Letters to the Editor, Sept. 20

The water is warming

Legend suggests that frogs will swim with blissful ignorance in a warming pot until cooked. Humans shouldn't exhibit the same behavior even if half our population (those born after 1985) have only known a warming world. But when we ignore the warnings of climate scientists around the world that is just what we are doing. However, if we used our brains:

We would stop feeding the global warming fire with continued fossil fuel consumption.

We would demand that our elected representatives work to stop greenhouse gas emissions that are spewing ever faster and more dangerously into our atmosphere.

We would demand they tax the worst polluters; that they stop giving huge subsidies to polluters, and that they work for us, instead of the Fossil Fuel Industries.

Interestingly, PricewaterhouseCoopers recently projected economic collapse in 20 years if we fail to address climate change; obviously even staid accountants now understand we are destroying our world.

Our votes are critical. Polluters like Koch Industries are purchasing representatives willing to destroy our planet with their votes. And we need to understand that political ads carping about taxes and government regulation are the siren song of the polluters destroying our world for one last red-hot shekel.

Lee Lull, Talent

Will Washington help?

Will Washington help us here in Southern Oregon with the impact of climate disruption? We have members of the Washington establishment that still think the earth is flat (Cruz, Bush, Ryan, Perry, Paul, Pense), that climate chaos does not exist (Rubio, Huckabee), that used to acknowledge that climate change exists, but now deny it (Christie, Kasich), and others who avoid judgment (Jindal, Walker). So, no help from Washington.

Leaders at all levels of government have an ethical responsibility to understand the science of climate change. Uninformed ignorance does not justify inaction. We should ask office holders or wannabes: From where do they get information that informs their opinions? Why do they defend corporations that continue to emit dangerous levels of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere threatening us, our kids, and grand-kids?

We cannot afford to wait total scientific agreement because some politically motivated deniers will always exist. If we wait we will soon find it's too late to prevent human induced climate change devastation.

Concerned voters should attend the Candidate Forum on Clean Energy and Climate Change , Oct. 8, 6:30-8pm in the SOU/RCC Higher Education Center, Medford.

Louise Shawkat, Ashland

Lawmakers must act

While individual action to address global warming and its consequences is a necessary response by all of us, and the impact can be immense, it is certainly not enough. The heavy lifting has to be undertaken by our lawmakers, from the local level to the national level.

If climate disruption continues unchecked, as it has been so far, the evidence tells us that the consequences of global warming will impact us all. It will worsen our health and our crime rate. It will devastate our natural, agricultural, and forestry systems and compromise the livability of our region and planet for our descendants.

Elected leaders and legislators have a key role to play in leading our communities to sane policies. They should encourage both preparation for climate change consequences and reduction of our contribution to it.

As election season approaches, we should ask candidates what they will do to help us both prepare for the inevitable consequences of global warming and slow its progress. We can ask them on Oct. 8 at the candidates' forum at SOU/RCC in Medford. Future generations cannot afford our electing candidates who deny science.

Ken Deveney, Ashland

Together, we can

Under the influence of a leadership vehemently denying science, the House has voted 217 times against clean air, the environment and addressing climate change. They even reject proposals that would boost the economy.

The data indicating our regional warming, increasing heat waves, decreasing snowfall, extended drought and worsening wildfires cannot be ignored. Alone, we cannot solve these problems, but collectively, through action of our representatives at local, county, state, and national levels, we can. It is not too late to protect our region and planet for future generations, but absent our urgent action, it will be. One cannot be too alarmist on what the science tells us.

Not only can governments encourage rational preparation for the inevitable changes, but only governments can develop the kind of programs that will reduce our contribution to the problem. As Mahatma Ghandi urged; we should be the change we wish to see in the world. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Candidates for all representative levels must be judged in term of their attitude towards global warming. Those who deny the evidence or refuse to act, should not be supported by anyone with a concern for their children and grandchildren.

Alan Journet, PhD, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

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