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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: environment

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March 28, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Population growth: Not really a good thing

The tone of the article on King County census data [“King County booming, but some state counties dying off,” FYI Guy, March 27] makes the rapid population growth sound like a good thing.

I suppose that it is better than what places like Detroit have been going through. But growth brings a host of problems with it that our government is doing a poor job of addressing.

The traffic on our roads is bad and getting worse. We are not even properly maintaining the roads we have, much less expanding the public

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0 Comments | Topics: census data, environment, Gary Maxwell

March 18, 2014 at 7:09 AM

Columbia River Treaty: Don’t stand in the way of cheaper energy

In the column by Lance Dickie [“Weigh all the benefits of the Columbia River Treaty,” Opinion, March 14], there is a reference to U.S. environmental legislation. The environmental causes are costing the U.S. people more than any other costs that are legislated. This in part is the hold on infrastructure improvements. Environmental issues should be…

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0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Columbia River Treaty, environment, Lance Dickie

March 1, 2014 at 8:16 AM

No evidence limiting marine sewage discharge would benefit the environment

The Seattle Times’ recent editorial “No sewage discharge marine zones is good policy” [Opinion, Feb. 28] misses the point. There is no science that demonstrates how this very minimal amount of treated discharge would have any appreciable impact on the environment. What this ban would do is create yet another unnecessary, costly and hard-to-enforce…

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0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: Bill Youngsman, environment, Marine sewage discharge

December 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Stop building pipelines for oil and bitumen

We are depleting a finite resource

Whatever the conventionally measured benefits of building more pipelines to distribute a dwindling and more remote amount of oil or bitumen, the costs of continued global warming are colossal [“New high-tech maps detail wildlife habitat in West,” Online, Dec. 13].

Profiting from perhaps a few more decades of depletion of oil and tar sands may not be very advantageous if the global biosphere is wrecked when the anticipated profits are fully counted.

Putting more gas in your car when the biosphere is spiraling downward is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

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0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment, Oil pipeline

December 19, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Implement meaningful climate legislation

Politicians, glaciers, and the tortoise and the hare

As The Times reminded us last week, the gradual disappearance of Arctic sea ice is being driven by anthropogenic climate change, which is also contributing to the increased likelihood of wildfires and a host of devastating effects linked to climate change [“Report links extreme weather, melting of Arctic sea,” News, Dec. 13].

Meanwhile, back home in Washington, it seems as if glaciers are moving faster than our politicians as our state’s climate panel led by Gov. Jay Inslee has been unable to progress on implementing climate policy. The process to develop legislation to deal with climate change, which began five years ago, has come to a deadlock as Republicans refuse to take on policy citing cilmate change’s potential impacts on the economy.

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0 Comments | More in Climate change, Environment | Topics: climate change, environment

December 18, 2013 at 7:04 AM

Washington should take the lead in discussing nuclear power

Those not concerned about the dangers of nuclear waste need to weigh the threats

I fully agree with the views expressed by Sid Morrison and K.C. Golden [“Decarbonizing our future,” Opinion, Dec. 16].

I believe discussion of nuclear power needs to be broadened. I recently learned that a large part of the nuclear fuel used in this country comes from enriched uranium and plutonium salvaged from nuclear weapons dismantled by Russia and sold to the U.S. as part of a nuclear-arms reduction agreement. Interestingly, there is concern that the cost of nuclear power will soon increase because that source is running out. I regard this as good news in that it represents a reduction in the nuclear weapons threat.

Those of us who are concerned about the dangers of nuclear waste need to seriously weigh the relative threats. Which threat is worse: weapons grade nuclear material or spent fuel?

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0 Comments | More in Environment, Nuclear Power | Topics: environment, Nuclear power

December 11, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Drives for sustainable power are actually damaging

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?

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0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment

December 10, 2013 at 6:28 AM

Will Congress follow up or fall short on renewable energy

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?

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0 Comments | More in Climate change, Energy, Environment | Topics: energy, environment

December 4, 2013 at 6:55 AM

Don’t let Hanford or Duwamish turn into the Love Canal

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.

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0 Comments | More in Environment | Topics: environment, Superfund site

December 3, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Typhoon Haiyan presents the need for a carbon fee

Future generations require our action now

Debris still litters the coastal township of Basey Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, nearly three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan lashed Eastern Samar province in central Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Debris still litters the coastal township of Basey Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, nearly three weeks after Typhoon Haiyan lashed Eastern Samar province in central Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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.”

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0 Comments | More in Climate change, Environment | Topics: climate change, environment

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