Marin IJ Readers Forum for September 19, 2021 – Marin Independent Journal
Point Reyes missed the opportunity to send a message
The National Park Service, Rep. Jared Huffman, and Marin supervisors have let the public down regarding Point Reyes National Seashore (“Point Reyes Adopts Controversial Ranch and Elk Plan,” September 14). Park officials have decided to allow another 20 years of subsidized rental of our coastline for beef and dairy production.
The park announcement states, “Engagement and feedback from the public and agencies has been critical in developing and refining this plan and the selected action. No, the public has sent over 50,000 comments calling for the removal of the cows and the restoration of our coastline. Public demonstrations have multiplied (hundreds of people at a recent rally). The interests of two dozen operators, who were paid the equivalent of $ 350 million in today’s dollars some 50 years ago, outweighed the public interest.
Changing the way Point Reyes is managed could have been a handy fruit in our effort to do real things to curb climate change, stop long-term drought, and help native species. Cows are a major factor in our climate crises. US consumption of beef and dairy products must be drastically reduced, now.
Our supervisors approved $ 52,000 to truck water to the cows because the land cannot support the cow population during this drought. Claims by Huffman and supervisors that these are sustainable operations ignore the science. It is difficult for Point Reyes to meet state and federal water quality standards. Native elk are killed to protect the cows. Losses of biodiversity continue. Soil degradation is significant. Illegal toxic dumps still exist. The park has the worst methane and carbon emissions in West Marin.
While the rest of the county participates in the “Drawdown Marin” program, Point Reyes National Seashore models non-action instead. These are not big messages to our young people. This is the time when we need real leadership.
– Daniel D. Heagerty, Mill Valley
An edifying tale about the organist good reading in difficult times
I really enjoyed reading Paul Liberatore’s wonderful article on talented and renowned organist Jonathan Dimmock (“World Class Church Organist Finds Home in Marin,” September 10).
It was great to see an uplifting story during this time of sadness and sorrow.
– Ute Brandon, San Rafael
Approve Marin’s Reusable Utensils Order Now
I can think of three reasons Marin County needs to immediately pass a reusable utensil ordinance:
• Reusable items save businesses money. The Clean Water Fund’s Rethink Disposable Products program has demonstrated the short-term payoffs of switching to reusable products for on-site dining. In more than 160 cases, 100% of restaurants saved money by switching from single use to reuse. The average annual savings for a small business are between $ 3,000 and $ 22,000, while eliminating 110,000 to 225,000 packaging items per business and 1,300 to 2,200 pounds of waste.
• Single-use packaging makes us sick. Most of us assume that the chemicals and materials used to make the packaging are safe. The reality is that most single-use packaging contains untested harmful chemicals. More than 4,000 chemicals can be present in plastic packaging, and many of the most common can be hazardous to human health and the environment.
• We “drown” in single-use cups. The production and their disposal have resulted in a large number of negative impacts on the environment, global warming and pollution. On average, 120 billion cups are used once a year in the United States, or 370 per person per year.
By this measure, Marin County uses more than 95 million cups per year. This equates to over 1,400 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (a passenger car emits about 4.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year).
The good news is that a new reuse economy is emerging to replace the old paradigm of disposable catering. But we must act.
The county’s Reusable Food Items Ordinance is ready for passage but remains inactive. Please contact your supervisor and urge them to adopt the order. We need a victory for the health of people, the environment and businesses.
– Jinesse Reynolds, San Anselme