Every day, people come up to me on the street and they ask me, "Cienna, just how much coal are we talking about when we talk about 48 million tons of coal moving through Seattle, annually? That sounds like a lot of coal, but can you convert that into buildings for me? I tend to think better in building form. Thanks!"

Sadly, I can nothing but shrug at these people, for my brain doesn't think in terms of buildings—it thinks in terms of knife sharpeners, sequins, and dryer lint.* Fortunately, today Sightline has the answer:

  • The big brains at Sightline.
  • Choo-choo!

In other words, this coal pile would eclipse downtown. (For a better scale of the goal pyramid versus downtown, go read the article.) And each open car of coal rumbling through Seattle would slough off a bit of coal in its wake, as a memento. Disgusting, yes?

If you're disgusted, mark your calendars: On Thursday, December 13, there will be a public hearing on the coal trains, 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Washington State Convention Center (800 Convention Place), Ballroom 6F.

*3,428,571,428.57 knife sharpeners; 2,073,565,700,000,000,000 sequins; one metric fuck-ton in dryer lint.