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LETTER: The elephant on the highway

Several items in the June 30 Peninsula News Review brushed by the elephant on the highway and scarcely saw it. You had the household debt elephant bursting the walls of the house in your editorial cartoon, a letter about why the Keating flyover interchange should be dismissed because of its high cost, stories on the Beacon Street interchange and the huge Amazon building.

There was scarcely a word about the environmental debt left to all who follow us.

Making a ton of concrete produces about 1,300 cubic feet of CO2 gas. Transportation and installation of the concrete adds more CO2. Then there is the 32,300 cubic feet of CO2 per ton of steel used for reinforcement of concrete and elsewhere in huge buildings and overpasses.

Remember those concrete beams used in the new McKenzie interchange? Each one added about 150,000 cubic feet of CO2 to the atmosphere. How many of those are in the Keating flyover, the Beacon exchange, the Amazon building?

Ten such beams would add about 1.5 million cubic feet of CO2 to the atmospheric environment. If the total for those three projects was the equivalent of just 40 such beams, that’s about 3 million more cubic feet of CO2 damaging the atmosphere for future generations to deal with.

The preoccupation with economics meant there was scarcely a word said about the environmental threat. Now that is the elephant on the highway.

Jim Kingham

North Saanich