Obama is right

In addressing climate change, the president was correct when announcing that we don't have time to hold discussions with the Flat Earth Society. Fully 97 percent of climate scientists agree the planet is warming and humans are contributing. You'd be hard pressed to find that degree of unanimity among scientific experts on any issue.

We have to wean ourselves from fossil fuels now — not tomorrow, not next century. There is no fossil fuel that is acceptable. Clean coal is a myth while natural gas is as bad as coal. The toxic and greenhouse gas consequences of fracking make it totally unacceptable as a means of extracting anything. Meanwhile, the Keystone XL pipeline merely encourages open pit mining for tar sands oil in a manner that makes it the most polluting oil imaginable on the planet. The math tells us this oil must be left in the ground if we wish to maintain a livable planet through the century. There is no wiggle room here — the imperative is clear.

Fossil fuel industry proponents of greed and planetary destruction argue we cannot afford to address climate change as though future generations should be sacrificed for their profit. This view is unacceptable! — Alan Journet, Jacksonville

Too much government

Every season we see bills offered in the Oregon Legislature that spend ever more taxpayer money on pet projects that, if they made sense, the private economy would support in the traditional way either from business loans or from the profits of earlier investments.

Let's limit state spending to what is essential to govern, not to expanding government, which has no natural limit so never stops getting bigger. Just because something sounds good doesn't mean the government should be the one to do it. The flip side is also true. Just because something sounds bad doesn't mean it should be against the law. Don't let government smother civil society with good intentions. — Valerie T. Smullen, Central Point

Thanks for cat food

A few weeks ago I sent a letter asking for donations of cat food for the Jackson County Animal Shelter. The response was overwhelming and the donations poured in. The coffers are filling, and this will definitely tide us over for a while. Since we rely on donations for food, the call may go out again, but your gifts are welcome at any time and always appreciated.

I am proud to live in Southern Oregon and again be reminded of the generosity of our communities. We could not do it without you. — Jane Babbitt, FOTAS volunteer and board member

Thanks for weeding

On Saturday, June 15, bright and early, nearly 50 marvelous community volunteers led by the Jackson County Cooperative Weed Management group converged at our Coyote Trails Nature Center, in the heart of the U.S. Cellular Community Park. For the next several hours they pulled and cut down weeds over a nearly three acre area!

It was so heartwarming to see so many give their time to help make this a place for everyone to enjoy nature. It was so incredibly well organized, it was hard to believe this group didn't work together every day. The volunteers came from all walks of life and truly enjoyed each other's company.

After the weeds were pulled, a stellar lunch was served and we all walked away with really cool T-shirts. Our deepest gratitude for all the volunteers that day and every day since we have taken stewardship of the Nature Center! — Molly and Joe Kreuzman, Coyote Trails Nature Center

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