Letter: Climate concerns missing from airport debate


Opinions on whether our Central Whidbey Port should acquire a Northern Island airport has generated a stream of pro and con letters to the editors for months now.

Private pilots are naturally all for a taxing entity to open its wallet so they can engage in their hobby/ pastime with various claims of community economic benefits and even a speculative alternative to our beleaguered ferry system.

Detractors say it’s a boondoggle which is out of the port district boundaries and will hobble port efforts to support other attention needing things like the Coupeville Wharf and the Greenbank Farm,

What I find most curious is the total disregard of the environmental aspects of promoting an activity which releases significant amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere.

If you believe the climate scientists, we now have 420 ppm of CO2 in our atmosphere, having climbed from 150 at the start of the fossil-fueled industrial age. Property damage from more intense storms, sea water rise and forest fires have become the norm.

In response, our state has now adopted a cap and trade tax system to cut greenhouse gases, the feds have pledged to reduce such gas emissions 50% by 2030 and in 2035 you won’t be able to buy a new gas car around here. Maybe those pilots should park their planes till we get some green hydrogen fuel (maybe 5-10 years).

Yes, change is afoot. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources provided nearly three-quarters of new electrical generating capacity in 2022. However, the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change issues a report every few years (for over three decades now), and it’s a sobering account of worldwide failures to reign in accelerating climate disasters.

Meanwhile, we islanders are debating whether to subsidize a fossil fuel burning activity for all sorts of nebulous reasons, while ignoring that one (and only) existential one, climate change. I’d like to see a little more global analysis, from all sides, on this acquisition.

Dean Enell

South Whidbey