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A Little Science
Coal Export could tip us over the global warming precipice. Sounds like gloom and doom, but we have the ability to stop this from happening. To understand how coal export affects global warming, a little Science is in order. (skip here, if you already know the science)
Our annual average concentration of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is 391.57 up from 2010 average of 389.78. In the past decade the average annual increase has been 2.07 parts per million per year.
What do these numbers mean? Scientists believe that 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. As we move further beyond 350 the earth becomes warmer and our global temperature increases, affecting climates, plants and animals, and humans. We're already beginning to see disastrous impacts on people and places all over the world. Glaciers everywhere are melting and disappearing fast—and they are a source of drinking water for hundreds of millions of people. Mosquitoes, who like a warmer world, are spreading into lots of new places, and bringing malaria and dengue fever with them. Drought is becoming much more common, making food harder to grow in many places. Sea levels have begun to rise, and scientists warn that they could go up as much as several meters this century. If that happens, many of the world's cities, island nations, and farmland will be underwater. The oceans are growing more acidic because of the CO2 they are absorbing, which makes it harder for animals like corals and clams to build and maintain their shells and skeletons; and this directly impacts our economy and shell fish farms in the Pacific Northwest. Coral reefs could start dissolving at an atmospheric CO2 concentration of 450-500 ppm. These impacts are combining to exacerbate conflicts and security issues in already resource-strapped regions.(courtesy 350.org)
Makes you want to throw up your hands and say nothing can be done, right!? Don't stop here, there are things you and I can do to make a difference. Including, stopping coal export from Washington State.
What does this have to do with Coal Export? Scientists also believe that the majority of the CO2 in the atmosphere comes from human's burning fossil fuels. Coal is one of the fossil fuels that we use to produce energy and with that burning comes a high cost to our health.
Two coal export terminals, Longview and Cherry Point, are planned so far, both in Washington state. They have the potential to dramatically increase the amount of coal shipped to Asia. With these two coal export terminals, coal companies have the potential to export 100 million -and possibly 130 million or more- tons of coal annually. In recent years, the US coal export has only been a few million tons to Asia and just a fraction of that to China. With these two coal export terminals on line, Washington could easily multiply total American coal export to China tenfold.
One of the primary objections to coal export terminals is the spread of coal dust. Exporters store coal in large piles at terminals, and these piles -and subsequent coal trains carrying the coal- produce coal dust carried by the wind where it settles on roads, houses, farms that feed us, school yards and water ways that feed our fish and wildlife and drinking water.
Health Costs of Coal Export
Coal companies have deep pockets and a long track record of using their power and influence to get what they want. Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, and Arch Coal are routinely fined for violating worker health and safety and environmental standards. These companies are not good neighbors and will put profit before people to protect their bottom line.
Let us stand up for clean air and water and for healthy kids and communities! Educate yourself about the issue and Take action by:
Speak out by signing a petition urging elected officials to oppose West Coast coal export terminals. Then, share the petition with your friends!
Commissioner Goldmark oversees the Department of Natural Resources, which has the authority to approve or not approve a lease for the proposed pier and wharf combination to service the Gateway Pacific Terminal. The lease is for public aquatic lands owned by you and me–it’s up to…
- Call Governor Christine Gregroire
Call Governor Christine Gregroire at (360) 902-4111 and ask her to ensure that Washington says NO to coal export and YES to a clean energy future
Thank you for caring about your children's health and the environment! Together we can make great things happen.
Join CoolMom members and many other supporters to tell City Council you are in support of a plastic bag ban.
WHEN: Monday, December 5, 5:30 pm
WHERE: Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Council Chambers, 2nd Floor
WHAT: Seattle City Council Public Hearing on proposed Plastic Bag Ordinance
People for Puget Sound will provide talking points and a bag pin with your testimony.
Please also send an email today to the Seattle City Council members so they know you support this ordinance.
Plastic Bag History and What This is all About.
Back in 2009 CoolMom was one of many supporters of the plastic bag fee. As most of you know, the fee did not pass. The Seattle City Council has introduced an ordinance to put a ban on take-home plastic bags and a 5 cent fee on paper bags (which the stores will keep). The goal of this ordinance is to encourage people to switch to reusable alternatives so we can keep our Sound clean and our marine wildlife, which ends up on our dinner tables, healthy. CoolMom supports this ordinance and here are some reasons why:
What are the negative environmental aspects of plastic bags?
Plastic bags blow around and end up along our roads and creeks. They then wash in stormwater out to Puget Sound and ultimately out into the ocean. They break down into smaller bits but don’t readily decompose. The negative aspects of plastic bags include:
- Using up nonrenewable resources Bags are made of petroleum products and natural gas and thus are another way we are using up our petroleum resources.
- Physically impacting wildlife. Plastic bags are neutrally buoyant and so float in the water column and can be mistaken for jellyfish or other food by wildlife, such as turtles. Bags are found in the stomachs of turtles, whales and other animals, leading to deaths by starvation when their digestive system is blocked.
- Carrying toxic contaminants. Plastic is “oilier” than ocean water and therefore acts like a sponge for persistent toxic chemicals such as PCBs. It is believed that the bits of plastic in the aquatic environment are a pathway for toxic chemicals into fish and other wildlife that ingest them (because plastics break down into tiny pieces that are as small as plankton), but this has not been extensively studied yet.
- Physically clogging stormdrains. Plastic bags in many countries litter the countryside and end up clogging stormdrains leading to seriously exasperated flooding problems, especially in Bangladesh.
