Letters to the Editor for Jan. 8, 2020

Can’t prepare for what we don’t acknowledge

We all know that a problem cannot be addressed until it is agreed that it exists in the first place.

We know there is a movement afoot in Florence to get the city to acknowledge the problem of climate change.

We know that at the coastal caucus, hosted here last summer, the problem was acknowledged by businesses dealing in seafood talking about the warming ocean and how it’s hurting their sources of seafood.

We know that people familiar with the climate here have written Letters to the Editor reporting their observations that there is less snow, and less rain across Oregon, and that temperatures appear higher.  These letter writers express concern about the consequences of these climatic changes in terms of our forests, our orchards and our other land-based industries.

We know that the city of Florence officially addresses the potential of a tsunami, with signage on the roadways, emergency preparedness trainings and more.

What we don’t know is what is at stake for city counselors who carry and execute the town’s vision of what may be possible, and if they will acknowledge this problem so its existence can become part of work plans and projects moving forward.

We don’t know what is keeping the the city council of the City in Motion from acknowledging that climate change, the climate crisis or whatever you want to call it is really happening.

If we acknowledge the problem, we can incorporate solution-based strategies into our employment, land use, housing, public health and other plans.

I hope the councilors will ponder, individually and as a group, the answer to what is making it so hard for them to officially acknowledge that there is a climate crisis affecting our town and our region.

The consequences of decisions we make here and now will have lasting effects on everyone in this community, regardless of gender, age, political persuasion, socioeconomic status or any other factor.

And by the way, at a meeting I attended recently, it was said that mayors and city councils up and down the coast are talking about climate change and how to respond and plan ahead.

The response from someone in the audience shouted, “Not in Florence.”

—Ivy Medow


Our fate depends on our stewardship of the Earth

“Betelgeuse,” the red supergiant star in the shoulder of the Orion constellation is fading. Scientists believe a possible reason is that it may explode into a supernova that would be visible in the daytime sky for weeks — sometime in the next 100,000 years.

But I hope it happens soon.

I hope that the people of Earth will look up at that amazing light in the sky and realize that we — all of us, rich or poor, weak or powerful — are astronauts in a spaceship hurtling through space on a journey that began with forces of physics and gravity billions of years ago.

And it’s a path over which we have no control whatsoever.

I hope that the people of Earth will realize that the only control we have over our journey is our environment — that the fate of all humanity depends on maintaining clean air to breathe, pure water to drink and unpolluted soil in which to grow food.

I hope that world leaders and corporate powers will look at the heavens and comprehend that we have been poor stewards of our spacecraft and take measures to undo the harm we have done in the last century.

I hope that if Betelgeuse waits to supernova for 100,000 years, there will still be people on the Earth who will look up in awe and perhaps gratitude for those in the 21st century who saved the spacecraft Earth and made it possible for them to experience that amazing event in the universe.

—Bill McDougle



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