Care about environment? Vote for Democrats this year
Global warming and climate change are caused by more and more heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere. According to Wikipedia, the current concentration of this greenhouse gas is the highest in the past 800,000 years and likely the highest in the past 20 million years.
This man-made pollution results from the burning of fossil fuels beginning with the start of the industrial revolution. It is the foundation for projections by climate scientists of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events. These events are already occurring here and around the world, causing widespread damage and hardship. They include both floods and droughts, tornadoes and hurricanes, fires, melting glaciers and rising sea levels.
These scientific facts are widely recognized and accepted. The only reason they have become a political issue (the Herald's editorial of July 25) is that most Republican leaders deny their existence.
A striking example is Republican Rick Scott, the governor of low-lying Florida, directly endangered by rising sea levels. In May, Scott repeatedly stonewalled questions about the threat of global warming by declaring, "I'm not a scientist."
We have that same willful ignorance here in Oregon, where Republican candidates are advocating the extraction and burning of even more fossil fuels.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Dennis Richardson criticizes Governor Kitzhaber for opposing coal exports, saying "Coal is a fact of life, and exporting coal is a fact of life." (Record-Courier, June 26).
Republican Representative Greg Walden advocates increased energy production beneath federally-owned lands, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring crude oil to the United States from Canada's tar sands, and increased exports of natural gas (his newsletter, June 26).
And Republican Senate candidate Monica Wehby opposes regulation of greenhouse emissions by the Environmental Protection Agency, while also urging approval of the Keystone XL pipeline (Oregonian, July 20 and July 21).
We can't vote in Florida, but we sure can vote in Oregon. If you care about the environmental health of our country and of Spaceship Earth, you will strongly support and vote for Governor John Kitzhaber, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Democratic Congressional candidate Aelea Christofferson this November.