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Letter to the Editor: Pied Piper

— Pied piper

To the editor:

When I first saw the front page picture of Friday’s Chronicle (March 22) of a fellow senior leading children around the Senior Center, I couldn’t help thinking of the fable of the Pied Piper.

These young people were there to learn, among other things, the importance of the Meals on Wheels Program. And the comments expressed by these third graders showed their genuine concern for our senior’s health and well-being.

No doubt those of us who are a bit older are concerned for these children’s health and wellbeing, too. It’s our responsibility, in my opinion, to do what we can to protect the environment we all live in and that which these kids will inherit.

We know now that burning coal to generate power is accelerating global warming and poisoning our environment. In the US this fact about coal has led to the phasing out of our coal-fired power generating plants in favor of developing less harmful means of producing energy.

So why would we (US) intentionally want to ship our coal to other countries, encouraging and enabling them to use a product we know is lethal? To do so, in my opinion, is immoral. The air in China’s major cities — where the bulk of our coal is headed — is, indeed, lethal. And we know for certain the prevailing wind (the jet stream) is bringing their poisoned air right back to us, polluting our air and water.

The argument that if we (US) won’t sell them coal, they will just buy it from others, is weak; an amoral excuse offered by the coal industry to generate profits at any cost.

As responsible adults, we are in a position to change that. I encourage everyone to take another look at Friday’s Chronicle front page. Are we as concerned for these young people’s future as they are for ours; or will we be pied pipers who, by our complacency, lead them into a place where their future and environment is uncertain, if not bleak? Please call the Governor’s Citizen Representative: (503-378-4582) and say NO to coal export. Please visit this website www.gorgefriends.org to learn more.

Tom Wood

The Dalles

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