December 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Choose a safe alternative with more assets than liabilities
I do not understand these foolish drives for free, sustainable power that, if truly evaluated, do not realize our perceived reality, and are actually damaging [“U.S. to give wind farms 30-year pass to kill eagles,” page one, Dec. 7].
Wind power is killing birds (and destroying the beauty of our open spaces). If it were not for the benevolence of taxpayers and rate-payers providing subsidies, it would cease to exist.
Solar power also invalidates the beauty our landscapes and again would not exist if not for the charity of the taxpayer (see: Solyndra). A search for the effectiveness of corn-ethanol fuels provides mainly pro and con rhetoric and opinion with little scientific data — apart from supposedly raising food prices and potentially damaging engines not designed to run on a high-ethanol-content fuel. And though electric vehicles are clean running, how much coal must we burn to produce the needed electricity?
December 10, 2013 at 6:28 AM
President Obama has initiated the push, now the Senate and House must come together
On Thursday, the president ordered the federal government to almost triple its use of renewable sources for electricity by 2020 [“Obama to feds: Boost renewable power 20 percent,” Online, Dec. 5].
This push by the executive toward a more eco-friendly federal government is one that should be commended and mirrored by Congress. It may seem far-fetched, but if the parties could come together in the U.S. Senate and House and resolve to make key decisions in the fight against global warming we might start to see some progress in Washington, D.C., again. It is the purpose of this article to pose the question: Why can’t an “eco-fed” be a bridge issue between not only the president and Congress but within Congress as well?
December 4, 2013 at 7:32 AM
Federal carbon tax is the solution
Everyday the media is reporting global warming symptoms (caused by CO2 pollution from burning fossil fuels) more and more frequently: drought, fires, floods, ocean acidification, insect pests moving north destroying forests and bringing tropical diseases [“Arctic Ocean leaking methane at alarming rate, researchers say,” Online, Nov. 30].
Perhaps we are complacent in the Northwest. We don’t see the symptoms as so dangerous to us, as if they are manageable. And the cause, the gases, are invisible to us.
But now comes this news from the Arctic. Methane is being released at twice the predicted rate as the permafrost and ice is melting. Methane is the most dangerous of all the greenhouse gases. It’s 30 to 70 times as damaging as CO2. This will profoundly escalate all the problems for our ecosystems.
December 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM
If the Superfund doesn’t clean up toxic waste sites, what’s the point?
If the Superfund doesn’t properly clean up toxic waste sites when they finally get around to the cleanup, then what’s the point? ["Suits claim Love Canal still oozing 35 years later,” News, Nov. 4].
If what the current Love Canal residents believe is true, and the site is retrogressing back to a toxic wasteland, what might happen to the Hanford or Duwamish site here in Washington?
We must make it a priority that our cleanups, the Lower Duwamish and the Hanford, don’t mirror the canal. The sites must be completely clean for healthy human inhabitation.
December 3, 2013 at 7:03 AM
Future generations require our action now
The guest column by Gillen D’Arcy Wood should be a wake-up call for all [“Typhoon Haiyan recalls past global cataclysm,” Opinion, Dec. 1].
The impact of superstorms like Typhoon Haiyan, attributed to warming ocean waters, are a harbinger of the likely future impacts of climate change on a global scale. The frequency of storm-related disasters linked to a warming planet are now irrefutable and are becoming the new normal as a way of life. Echoing the column, “The Haiyan challenge is far greater: to make a stand for humanity’s future on a livable planet.”
November 28, 2013 at 7:12 AM
Think smarter and focus limited resources wisely
I greatly appreciate the piece by guest columnist John Robinson, which put the issue of leaking tanks of high-level radioactive wastes at Hanford in perspective [“Hanford leaks: an unwarranted fear,” Opinion, Nov. 27].
I am not surprised by his conclusions, and I appreciate their credibility. I have pondered the leaks, and even the scenario of all tanks leaking completely. I thought the impact to the Columbia River and risks to humans would be very low, but I didn’t have the information to evaluate beyond the pondering level.
Back in 1994, I had commented to the Department of Ecology about a proposed cleanup plan for the N-Spring Seeps at Hanford. Essentially, I asked questions related to what were the risks and received the reply that no risk assessment was done.
November 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM
Treaty rights must include ecosystem-based functions
Conspicuously absent from Bruce Chandler’s guest column on the Columbia River Treaty is any mention of the treaty rights of First Nations people in either the United States or Canada [“Thoughtfully consider the Columbia River Treaty,” Opinion, Nov. 26].
Environmental organizations and native peoples propose rewording the treaty to include “ecosystem-based function” as one of three major goals of a new treaty for two crucial and related reasons:
First, native peoples’ treaty rights in the Northwest and Canada, including fishing rights, have been systematically and illegally ignored for decades. Second, the proposed revision will not only improve the general ecological health of the entire Columbia River system but also help restore salmon runs that have been decimated by dams and narrowly focused irrigation, transportation and power interests, including on the Snake River.
November 25, 2013 at 7:01 PM
A modest win-win proposal
Brian M. Rosenthal’s report about former Attorney General Rob McKenna’s lobbying gig on behalf of Montana and North Dakota coal interests raises several issues [On behalf of North Dakota and Montana, McKenna calls Washington coal study unconstitutional,” Online, Nov. 21].
It’s a modest win-win proposal that might help the coal dust, acid rain and diesel particulates go down a little easier on the Washington state end of the business and help avoid infringing on the rights of Montana and North Dakota citizens to mine and move their coal.
November 24, 2013 at 7:00 AM
The noise is annoying, the emitted pollution is even worse
Leaf blowers have been a concern of mine for quite some time. Yes, the noise is very annoying, but the amount of greenhouse gases they emit is truly staggering [“Noisy leaf blowers get a hearing,” NWFriday, Nov. 22].
Here is a quote from edmunds.com, which ran a comprehensive test on one of the biggest pickup trucks available today and a leaf blower
“The two-stroke leaf blower was worse still, generating 23 times the CO and nearly 300 times more non-methane hydrocarbons than the crew cab pickup. Let’s put that in perspective. To equal the hydrocarbon emissions of about a half hour of yard work with this two-stroke leaf blower, you’d have to drive a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor for 3,887 miles, or the distance from Northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska.”
November 13, 2013 at 7:05 PM
It is necessary to cut carbon pollution
If I read once more that it’s impossible to attribute single weather events to climate change following a natural disaster of unprecedented scale, I may scream (or cry) [“Experts: Humans also to blame for tragedy,” News, Nov. 12].
This article actually did better than most in discussing the role of climate change in this terrible tragedy.
I understand the nature of the scientific process and the cautious language it employs. But we, as moral actors and decision-makers, must stop pacifying ourselves with such a focus. It undermines the moral urgency of taking bold action against climate disruption while we still can.
We’re already way behind, thanks to special interests’ influence and documented campaigns by the fossil-fuel industry to “manufacture uncertainty” about climate science. We’ve been warned for decades that rising temperatures would yield rising sea levels, more ferocious storms, higher storm surges, increased flooding, drought and more. That’s exactly what we’re seeing. It’s time to stop pretending we’re not sure why and demand decisive action from our leaders to cut carbon pollution now.
Kathy Washienko, Seattle
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