Virtually every day, we in Edmonds see approximately seven mile-long coal trains traveling northbound for shipment overseas; roughly 270,000 coal cars carrying about 30-40 million tons of coal annually. Much of this coal goes to China and other emerging countries; the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases and contributors to climate change.
The United States’ current policy to solve this worldwide problem is to restrict all forms of carbon dioxide production in the United States, whatever the cost. Although the United States is the only industrialized country which has significantly reduced greenhouse gases, we are admonished to eliminate (or outlaw) all gas powered vehicles, and household appliances. They even want to control where we live and what we eat. Of course the impact of these policies on the American economy and quality of life would be catastrophic. Meanwhile, other than UN “Accords” and top-level international meetings that produce meaningless position papers, little or nothing decisive is done to stop China and emerging countries from burning coal, which is largely mined and sold to them by the USA.
Climate change is a serious matter and should be managed in a serious way. The United States should reduce our carbon footprint in every reasonable way but without needlessly devastating our country. But, if we are really serious about climate change and greenhouse gas emissions, it is senseless to wreck our economy, freedoms and quality of life, while shipping coal to be burned abroad.