(Juneau Empire File)

Letter: Cruise ships causing loss of quality of life, contributing to climate crisis


I am writing to register my experience of the loss of quality of life in Juneau. The qualities of life lost to Juneau residents are clean air, peace and quiet, and access to public transportation. Other losses are enough space to walk on the sidewalk, safe street crossing, access to taxis and views of Gastineau Channel. These losses to quality life in Juneau are directly related to cruise ships.

Overcrowding is a loss of privacy. There are way too many people getting off the many cruise ships docking in our downtown

Why is our city supporting an industry that contributes to so much pollution and overcrowding and that adds so much carbon to Juneau’s carbon footprint from the burning of fossil fuels? This is a worldwide problem. Juneau’s support of this industry is contributing to climate change, floods, pollution of air and water, and major losses of many kinds in the world and our own community.

Last month, in August Juneau experienced the Mendenhall River flooding to almost 15 feet with a serious loss of property and much property damage. There was also a slide on Nelson Street in the Starr Hill neighborhood caused by supersaturation of soils on a steep slope. The flood event was caused by rapid melting of the glacier which is exacerbated by climate change. Severe slides in Sitka and in Haines, both resulting in loss of lives and also the result of extreme weather events caused by climate change, cannot be ignored by our city.

Kathrin McCarthy