Submission Number: MBTL-EIS-0001566
Received: 11/6/2013 10:30:07 AM
Commenter: Christine Westland
Agency: Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Initiative: Millennium Bulk-Terminals Longview EIS
Attachments: No Attachments
SCOPING CLIMATE CHANGE AND BURNING FOSSIL FUELS:
Those agencies who will create and approve the Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Millienium Bulk Terminal in Longview, Washington near the Columbia River, need to evaluate how the eventual burning of approximately 44 million additional tons per year of coal will affect the health of the human population, insofar as global warming/climate change is concerned. Please scope the impact of additional CO2 which will be released into the atmosphere each year when 44 million tons of coal each year is shipped from Longview, WA to Asia for burning. Since CO2 remains in the atmosphere for many years, please show the increase cumulatively year by year and also include the resultant air pollution brought to the West Coast of North America on the prevailing winds.
Worldwide, scientists have recently concluded that the sharp increase in atmospheric CO2 is caused by human activity, mainly from burning fossil fuels, primarily coal. Burning coal releases huge amounts of CO2 and is, therefore, the chief contributor to climate change. Current levels of CO2 stand at over 400 parts per million (ppm), which greatly exceeds the maximum calculated to alter climate, melt ice caps and glaciers, cause droughts, etc. Before the Industrial Revolution, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere remained constant at 275 ppm for over 800,000 years. Now, we are faced with the results of increasing the CO2 dynamic for the last 200 years. By not stopping and/or reducing mining, transporting, and burning more and more coal, we are contributing to the ultimate extinction of many life forms and causing weather systems to spin out of control.
The ocean waters and the atmosphere both sequester carbon from CO2. Since at least half of the oxygen we breathe is produced in the ocean from photosynthetic activity, we owe our very existence to the health of the oceans and its interaction with the atmosphere; what happens in the ocean and to the ocean affects each and every one of us in the most personal of ways. Oceans are already warming and becoming more acidic because the chemical reaction of excess CO2 and water produces carbonic acid. This is reported worldwide as affecting life cycles, migration patterns, and general health of many marine species.
Ocean acidification and warming impairs the ability of phytoplankton to thrive, thereby reducing our oxygen supply. When landmasses warm, climate patterns are altered dramatically, as we are now beginning to see. Droughts and floods, melting glaciers, and all sorts of chaos are beginning to happen and, if we don’t change the way we produce energy, much worse chaos will ensue causing environmental havoc, food shortages, destruction of infrastructure, population migration and disease. Climate change on this level should be avoided at all costs.
Building a coal shipping terminal at Longview, WA in order to ship millions more tons of fossil fuels yearly to Asia will significantly increase the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and in the ocean. As the EIS is reviewed, please study carefully the impact of this project on the results of increasing CO2 levels in the Columbia River and ultimately the Pacific Ocean, as well as the atmosphere. Just because the coal is burned in Asia, does not mean it will not impact North America and the entire globe significantly.