Fires in Alaska last year & the Canadian inferno are feedback loops unspooling in full force / Letter to Whatcom County Council, Mike Sennett

think progress methane

May 5, 2016  Mike Sennett

Have the elected representatives of the Whatcom County Council witnessed the current conflagration in Canada? The firestorms in Alberta fueled by the tinder of boreal forest have forced the evacuation of 80,000 people and may consume the city they have fled.

Does this disaster of biblical proportions have your attention? Can the amount of carbon in those trees being blown into our atmosphere even be computed? Add to that the methane that will be freed from the bogs below the burnt forests. The planetary commons of the atmosphere & oceans are being disastrously altered by green house gasses. A recent Harvard report has concluded that methane leakage from gas extraction in the U.S. is 30% higher than previously estimated & that methane is 86% worse than CO2  for trapping heat (link to source below). The fires in Alaska last year & the Canadian inferno are feedback loops unspooling in full force. Our own record wildfires of 2014 & ’15 are of similar nature. Does the Council do nothing in response? Or do you do what is possible & make a significant contribution to the absolutely necessary effort to keep fossil fuel in the ground? A great opportunity has been given to the County Council to take action. If the responsibility you now hold makes you feel uneasy & indecisive, keep looking at the hellish spectacle to the north.


May 17, 2016 is the next Public Hearing for the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan.  The hearing with be on Chapter 11 of the plan, Environment. The Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan update happens once every 8 years, and final approval is less than TWO MONTHS away. Please plan on attending and commenting at the hearing and/or feel free to submit a written comment in advance: council@co.whatcom.wa.us

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