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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

October 5, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Washington state coal-export plans raise concerns

Think globally, act locally

It seems to me we need to think beyond immediate economic and environmental impact of the coal trains.

What we in Washington learned very well this last year is that global weather patterns deliver to our coast what the Asian countries pump into the atmosphere in the form of debris containing nonnative invasive plants and radioactive fallout from damaged nuclear reactors from the Japan tsunami and smoke and particulates from China to east Russian wild fires.

We can expect that any coal sent to China comes back to us as health-damaging outfall. Do we really think China will burn coal with the advanced practices we have developed? Makes no sense to me to push renewable energy (which I totally support) here at home then spend tax dollars to promote coal sales to China, thereby compromising the environmental gains.

Think globally, act locally.

— Rob McFarland, North Bend

Need to investigate climate change impacts

Overlooked is the elephant in the room when discussing the coal-export facilities impact on the Northwest.

There is a compelling need to estimate the amount of greenhouse gases contributing to global climate change that will be produced by burning 100 million tons of the dirtiest fossil fuel, coal in Asian, coal-fired power plants. The analysis should also encompass an estimate of the impact on the acceleration of global climate change from the additional greenhouse gases.

I have to wonder if overlooking the elephant in the room is deliberately taking place so that we won't realize the impact these plants will have on global climate change. Isn't it time that we get serious about dealing with global climate change? Aren't the climate impacts sounding a loud enough warning?

— Howard Pellett, Anacortes


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