Topic: carbon dioxide
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September 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM
Champion a cleaner tomorrow
The ocean is dying, but we’re making progress. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]
The Solomon Sea has already reached levels of acidity that aren’t expected in the rest of the oceans for 80 years, thanks to the copious amounts of carbon pollution streaming from coal plants, among other places.
Craig Welch’s piece makes mention of the fact that since the Industrial Revolution, our oceans have become 30 percent more acidic. That’s terrible. What’s worse is that it has increased by 15 percent since the 1990s. This can’t keep going. The glorious life-soup of our ocean is dying.
Good news: The message has made it to the Environmental Protection Agency. As of Sept. 20, for the first time, the EPA has proposed rules to limit carbon pollution from power plants built in the future. We’re inching toward making this happen. We should be sprinting.
Advancements toward stopping this massacre of ocean species are happening. But we need to keep pushing, and we need to be pushing now.
Our policymakers have an opportunity to champion a cleaner tomorrow. I urge them to seize that opportunity.
Brina DeBrown, Seattle
September 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Bravo for your excellent series on the causes and costs of ocean acidification. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]
It is a tragedy of unimaginable scope. The carbon dioxide responsible for this disaster is created by transportation and power plants that use fossil fuels. Coal is the dirtiest of those fuels.
Why then is Puget Sound Energy (PSE) proposing to continue generating 30 percent of its electricity from coal? The majority of this coal power comes from an aging plant in Colstrip, Mont. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers this plant one of the single largest sources of greenhouse gas west of the Mississippi.
To justify continued coal use, PSE argues that coal will be the cheapest fuel source in the coming years. This cost estimate does not reflect the true cost of coal. It does not include costs for plant repairs, new EPA standards for coal or possible lawsuits for fouling surrounding land and water. It does not include public-health costs. Nor does it include acidification of the oceans or destruction of habitat and multimillion-dollar seafood industries.
It is time for PSE to do the right thing and shift funding from coal to building more renewable sources of energy that will grow a clean-energy economy in Washington state.
Ellen Lockert, Bainbridge Island
September 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM
Thank you for highlighting our oceans’ acidification dilemma in your recent Sea Change series. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]
Unfortunately, with all the environmental and climate changes bearing down upon our Earth, one large detail seems to be absent in presenting solutions.
A worldwide one-child-per-parent policy is humanity’s only real solution.
Until environmentalists, politicians, industrial and religious leaders, economists, journalists and editorialists single-mindedly pursue and promote this option, our poor Earth will have no other recourse but to become unlivable for the majority of species.
Rich Thomasy, Issaquah
September 18, 2013 at 7:19 AM
The Seattle Times is to be commended for its series on sea change. [“Sea Change,” page one, Sept. 15-17.]
Far too few citizens and world leaders are aware of the disastrous effects of climate change and ocean acidification on our planet.
Only by recognizing what is happening and taking necessary, corrective actions can we reverse these man-made catastrophes.
Jeremy Mattox, publisher of the Environmental Services Directory for Washington State, Seattle
Every American seems to have an opinion about greenhouse gases and climate change, aka “global warming.” The Seattle Times’ report on ocean acidification due to carbon dioxide was a timely addition to our understanding of the damage caused to aquatic life by atmospheric carbon emissions.
Environmental Protection Agency figures show that every year, the US emits about 5,630 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and yet we not only persist in burning huge amounts coal, we are engaged in a debate about building coal-port terminals to ship more of this stuff to China, which will inevitably poison the air and the oceans even further.
Your article should be a wake-up call to legislators and government regulators. I suspect, though, that the ‘deniers’ will simply hit the snooze button and continue to ignore the dangers.
Readers, send copies of this report to your congressional representatives, urging them to take action now. Your grandchildren will thank you.
Richard Hodsdon, Seattle
July 30, 2013 at 6:52 AM
Give trees a chance
It will take about two weeks to pump the amount of carbon-dioxide equivalent to three hours of coal-power emission into a basalt formation. [“A fix for global warming under our feet?”, page one, July 27.]
Can anyone tell me how many acres of trees we could plant in that time instead? Trees have the obvious benefits of emitting oxygen, while providing beauty, habitat, biodiversity, shade, and water purification. The carbon dioxide drifts to them without human help.
That would be too complicated, I guess.
Ellen Peterson, Seattle
June 26, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Carbon emissions must be considered
My faith in The Seattle Times’ editorial balance has been boosted with Lance Dickie’s column on the Army Corps of Engineer’s review of the proposed coal export and mile-long trains through Western Washington. [“Corps should broaden coal review,” Opinion, June 21.]
Disruption of our cities and coal dust littered along side of every mile of train track used beg a more thoughtful review. However, as the president announces the proposed limitations on carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, the emissions of the inevitable burning of this coal in plants around the world should be more broadly viewed. These plants, be they existing or yet to be built, will not provide protection against further carbon emissions.
Coal-fired power plants represent one of the largest activities contributing to pollution of the environment. Thanks for at least proposing a broader review of the region’s next major decision.
Ron Quist, Seattle
May 15, 2013 at 6:33 AM
Put a price on carbon
While it’s true that 400 parts per million (ppm) is only slightly more damaging than 399 ppm, the sad news is that this new “record” is sure to be broken in a matter of months, first by 401 ppm, then 402 and 403 [“Atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels hit worrisome milestone,” News, May 12].
When will it stop? Whenever we decide to finally stop using fossil fuels. How can we stop such a routine part of our day-to-day lives? By putting a price on carbon, preferably at the source, with the income rebated to all citizens. Join Citizens Climate Lobby to help make this happen. We have a lot of work to do; let’s do it now.
Fran Koehler, Seattle
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