It’s hard to act when no one agrees on the truth


(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on this and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

June 3, 2020 — I was glad to have a chance to ask for help recently in approaching the Florence City Council about the facts of Climate Change and how it is impacting all our lives.

Unfortunately, the person I asked said he didn’t think, if he were to reach out, that I would get the results I sought. 

I asked him to explain.

He cited his background in engineering and mentioned his brothers have worked for NASA, and that they all agree that climate change is some kind of a left-wing political attempt at grabbing power, attention and resources.

The conversation was taking place in the Let’s Talk About Florence Oregon Facebook group, and I was intrigued. So, I pursued more information and asked this man how he explains the warming and acidifying oceans, and how he interprets NASA’s observations from space that — during recent COVID inspired inactivity — the Himalayas and China were visible from space for the first time in years (and the bottom of Lake Michigan was also observed).

The person I was communicating with was Jay Bozievich, and I’m sure he gotten busy with his duties as a commissioner for Lane County, because I never heard another word from him about it.

So I want to ask: 

Are these people lying?

Is NASA lying?

Was Mark Wiegardt, owner of Whiskey Creek Oyster Hatchery in Tillamook, lying when he presented his story about how acidification of the sea has impacted his livelihood at the Coastal Caucus last summer?  

Was Laura Anderson, the owner of Local Ocean Seafood in Newport, lying when she spoke on the same panel about how her business has been impacted by Climate Change?

Is Al Pazar, owner of the Krab Kettle on Highway 101 here in Florence, trying to “make a power grab” in working collaboratively with others to compile and present research gathered on his research vessel Pacific Surveyor?

The report “The Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia” was presented to the Legislature and Ocean Policy Advisory Council in 2018.

Did you know that 174 people have signed a petition prepared by local climate activist Mike Allen?  The petition simply asks the Florence City Council to take climate change seriously. 

Those signators’ reasons for signing range from concerns about public health and fears about the viability of the earth if we keep on doing the same old thing, to preserving the dunes and other natural treasures which underpin the livelihood of this town.

If the city council were to acknowledge the situation, they could join other Oregon towns to create new and unique opportunities for developing solutions. Our best practices might impact towns in other parts of the region or the nation.

It’s worth noting that with 184 signatures from the public — 10 more than Mike Allen’s petition — the city council planned to consider what actions to take to restrict individuals’ ability to help indigent panhandlers.

That conversation’s been tabled for now, and as the town re-opens, reconvenes and springs back to life, it seems like a good time to prioritize all of what Florence is concerned about.

Including the climate.

The time for action is now.

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