In addition to worrying about Canadian tar sands coming down Cuesta Grade on “bomb trains,” we now need to be concerned about dirty tar sands petroleum coming from Utah, as well (“First U.S. tar sands mine to open,” Aug. 22).
At a time when CO2 levels are dangerously high, there is no good reason to dig up and burn more of the world’s fossilfuel deposits. Scientists calculate that there is more than enough available to generate emissions capable of unleashing a runaway greenhouse effect. Our current global emissions guarantee that we will see a 2-degree Celsius rise. If countries fail to follow through with their emissions reduction pledges, the world is on track for warming 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius.
Climate scientist James Hansen stated: “Four degrees of warming would be enough to melt all the ice. You would have a tremendously chaotic situation as you moved away from our current climate toward another one. That’s a different planet. You wouldn’t recognize it. ... We are on the verge of creating climate chaos if we don’t begin to reduce emissions rapidly.”
Hopefully, Utahans understand the inherent dangers of developing their toxic oil fields and will protest development. We must join them and say “NIMBY.”