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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.”
September 19, 2013 at 6:39 PM
Small boats not at fault
Peter Goldmark’s highlighting of sewage discharge from recreational boats in Puget Sound misses the mark. [“Guest column: We must keep boat sewage out of Puget Sound,” Opinion, Sept. 18.]
There is almost no place in Puget Sound that is the required three miles from shore to allow any such discharge under current law. Such an area might be found in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but the effects of a few boats in the middle of that body of water would pale in comparison to Victoria’s daily dumping of millions of gallons of raw sewage into it every day.
When beaches near Seattle are closed due to foul water, the cause is usually attributed to storm runoff through inadequate land-based systems, not a small boat miles away.
Regulations should be needed and meaningful; his suggestion fails this test.
James AuBuchon, Sammamish
August 10, 2013 at 7:57 AM
Lummi letter is admirable
The Lummi’s July 30 letter to the Army Corps of Engineers voicing their “unconditional and unequivocal” opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point is significant and laudable. [“State plans sweeping review of coal port,” page one, Aug. 1.]
The tribe’s opposition has a strong legal basis to stop the project because of its likely interference with treaty-guaranteed fishing rights.
This legal case is separate from the Environmental Impact Statement process. Though independent of each other, the two processes may impact one another. An Army Corps official recently stated the Lummi position might influence the agency to stop processing the Gateway Pacific Terminal permit. Historically, the ArmyCorps has refused to process permits on projects that tribes said violate treaties.
The Lummi’s stance not only protects their fishing rights and economy, but ours as well. Their action demonstrates stewardship to preserve the “way of life” in which “everything is connected,” in and around the Salish Sea.
It is with humility and gratitude that I applaud their leadership in defending present and future generations against potential global harm by coal.
With the Lummi’s courageous lead, it is our turn to do our part. Let’s urge authorities and jurisdictions to give the Lummi Nation the support they deserve.
Chom Greacen, Lopez Island
July 26, 2013 at 7:35 PM
For climate activists, the last few weeks have been exciting. President Obama finally laid out a plan to address climate change. [“Obama rallies faithful ahead of August recess,” seattletimes.com, July 22.]
Another bit of good news is the confirmation of Gina McCarthy as the new administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency. As an air-pollution expert, McCarthy will be at the helm of implementing rules to help protect our planet from climate change.
Now is the time we all need to speak up in public and support strong federal actions to reduce the pollution that is warming our planet, and rein in outdated and dirty energy sources that are creating extreme weather globally.
Karen Peralta, Kenmore
A long time coming
I’m not sure why it has taken until now for our government to speak out about protecting our world from ourselves, and decide to make plans for a less-destructive footprint, but I’m glad it finally is happening.
The fracking and gas industries are major threats to our land, and without eliminating those, we really have no hope for a future in this country. I believe renewable energy is a step in the right direction.
I hope President Obama makes an actual difference and future presidents follow his positive actions. This is our country, but we have left it in his hands. Let’s hope he handles it with care.
Emily Mancinelli, Seattle
July 15, 2013 at 6:52 AM
It’s the energy wave of the future
It’s time for Washington to step up in the U.S. and be an example. In a country depending on oil and coal for energy, we are literally trashing the world to live with electricity.
Global-warming increases, polluted waters and smog aren’t worth it, especially when there is a better alternative. It’s time for Washington to go solar.
Many still think solar isn’t the way to go: “the Pacific Northwest gets no sun — why would we go solar?”
Actually, Western Washington gets 30 percent more sun than Germany, the world’s leader in solar energy. Across the Cascades, it’s even more.
Other opponents of solar energy argue it’s too spendy. But compared to all the costs involved with coal and gas, is it really?
If we were to place 650,000 solar rooftops in Washington by 2025, we could prevent the pollution from 460,000 cars. We could create thousands of jobs, and bring capital back to our economy. We could endorse a form of energy that is — literally — in our backyard. We could start a movement.
If you agree with the future of solar energy in Washington, call your state representative and tell them to go solar.
Diana Lloyd-Jones, Environment Washington, Seattle
July 9, 2013 at 7:30 PM
Pollution should be main focus of debate
With all the talk of long waits at crossings and jobs that will be produced with coal terminals, I find it amazing that no one addresses the elephant in the room. [“Coal, jobs and climate change the debate,” Business, July 7.]
By shipping tons of coal to China so it can be burned in power plants, which have little or no pollution-prevention devices, has it occurred to anyone that, like the aquatic debris from Japan, all that pollution will drift to the West Coast?
Let us not get all tangled up with trains, jobs and such when the real question should be, how many tons of coal pollution is Seattle and the rest of the West Coast ready to breathe?
Wally Adams, Seattle
July 2, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Republicans ignore environmental problems
The report in Sunday’s paper [“How Your U.S. Lawmaker Voted,” NW Sunday, June 30] shows what little regard most Republican politicians have for our environment, ignoring the lessons from the BP Amoco PLC oil spill and voting for almost anything that profits the oil and gas industries.
They will be reaping profits while the population suffers the results of living in a more polluted world.
Will the people wake up and vote them out of office before we have reached a point of no return on pollution?
Anne Corley, Mercer Island
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
June 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Coal is only the beginning
It is becoming more obvious to me by the day that coal is just the gateway commodity to justify an export terminal at Cherry Point [“Sierra Club sues BNSF over coal dust from trains,” seattletimes.com, June 5].
Once they start with coal, it will only be a matter of time before liquefied natural gas (LNG) and refined-petroleum products move from our shores to the export market.
The export of petroleum products will cause scarcity, and thus price increases for us domestically, and the export of LNG will endanger us beyond imagination.
Back in the day, long before Internet, one of my chemistry professors did a scale-model demonstration of what an LNG-tanker explosion would do to a port facility. I’m not sure what the official explosive safety quantity distance radius is for an LNG explosion, but in the professor’s scale model, most of Manhattan was taken out.
Thomas Munyon, Marysville
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