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…More
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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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.