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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: climate change

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October 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Climate change: Finally time to recognize the threat it poses

The Pentagon now says that climate change poses an immediate security threat, increasing risks from terrorism, infectious disease, poverty, and hunger [“U.S.: Climate change poses security threat,” Nation & World, Oct. 3]. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warns that “droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of…

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Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: Chuck Hagel, climate change, Davis Oldham

October 8, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Coal exports: Economic benefits don’t outweigh environmental impact

Shoichi Itoh’s guest column in The Seattle Times was interesting, but only lightly touched, if that, on some very important points ["The importance of Asia in the coal-export debate," Opinion, Oct. 6]. First, U.S. investment firms are recommending against investing in companies that export coal. China is moving much more aggressively than the U.S….

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Comments | More in Environment | Topics: climate change, coal, environment

September 26, 2014 at 11:54 AM

Conversation starter: Responses from readers on what to ask state candidates

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Last week, The Seattle Times editorial board published its own questions for candidates before the November election. Northwest Voices readers were asked to submit their own questions and issues that need addressing by politicians.

Here are selected submissions:

How do you plan to solve the problem of money in politics?

Spending during elections has skyrocketed ever since the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision. A few wealthy individuals and corporations use money to amplify their speech, drowning out ordinary Americans. In our democracy, the size of your wallet should not determine the strength of your voice. This issue is important to the vast majority of Americans, both conservative and liberal.

There is a national solution to this problem (a constitutional amendment), but there are numerous measures that can be taken on the state and local level to help solve this problem. For example, cities and counties can have small donor incentive programs for local elections. We should ask our candidates what they would do if elected to help solve the problem of big money in politics, so that in the future, elections are more fair and representative of the people.

Faith Deis, Seattle

What will you do about climate change?

It is the most dire issue facing us today and we are running out of time to act. No political leader — local, state or federal — should be given a pass on this urgent question. And as Paul Krugman makes clear, we need informed candidates who understand not only the science but the economics of climate change.

Our state is already paying the price in human suffering, and financially through the destruction of shellfish due to ocean acidification, wildfires and landslides, loss of snow pack, and more. Whether with a carbon tax, stopping coal and oil trains or funding mass transit, state and local candidates have a job to do.

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Comments | More in Conversation starter, Election | Topics: 2014, Citizens United, climate change

September 26, 2014 at 7:44 AM

Climate change: Modify models when new data come along

Former University of Washington scientists found that “An average coastal temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius since 1900 along the West Coast” was not mostly caused by human activity ["Study says natural factors, not humans, behind West Coast warming," Local News, Sept. 22]. Researcher Jim Johnstone concluded, “The winds have changed in a manner that…

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Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: climate change, global warming, Steven Adler

September 25, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Campaign finance: How to stop disproportionate influence from out-of-state donors

California billionaire Tom Steyer’s $1 million donation is another disconcerting example of how much money there is in our elections ["California billionaire Tom Steyer drops $1 million on WA elections," Politics Northwest, Sept. 22]. As reporter Jim Brunner points out, while Democrats receive large donations from an out-of-state climate activist, Republicans get large…

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Comments | More in Campaign finance | Topics: campaign finance, Citizens United, climate change

September 22, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Climate Change: All candidates for public office need to work on global warming

Thank you for your coverage of the People’s Climate March in New York, as well as the thousands of rallies held around the world ["Worldwide rallies call for action now on climate change," Nation & World, Sept. 21]. People from all parts of the country and around the world are seeing the effects…

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Comments | More in Climate change | Topics: Citizens Climate Lobby, climate change, Fran Koehler

August 18, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Clean coal: Invest instead in solar energy

Earth-moving machines push coal to an intake area, where it is then moved to the units inside the Ameren coal-burning power plant in Meredosia, Ill. (J.B. FORBES / St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2010)

Thanks to The Seattle Times for the article on clean coal [“Promise of a ‘clean coal’ future far from reality,” Local News, Aug. 17]. Once again, though, this article reinforces just how much of a myth clean coal is.

Coal harms the environment and climate from the very start: It produces toxic waste and dust when it’s mined; it sheds harmful coal dust when it’s transported by rail; and when burned it’s one of the dirtiest energy sources that

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Comments | More in Energy | Topics: clean coal, climate change, energy

July 11, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Stop misrepresenting facts and start expanding renewable energy

In her guest column, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers misrepresents the effects on Washington consumers of proposed limits on power plants’ climate emissions [“Obama’s regulatory cap-and-trade does not work for Washington state,” Opinion, July 3]. She also perpetuates a head-in-the-sand approach to the coal burning that produces 14 percent of our electricity and…

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Comments | More in Energy | Topics: climate change, energy, global warming

July 10, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Energy: Political spin on reduction targets deceiving the public

Roughly 70 percent of the state’s CO2 emissions from power plants come from the TransAlta coal plant in Centralia. It must stop burning coal in 2025 under state legislation. (Steve Ringman / The Times)

After reading U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers guest column “Obama’s regulatory cap-and-trade does not work for Washington state” [Opinion, July 3], I was compelled to research the facts about this issue and contacted the Northwest Clean Air Agency and the state Department of Ecology. At best she is very misinformed. At worst she is deceiving the public.

The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring a 72-percent reduction in the rate of carbon emissions, not a 72-percent reduction in the mass of carbon emissions. And, according to

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Comments | More in Energy | Topics: climate change, environmental protection agency, global warming

July 9, 2014 at 7:04 AM

Energy policy: Don’t hamper underway efforts to combat climate change

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ guest column in the Seattle Times ["Obama’s regulatory cap-and-trade does not work for Washington state," Opinion, July 2] is a good review of hydropower, but not of climate change. McMorris Rodgers complains that the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules on power plants could “cause Washington families to see higher energy…

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Comments | More in Climate change, Energy | Topics: climate change, environmental protection agency, U.S. Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers

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