Daily Kos, October 23, 2012
By James Wells
There’s a reason that we’re so fired up in our little corner of Washington State. It’s not the first snow already falling at the ski area (although that’s great!). It’s not the Vikings, nor the Huskies.
Why are so many of us spending evenings away from our families, in meetings and events?It’s about our future.
On this Saturday, October 27th, here in Bellingham, WA, we all have a chance to stand up together and be counted. And maybe, just maybe, change a bit of the course of the future of our region and our planet. And no matter where you live, you can be part of it too – see action info at the bottom, for anyone on or near planet Earth.
At first the topic may seem mundane, even obscure. The plan to turn 80 acres of seaside land into a coal terminal. But it is so much more.
The plan, if approved, will lead to the largest coal export terminal in North America, shipping out 48 million metric tons of American coal per year to China, so they can use it to clean our clocks even more on the trade front.
And it’s much worse than that. In 2012, when it is so clear that it is time, and in fact way past time, to move past a big carbon economy, the coal terminal represents a doubling down on combustion. Lighting rocks on fire, in even greater volume than ever before, for decades in the future.
As we have found out as we have collected information about the coal export scheme, there is simply no daylight between the local impacts of projects like this and larger issues on a regional and national level all the way to global climate change. It’s all about billionaires finding new ways to rip up the planet for their profit, at all of our expense.
So we have a clear sense that, like Keystone, this is one of the turning points. It is possible, just possible, that we will be the twigs and stones that divert the stream from the utterly wrong course to a better one. Instead of ripping up and combusting everything just quickly as possible, we can move to something more livable.
When people are at a turning point in history, do they know it? Or, is it just another day in their lives, only enhanced later by the highlighter of historians?