Friday, June 6, 2008

news: No more bonfires? Say it aint so…

According to a Seattle P-I report, Seattle Parks and Recreation officials are considering reducing or eliminating altogether the fire pits at Alki and Golden Gardens. Under the proposal, in July the department would reduce the number of pits at Alki from the current 6 to 3, and at Golden Gardens from 12 to 7. The next year, they would have the option to eliminate them entirely.

This is the second time in recent memory that the waterfront tradition has been threatened: in 2004 a violation notice was sent from the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency to the city after someone set a couch on fire at Alki Beach. However, 1,200 people signed a petition to save Alki's bonfires, and 100 others signed a petition to save the ones at Golden Garden.

Now, environmental concerns are threatening the fires once again. According to a memo to the park board from the staff, "The overall policy question for the Board is whether it is good policy for Seattle Parks to continue public beach fires when the carbon emissions produced by thousands of beach fires per year contributes to global warming."

However, there are some strong arguments in favor of leaving the fires alone. More staff have been assigned to the two beaches, and the number of fires using illegal materials has dropped by two-thirds. Restrictions could cause illegal fires and fights over the limited number of fire pits. Charging fees to use the pits could cause disproportionate availability for youths and low-income people.

[Editor's Note] Do these fires really present a threat in the battle against climate change? Though I don't have much evidence in front of me, I'd wager the effect of even a few thousand bonfires would be far less than the carbon emissions of a handful of cars. Despite the environmentally friendly mindset of Seattle and its residents (myself definitely included), I'd be surprised to see a tradition like this be disposed of for minimal benefit. The Parks & Rec board meeting is next Thursday night… I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens. If you want to make your voice heard, show up at 7 p.m at the park department's offices (100 Dexter Ave. N).


  1. Anonymous said...

    Earth-caring Seattle citizens should set the example and ban all CO2 emissions.

    I think that banning bonfires in Seattle is a great idea since the liberals in that state get a dose of their own medicine concerning the global warming fraud. Next, I hope they outlaw (or severely increase taxes on ) cars in Washington state. It would serve the citizens right. Ha ha ha!! I just love it when the liberal and refuted idea of man-made global warming, which was designed to destroy capitalism and take away citizens' rights, BACKFIRES and takes away their rights!!!

    Let's also shut down the space program!!! Did you see all the pollution that the space shuttle made on takeoff the other day!!! Shut'er down!!!!

    Also, the Seattle Mariners and the Seattle Seahawks must be REALLY causing global warming with the airplane-driven travel schedule. Shut'em down!!!! No more sports teams!!!

    Let's make Seattle TOTALLY CO2 free !!! Hahaha, let the city die!!