Transition Whatcom

County Impacts

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2052 by Jorgen Randers may be of help in the EIS scoping process.

EIS scoping process with Jean Melious WWU

With China set to vaporize water equal to what flows over Niagara Falls each year, and India’s industrial water demand growing at twice the pace of agricultural or municipal use, 
J. C. Walker,Jr. said:

Please address climate change at a local level and participate in the development of the Environmental Impact Statement scoping process and help determine which issues will be considered with regards to GPT coal terminal.


In Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math” July 19th 2012 he listed three conclusions originating from the wealth of environmental data available and accepted by most in the scientific community relating to the current condition of our planet.

1)  2 degrees C : The amount of temperature rise the world can handle.

2)  565 Gigatons: The amount of CO2 which can be added into the atmosphere by mid century and remain below 2 degrees C.

3)  2,795 Gigatons: The amount of Carbon contained in proven reserves of  coal, oil, and gas.

With the figures from these calculations in mind, and as our warming Earth in 2012 heads to set the all time high for the warmest year ever recorded. I’m asking you to please study the contribution the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal and the initial estimated 54 million tons of coal per year shipped to be China will play in contending with the present and future levels of CO2, and the expectations of a increasingly warmer planet derived from increased CO2 contributions from the burning of coal.

In 2012, Whatcom County experienced 5-10 degrees cooler than normal temperatures extending into the summer months affecting both the strawberry and raspberry harvest. In early July I took a trip to visit my daughter and family in Colorado where the temperatures were 10 degrees hotter than normal. While there, on two separate occasions I went to forests above Boulder and Estes Park. It seemed the higher up we would travel the more noticeable a rust brown discoloration of pine needles became. In the Rocky Mountain National Forest above Estes Park, at around 10,000 feet above sea level, it looked as though 75% of the trees were dead from Bark Beetle infestation brought on by warmer than normal winter temperatures. Until recently the freezing temperatures have provided a die back of the beetles and continued a balance of the ecosystem witnessed for centuries. Upon returning back to Whatcom County I monitored the High Park Fire which had originated just outside Fort Collins. It consumed an estimated 87,000 acres of forest. And this weekend, as dry lightning strikes pepper eastern Washington, I witness wildfires a little closer to home, and the longest stretch without rain in Western Washington on record, I contemplate the world we are leaving our children and grand children.

With the current levels of CO2 approaching 390 ppm, along with erratic and unfamiliar weather patterns becoming the new norm, I can only recommend the agency not move forward in implementing the development of any terminal designed with the capabilities of exporting fossil fuel, ultimately into our atmosphere.



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