Monday, May 30, 2011

Coal Trains in Bellingham (and Coal Mines in the Comox Valley) Part IV

Update to this post (05/31/2011): I saw Bill McKibben speak tonight on the Fairhaven Green. Very inspiring. There were about three or four hundred people I would imagine. Bill stressed how global warming effects the poor disproportionately. He wants the "carbon bomb" of the Powder River Basin left "in the ground."

Activist and author Bill McKibben speaks at the Fairhaven Green tomorrow in Bellingham, WA. The title of his speech is:"They Want to Build North America's Biggest Coal Terminal in Whatcom County? Really?".  Here is Mr. McKibben speaking at Powershift 2011 on April 17 of this year:

The band starts at 5:00 PM. Bill will speak at 7:00 PM. I've blogged about Coal Trains in Whatcom County (1,2,3) and a number of groups have been fervently engaged in community and environmental organization(1,2). In researching this topic today, I have discovered that the beautiful 'Comox Valley' and Port Alberni  is also going to be subject to the Coal Industry (1,2,3).  So they are going to mine coal from Victoria Island, ship it out of Port Alberni to....Of course the demand in Asia is driving all of this. The economics of coal export are hard to beat for profit. Canadians are having meetings this week:
  • Monday May 30, 2011 - Florence Filberg Centre, Courtenay
  • Thursday June 2, 2011 - Port Alberni Athletic Hall, Port Alberni
  • Friday June 3, 2011 – Union Bay Community Club, Union Bay

The Sightline Daily has a series of excellent articles on "The Dirt on Coal" including an excellent April 28 article "What a Coal Export Terminal Looks Like"  which comes replete with exellent photographs by Bellinghammer Paul K. Anderson.  In honor of Mr. McKibben's visit, I am posting some archived material on Whatcom County coal mines I have accumulated from various sources. (More on this later...) I have to admit, I'm a little pissed off by this point. I moved to Bellingham to find a safe, clean, place to raise a family.  My wife and I both really liked the Comox Valley when we have visited it. We thought it might be a good place to own a retirement/vacation home. Wow...

But as Craig Cole said at the recent Bellingham City Club at the Gateway Pacific Terminal meeting, "we are a debtor nation, we owe the Chinese $3 Trillion dollars...we just can't go on being a buyer of things." And we do need jobs and tax monies. So I guess we will live with dirt and grime (and toxicity?) of coal dust here in Whatcom County...
map from "Coal Fields of Western Whatcom County, Washington", Olaf P. Jenkins 1923

1 comment:

Martino said...

I find it odd that this 1923 map doesn't show the old mines that were between the Guide and the water. After all, that's where "Portal Way" came from