It’s not rude to speak out against idling cars | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote the editor asking that people stop idling their cars to lessen the increase in global warming. A person named Mr. Walsh responded; unfortunately, he chose to attack me personally. More importantly, he was simply wrong in his statement of facts.

First, though, it’s common knowledge that the U.S., with only just over 4 percent of the world’s population, is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases. Surely all citizens should feel a need to remedy this imbalance.

On to Mr. Walsh, who says that idling doesn’t matter. It does. He and others of his belief would do well to watch the award-winning documentary, “Idle Threat” ( The introduction to the film states that “Idling engines consume more than 6 billion gallons of gasoline annually in the U.S., a significant but little-known contributor to local air pollution, respiratory disease and global climate change.”

In the film, a Wall Street banker walks New York city for five years, asking 3,000 drivers to stop idling. Should he have minded his manners and his own business too? Anyway, can Mr. Walsh prove that idling a car diminishes global warming? Then what’s the argument in favor of idling?

While I’m at it, allow me to address briefly Mr. Walsh’s attacks. He says I’m being rude; ruder are people who are contributing to that 6 billion gallons of gasoline burned, whose actions also foul the air around them, most particularly in the ferry line. Mr. Walsh advises me to mind my own business; I would submit that the health of our environment is not just mine but everyone else’s business. Mr. Walsh asks me what Oklahomans have done to me; they continue to reelect Jim Inhofe, a climate change denier so extreme that he makes Donald Trump look green. And I suppose Oklahomans are as nice as anyone else, but I don’t care whether they’re nice to me as long as they shut their cars off.

Please, people. Just turn your cars off.


Bainbridge Island

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