Letters to the Editor

Carbon footprint is too high for proposed operation

Many thanks to Joe Yarkin for making intelligible the environmental harm that an indoor marijuana growing business at the former K2 could cause. In his Feb. 29 letter to The Beachcomber, energy-expert Yarkin pointed out: “My calculation, based on carbon footprint data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is the carbon footprint for the indoor lighting at K2 would be 23,900 tons of CO2 annually.”

For what? An absurd operation: growing plants with artificial light, plants that are as hardy as weeds, in a state that offers more than enough land and sustainable free sunshine. The environmental cost cannot be justified.

The prospect of Vashon’s (really the King County Council’s) permitting such a large waste of energy and increase in CO2 emissions is awful. So many people on Vashon are sensitive to environmental degradation and take steps to reduce their role in it. The indoor growing operation would negate the progress made by people who know that gross, unnecessary environmental pollution has to stop and for that to happen we have to draw lines and take alternative paths.

But really, even with a retractable roof or solar panels, the Bakkhos Holding project is too problematical for our small island for reasons expressed by others in the last Beachcomber. It would be foolish to rush into a project just to create jobs by destroying the environment. Perhaps more jobs would be created by outdoor farms — tending them and securing them. Even if the plants were grown elsewhere, the security-fenced candy factory would resemble a prison in the heart of Vashon. We can do better.

— Jill Janow

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