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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Rising sea level

New analyses still catastrophic

The article regarding sea-level rise due to Antarctic ice-sheet melting [“Scientists scale back forecast of sea-level rise,” News, May 15] describes new analyses showing a potential 10-foot rise in sea levels rather than earlier predictions of 20 feet. This should not put anyone at ease as it is still catastrophic to humankind.

We all need to get serious about our many contributions to climate change. I am tired of hearing that addressing climate change will hurt the economy. The reality is that not addressing climate change will drastically affect our economy, our quality of life and the future of coming generations.

There is no free lunch! We either pay some now to reduce our greenhouse-gas emissions or pay infinitely more later with no guarantee we will be able to solve the problem. Yes, energy costs will go up initially — mainly because they have been artificially kept low as their real costs (pollution health impacts, protection of foreign oil sources, etc.) have been primarily externalized. But that initial bump always happens as we transition to a new technology plateau — which is what we need to do when it comes to boldly moving on to renewable energy, efficient transportation systems and green products.

This coming Thursday, May 21, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be holding a public hearing regarding its recently proposed ruling that greenhouse gases are a threat to human health. The public hearing will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in downtown Seattle at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center. We should all be there to state how important this issue is to our future and the future of succeeding generations.

— Peter Rimbos, Maple Valley

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