News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 6/16/2021

Climate Change

To the Editor:

It is a fact that the climate crisis is advancing because our atmosphere is too full of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Excesses of GHG particulates in our atmosphere inhibit the suns’ heat from reflecting back into the stratosphere. Trapped heat increases the average temperature, causes ice to melt (permafrost, glaciers, and polar caps), which increases atmospheric moisture, which increases cloud cover, which in turn traps more heat — a dangerous feedback loop.

Effects of climate crisis in Oregon are seen in more frequent and increasingly extreme fires, less and shorter snow seasons, extreme and frequent floods west of the Cascades and dryer and longer droughts east of the Cascades.

To slow and reverse the climate crisis requires a two-fold approach with many viable solutions to: 1. reduce GHG emissions and 2. sequester excess GHGs. Globally, humanity is in an all-hands-on-deck approach. Examples of active solutions to reduce GHG emissions are: reducing use of fossil fuel energy sources and increasing clean energy sources (wind, wave, and solar), switching from gas to electric appliances, and investing in electric vehicles. Examples of active solutions to sequester GHGs are: improving forestry management, advancing regenerative farming, and revitalizing our soils.

On April 6, the Mauna Loa Observation reported 419.76 parts per million of carbon dioxide (one of the major GHGs); up 3.18 ppm in one year. Federal Bill, HR2307 — the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) is an excellent solution to efficiently and effectively reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The EICDA is a policy of carbon fee and dividend and is the only policy that over 3,500 economists across the political spectrum fully supported as the best market-driven solution. It will reduce CO2 emissions faster than any other current bill. It is also the least expensive to implement because it uses existing government agencies, resources, and processes.

The EICDA applies a fee at the source of CO2 emissions (mining, drilling, and import); the revenues are placed in a new fund in the U.S. Department of Treasury; and monthly, each household (adults a full share; children under 19 a half share) receives a dividend. The fossil-fuel industry will increase their prices to accommodate for the fines, and the dividend will more than defray those increased expenses to households. There are also financial accommodations for lower-income communities, farmers, and import/export fee mitigations.

Senate Joint Memorial 5 (SJM5) was introduced in January 2021, by Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland). It is a request from Oregon to the POTUS and both Houses of the U.S. Congress to support passing EICDA into law. Early in April 2021, Oregon Senate passed SJM5 with bipartisan support, 23 to 5 including six Republican votes for the resolution. Since then, SJM5 sits inactive in the House Rules Committee.

You can help. Call or email your Oregon District Representative and ask them to support SJM5. Go here to Find Your Legislators: Oregon State Legislature (oregonlegislature.gov). We only have the rest of this month to assure SJM5 is voted on.

Susan Cobb

To the Editor:

Today while traveling on Camp Polk Road I was witness to a [driver of a] smaller vehicle throwing out a lit cigarette.

Could it be people have forgotten what happened last year already? Please, please remind everyone what can happen with just one cigarette, and the lives that could be lost. If a person is going to smoke, please be respectful and take care with your butts.

Thank you.

Diane Brown

 

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