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Letters to the Editor 05/27/201To the Editor:

Residents in the Sisters community are generally concerned that carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is leading to global warming. However, we need to be more than concerned.

Take a look at one gallon of gasoline, weighing 6.25 pounds and containing 84 percent pure carbon. As that gasoline burns, each carbon atom combines with two oxygen atoms, now creating 19.25 pounds of carbon dioxide, still from the same gallon of gasoline. An average automobile traveling 12,000 miles each year, averaging 25.5 miles per gallon, produces 4.5 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Various publications list the ability of a tree to absorb carbon dioxide at between 15 to 50 pounds per year. That is such a small amount. No wonder global warming is taking place.

We need to do better. Large portions of the population in the Sisters area have no practical transportation alternative to the automobile. That seems so strange for a community that prides itself for its natural beauty. Our community is a wonderful place to live for the physically active individuals who enjoy being out in this natural environment. We need to be able to park the automobile and develop alternative modes of transportation.

An obvious solution is to build the Black Butte Trail, so residents can commute from Black Butte Ranch to Sisters and back. Take the family for a fun outing into Sisters and back by bicycle. That is a total distance of 15 miles. If the car is left at Black Butte Ranch, there would be 12 pounds less carbon dioxide expelled into the atmosphere (that is almost a pound of carbon dioxide for every mile driven).

Bjarne Holm