Did I really see this paper in favor of handing over our city to coal trains that cost us infrastructure, rail access and atmospheric pollution?
No one wants to wait in an ambulance parked north of the tracks trying to reach hospitals to the south. No one wants to hear that the Washington Department of Health has issued a mercury warning for every lake and river in Washington due to Asian coal fallout. No one wants to see our state’s $270 million shellfish industry dying, as it now is, due to ocean acidification. No one wants record droughts and storms costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives.
Yet all of this is happening, and it is due primarily to coal. In fact, leading U.S. climatologist Dr. James Hansen, of NASA, says that ending coal emissions “would solve 80 percent of the global warming crisis.”
So why turn our city into a conveyor linking the world’s largest coal field, in Wyoming, with the world’s largest coal consumer, China? What’s in it for us? These trains will cost both Spokane and humanity dearly. It’s time to say “no.”