Submitted Editorial from Maria Sause
Opposed to foot dragging on Climate Change
The cap-and-trade legislation being proposed by the Oregon Legislature ignores how truly menacing global warming is to the world. If the legislation is approved, it will be nothing more than a weak shadow of what is required to fend off future catastrophic weather events like rising oceans and temperatures incompatible with life on Earth. In fact, the climate policy being considered in Salem will allow the wealthiest polluters to simply buy their right to continue polluting.
We are continually told how the window of opportunity to prevent the above threats, is shrinking much faster than predicted. Why does the state’s climate action plan allow fossil fuel polluters to continue endangering our state? Why is the forestry industry not involved in this plan and yet they’re given the green light to continue large-scale clear-cutting? Clear-cutting is the worst contributor of CO2 to the atmosphere. How can we achieve 100% clean, renewable energy by 2030 at this slow pace?
Why do we have loopholes and exemptions for vehicle emissions and biogas development at “factory” farms? We must order a permanent ban on fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure. We need laws that prohibit clear-cutting of our forests. We must switch to selective cutting of trees leaving the rest of our forests to reach maturity so they can continue to act as a collective organic vacuum cleaner for CO2. If we do little to nothing to change things, we’ll watch airborne carbon turn up the heat in our atmosphere which could very well make our planet uninhabitable. (Suggested reading: WILD CARBON, a synthesis of recent findings, by Mark D. Anderson, PhD.).
Melting polar ice, Australia’s wildfires, methane gas bubbling up from the Earth’s oceans as well as across Siberia will further disrupt our life-giving atmosphere. Humanity has only one chance to get this right. It’s truly life-or-death for all humanity and the animals that inhabit our tiny blue dot in an endless space.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren, and to their children, to leave them a safe world to live on. Oregon’s approach to “Cap-and-Trade” is better than no legislation, but it is not THE solution.
Maria Sause, Lincoln County