- Clogging recycling machines. Our city recyclables go to recycling centers where they are sorted and separated into different products so that they can be bailed and sent on for further processing. A major problem is that plastic bags tend to clog the rollers on the machines. The City of Portland has documented that ¼ of their workers’ time is spent removing plastic bags from the line that have caused clogs and thus work shutdowns.
- Contaminating our commercial composting products. Seattle residential and business yard clippings and food waste are sent to local commercial composting facilities that break down the organic matter at high temperatures in a few months to produce a high quality compost product. Unfortunately, a large number of plastic bags get dumped into the bins along with the organic material. This leads to a significant amount of “contamination” of the compost with pieces of plastic bags. The facilities try to remove some of the plastic, but are unable to remove the majority of it. (taken from the greenbagcampaign.org)
Click below to find answers to these questions:
CoolMom once again gave back to the community with our 4th Annual Toy Swap 'n' Sale and reduced our carbon footprints by reselling gently used toys and baby gear to the public. WestSide Baby not only received donated toys and baby gear, but we also took up a collection for diapers to be purchased by WestSide Baby to serve their families in need. The event raised over $2200 with proceeds benefiting both CoolMom and WestSide Baby!
Thank you to Our Volunteers!
We want to thank all of our volunteers who helped gather the gently used toys, price them, baked a yummy treat for our bake sale, and helped set up and staff the day of the sale. Special thanks to Michelle G., Mary, Colleen, Ali, Abby, Kristy, Laura, Mimi, Jeannie, Hillary, Brooke, Emily and her Mom, Toni, Natasha, Michelle P. and Amy. With your support we had a wonderful event. Thank you!
West Seattle Community, We Thank YOU!
CoolMom and its members want to thank all the collection sites: C &P Coffee, PCC, Gatewood Elementary, Community School of West Seattle, Arbor Heights, and Pathfinder. Thank you for allowing CoolMom to collect toys at your locations and for supporting both CoolMom and WestSide Baby! We count on our caring community to support our Annual Toy Swap 'n' Sale and once again you came through for us! We also want to thank all the families (in West Seattle and beyond) that donated items for the sale and to those who came to the sale to shop! We appreciate your support for our organizations and that you chose to shop for gently used items for the holidays. Thank you to all the businesses and schools that supported our efforts by posting signs about the sale.
Vounteer to Help Make this Event a Success!
go here to sign up http://www.signupgenius.com/go/coolmom
Here are the details:
WHEN: West Seattle, Saturday, November 12th, 9am to 2pm
WHO: Presented by CoolMom.
All proceeds benefit CoolMom & WestSide Baby
WHERE: Fauntleroy Church, 9140 California Ave. SW (Barton & California) West Seattle, WA 98136.
WHY: CoolMom wants to help families reduce spending and their carbon footprint this holiday season. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste in the United States increases by more than 25%. By buying locally used toys instead of newly packaged toys purchased at several stores throughout the state or country, families can reduce their travel fuel consumption and reduce their impact on our recycling and landfill centers. Buying quality used toys also saves families money, which helps in these tough economic times.
There are 2 ways to participate:
1. Donate items before the sale & receive a $5 credit towards your purchase the day of the sale.
2. Nothing to donate? Show up and shop to your heart's content.
Please don't forget your reusable bags to collect your treasures.
1. De-clutter and detach from all the unused toys and gear in your home.
2. Bag up your items: toys, sports clothes and products, baby gear, baby/kid furniture (no car seats please)
3. Donate your items at one of 6 collection sites in West Seattle through November 8th
4. Put your name in your donation bag & receive a $5 credit towards your purchase at the sale.
5. Come to the sale, redeem your credit, and shop!
PCC West Seattle (California)
Gatewood Elementary School (Myrtle)
Arbor Heights Elementary School (Arbor Heights)
Community School of West Seattle (Roxbury)
Pathfinder School (Delridge)
C&P Coffee (California and Findlay)
FOR QUESTIONS CONTACT: Terri Glaberson, firstname.lastname@example.org
The full story of Think Outside the Car can be found here!
As a CoolMom member, enthusiast, or partner, you likely share our passion for local food and creating a sustainable future for all. I want to personally invite you to the 8th Annual Eat Local Now! celebration of local food with our theme of “Choose Good Food.”
As economic concerns overtake our national conversation, it’s time to kick back, share a great meal, and talk about growing a resilient local food economy here in Washington state. Once upon a time, home economics classes taught us how to manage our homes and make wise decisions – it’s time we revived interest and understanding of what practical, sustainable and healthy food choices are available to us here.
Lusciously, local food from the Puget Sound region will be prepared by Herban Feast chefs. Sustainably produced local beers, wines and fresh cider will be available at a cash bar.
Other organizations involved in our local food economy will have information at the event about purchasing locally as well as growing your own food.
The evening includes:
- a do-not-miss dinner
- exhibitors encouraging education and action towards purchasing and growing local food and healthy living
- keynote speaker: Greg Atkinson (details below)
- speakers active in the local food movement
- a silent auction
- live music
Eat Local Now! encourages participation in local food systems as a means to building a healthy and sustainable communities, families, individuals, and a planet.
The 8th Annual Eat Local Now! event supports our local food producers and allows the people the opportunity to talk to the farmers, fishers, ranchers, bakers and those who make the local food system possible.
Held at the beautiful Herban Feast Sodo Park venue in their historic century-old factory just south of downtown Seattle, it will be a lovely evening. It’s a fundraiser for the organizing partners: CoolMom, Sustainable West Seattle, and Seattle Good Business Network. All organizations working to create a more sustainable and resilient future for all of us.
We sell out every year, so get your tickets today! Tickets are $10 for kids and $50 for adults. Brown Paper Tickets or 1-800-838-3006.
We’d love to share this special evening with you. Hope to see you there.