Northwest Voices | Letters to the Editor
Impact of coal and coal industry on climate, individuals
Pacific Northwest should set example by eliminating coal
Thank you for publishing Howard Frumkin’s op-ed about the global climate crisis [“Climate change threatens health,” Opinion, Jan. 7]. I applaud Frumkin for connecting the dots between this enormous, distant-seeming problem and the real human-scale impacts on health and livelihoods.
As a 28-year-old programmer working for Microsoft, my near-term future is fairly secure. But the calamities that await along our present reckless course turn my long-term prospects into a nightmare. That’s why I work as a volunteer with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign to push for the first two solutions on Frumkin’s list: shutting down the Colstrip, Mont. power plant, which currently supplies more than 30 percent of my electricity here in Redmond, and preventing coal companies from simply shipping the coal that was being burned in that plant to be burned in China instead.
The Pacific Northwest has a chance to prove to the world that going coal-free is possible and demonstrate its massive long-term benefits in jobs and innovation as well as prevention of climate disasters. Or we can keep using coal power from Montana and become the home of the biggest coal-export operation in America. The choice is ours.
--Ben Sibelman, Redmond
Support for environmental awareness
I don’t usually write letters to the editor in response to a paid ad, but after reading “The coal industry wants to herd us like sheep,” [News, Jan. 15], I felt moved to send my appreciation and admiration to the man who placed the ad — Ed Newbold, a wildlife artist who sells his prints at Pike Place Market and obviously felt moved to do something about the looming global-warming disaster.
Thank you, Mr. Newbold, for acting on your convictions.
--Jerome Chroman, Seattle
Coal industry’s reach has international consequences
For the second time within a week, we have been informed in The Seattle Times of the horrible air quality in Beijing [“‘Beyond Index’ Smog angers Chinese media,” News, Jan. 15].
Montana and Wyoming are still planning to mine coal to ship to Asia. While the U.S. has shut down numerous coal mines and is planning to develop sustainable energy solutions, to continue to mine for a few dirty jobs and more big dollars for huge energy companies seems morally corrupt. We don’t care about the rest of our world?
Thanks to all those here in the Pacific Northwest, i.e. Beyond Coal et al, who have attended hearings and who continue to advocate for stopping this disturbing venture.
--Enid Havens, Seattle