Jun 30, 2017

Everywhere: Fireworks Impact on the Environment

image courtesy of veggieman at pixabay

In the city where I reside, activists' 10-year-long efforts finally resulted in a recent ban on consumer fireworks however there are still permits issued by the City of Bellingham for commercial firework displays at: the university to celebrate return to school in the Fall, other entities' games around town during the year, and the Port of Bellingham fireworks on July 4th along Bellingham Bay.

Fireworks are harmful to the environment (please see link below), not to mention domesticated animals. Moreover, they are bad due to the questionable labor practices and fire hazards where they are manufactured. Anyway, the whole idea of big bangs is rather primitive. And the idea of using fireworks to celebrate the invaders' separation from the English empire is rather convoluted - England and USA are allies now and the invasion was a sad event for First Nations people not a joyful one.

The Port of Bellingham partners with the Chamber of Commerce and the grocery company Haggens for these displays every year. Rich people dining on salmon and chicken go out on tour boats that hassle whales, then return to harbor to bathe in fireworks noise and debris. It is hugely disrespectful to the wildlife on land and sea and to the voters who lobbied against fireworks until the City Council finally passed the ordinance. The all-day events at the Port on July 4th include live music, vendor booths, and free activities for all ages therefore ample entertainment. Big booms don't need to be created for a smart human to be entertained.

In 1993, I returned to Federal Way WA after seven years in the Boston area and one of my most vivid memories of the journey was exiting I-5 onto South 320th Street and seeing the sign at the end of the off-ramp saying in large letters that fireworks are not allowed in Federal Way. I thought that was interesting that of all the codes that need enforcement how fireworks was of primary importance. It seemed to me that so much harm had probably been ensuing from fireworks that banning them became a priority a quarter century ago. May they all be banned totally everywhere ASAP.