The good news; food for life!
The bad news; where to take the first bite?
I have shared some of that same dilemma when faced with the daunting task of how to get an enormous number of concerns to be actively considered as part of EIS scoping for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal [GPT].
In the greater scheme of things impacting our area and its many healthy attractions, the idea of exporting millions of tons of American coal to China through a deepwater port that hasn't even been permitted or built, ranks right up there near the top in my book.
That means the decisions that are made regarding this issue will bind us to a future we may come to seriously regret.
That is why it is critical that we, the citizens, speak up and be heard!
So, rather than trying to figure out a big comprehensive set of concerns before beginning to register specific comments, I've decided to just begin and proceed in bite-size chunks.
That way, the job just seems easier, plus progress can be readily measured and gaps filled in later.
With that direction set, the job becomes one of practicing the skill required to craft effective concerns and then distributing those ideas to not only the agencies involved, but with as many other citizens as possible to facilitate their active participation.
Here's an idea shared by someone else that can begin to help us develop templates that can be readily used by citizens who wish to express their own concerns:
I think diversity in samples is going to be a strength - different formats, styles, organizations, voice, etc. - yet all adhering to the same criteria (e.g. does not state an opinion, asks a question, is supported by reasonably foreseeable [result] and significance, etc.).... every sample [provided as an example] should have the disclaimer:And, here's a short and sweet sample concern also sent to me recently by another concerned citizen:
"This sample letter is not a good letter to copy, because it was not written by YOU."
The EIS should provide a more detailed explanation of the purpose and need for the project than is provided by the proponents application.
Evaluate in detail the impact the operation will have on other industries, agencies and entities ability to start, develop and grow new projects that are dependent on quality of life environment to train, attract and retrain experienced employees.
Maybe these two ideas will help get other folks started in developing their own submissions to share soon with the agencies as well as other citizens.
I expect another website will soon become available to collect and disseminate as much of this information as possible.
In the meantime, I'll be glad to accept citizen's comments also.
In case, folks want to use material from former blogs, here is a summary of links to the 53 previous blogs I've dedicated to this subject, to date:
1. Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear... Sunday, March 27, 2011
2. Coal Terminal: Mayor's Listening Session Wednesday, June 1, 2011
3. Good Mornin' America, How Are Ya? Wednesday, June 8, 2011
4. Climatology: Natural Science or Political Science? Saturday, July 9, 2011
5. Making Tracks To Where? Friday, July 15, 2011
6. Coal Terminal: A Pit & Pendulum Exercise? Thursday, July 21, 2011
7. Coal Terminal: Trains & Infrastructure Saturday, July 30, 2011
8. Coal Terminal: Bulk Carriers & Kayaks Sunday, July 31, 2011
9. Coal Terminal: Update on Developments Monday, August 1, 2011
10. Coal Terminal: Another Update Tuesday, August 2, 2011
11. Coal Terminal: Playing Defense Wednesday, August 3, 2011
12. Coal Terminal:Whatcom Watch Remembers Cherry Point Agreement Thursday, August 4, 2011
13. Coal: A Global Perspective Thursday, September 1, 2011
14. Coal: Floyd McKay's Latest Crosscut Article Wednesday, September 28, 2011
15. Coal: Green versus Gold? Wednesday, October 19, 2011
16. Coal: The Role of Politics Wednesday, October 19, 2011
17. Coal: National Geographic Article Friday, October 21, 2011
18. Coal: NPR Weighs In With Two Articles Thursday, October 27, 2011
19. Big Coal meets Cherry Point's tiny herring Friday, October 28, 2011
20. Coal: Where Does Bellingham Really Stand? Sunday, October 30, 2011
21. Coal: Location, Location, Location - For Whom? Monday, October 31, 2011
22. Coal: What Does Lake Whatcom, Waterfront Redevelopement & The Olympic Pipe Line Have to Do With It? Thursday, November 3, 2011
23. Coal: Possible Good News? Thursday, November 10, 2011
24. Energy: Update On Coal, Oil & Other Fossil Fuel Projects Wednesday, November 16, 2011
25. Impacts: Coal Versus Oil Sands Thursday, November 17, 2011
26. Trains: 'Here's Mud In Your Eye'Thursday, December 15, 2011
27. Coal: Why Can't We Citizens Have A Strong Voice? Friday, December 30, 2011
28. Coal: Specific Actions Bellingham Must Take Sunday, January 1, 2012
29. Coal & Climate Friday, January 27, 2012
30. Constitution, Corporations & Coal Wednesday, February 22, 2012
31. Coal: HamsterTalk Blogs from March 27 thru December 31, 2011 Saturday, December 31, 2011
32. Coal: History Has A Way Of Repeating Itself. Friday, March 23, 2012
33. Coal: Updating Public Concerns Thursday, March 29, 2012
34. Coal: Expanding Concerns Monday, April 30, 2012
35. Coal: Creating Private Wealth Offset By Public Debt Tuesday, May 8, 2012
36. Coal: Shanty Town, USA? Friday, May 18, 2012
37. Coal: May 31 Update Thursday, May 31, 2012
38. Coal: "Cold Ironing" & Other Stuff Monday, June 18, 2012
39. Coal: The City's Citizens Need To Be Heard! Wednesday, June 20, 2012
40. Coal: Latest Developments Saturday, June 30, 2012
41. Coal: Before the Council Meeting Monday, July 2, 2012
42. Coal: After the Council Meeting - Sorta Tuesday, July 3, 2012
43. Coal: A Few More Lumps Saturday, July 7, 2012
44. Coal: Manna or Mammon? Sunday, July 8, 2012
45. Coal: The Beat Goes On Friday, July 13, 2012
46. Coal: SEPA Information Monday, July 16, 2012
47. Tomorrow, HamsterTalk is 5 Years Old! Thursday, July 26, 2012
48. Coal: Shipping in the Salish Sea Monday, July 30, 2012
49. Coal: Part 1 - A Reporter At Large Tuesday, July 31, 2012
50. Coal: Part 2 - A Reporter At Large Wednesday, August 1, 2012
51. Coal: SSA Marine Info Thursday, August 2, 2012
52. Coal: Terminal Design & Operations Recommendations Friday, August 3, 2012
53. Coal: A Window of Opportunity for Citizens Thursday, August 16, 2012
54. Coal: The Ant & The Elephant Sunday, August 19, 2012------------------