nights, it is possible to grasp how we fit into this stupendous ballet. 

Thousand-Year Wonders: The Majesty of Northwest Forests

Left alone, these forests will last thousands of years and rise to immense heights.  Can we live in such close proximity?  The Duwamish did.

Oso Strong: Scene of the Slide

A week after the slide, a spokesman for the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management said, “…the hillside that collapsed had been considered ‘very safe’ and the slide came out of nowhere.”