The letter, “Disappointed in Benton County’s support of (Longview) coal export terminal” (TCH, June 16), cites the negative impacts of burning 44 million tons of coal per year in Asia. There are no such impacts.
The CO2 added to the atmosphere from burning all exported coal in China would increase the current addition rate of 2 parts per million per year by .09 percent. So in 30 years, if the total CO2 is 450 ppm, burning this coal would cause it to be 450.05 ppm. Stopping this will not reduce droughts, reduce flooding, increase the future snowpack in the Cascade Mountains or reduce the acidity of Puget Sound.
The latest International Panel on Climate Change report (AR5 2014) readily admits that climate models overestimate the sensitivity of CO2 to warming, particularly for 1998 to 2012. How can one justify using the results to assign climate and weather harm to the state of Washington 20-30 years into the future, when the models for the previous 15 years are already off the rails?
The earth has been warming slightly since the Little Ice Age (6,000 years ago). Burning Powder River Basin coal in Asia is not going to change this or impact Washington state.
Craig Brown, Richland