Student athletes at risk
Once again, it's very hot and smoky and we're seeing daily warnings in the news about how unhealthy this is. Fine particulates get deep into one's lungs — and don't come out — increasing the risk of lifelong respiratory disease.
And once again, we're seeing the spectacle of school athletes vigorously working out and running outside in these unhealthful conditions. This is a recurring problem and should stop. Workouts should be in indoor gyms. Runs perhaps could take place in school hallways during off hours, or perhaps by arrangement at the mall?
Whatever the solution, what we don't need is a policy for just one school or one year. Leaving the matter to individual coaches clearly isn't the answer because they are all under pressure to "perform." We need a permanent and coordinated multi-district policy with all schools and school districts accountable to an advisory put out by Jackson County Public Health.
The Health Department should do all they can to protect our student athletes' health. Coaches, principals and school superintendents repeatedly have proved unequal to the task.
An awesome job
I want to thank all those tree huggers who for years have sued everyone to prevent thinning of the forests. You've done an awesome job saving all the trees for all the little animals who live there.
Unfortunately you have no idea how thinning trees actually makes a forest healthier. Too many trees choke off others, especially in times of drought. Well, you can pat yourselves on the back as Mother Nature takes over and burns them all down.
Make sure you still sue them to prevent harvesting anything from these fires because ladder fuel does a great job for the fires next year that are sure to come.
Heed the science
Our hearts and thoughts go out to those in Texas suffering from Hurricane Harvey.
Tropical rotating storms — hurricanes to us, typhoons and cyclones elsewhere — are not a mystery. They occur in tropical zones between 10 and 20 degrees North and South when ocean temperatures exceed 82 degrees F. They derive their energy from the increasing moisture in the air above the warming oceans. The damage caused by hurricanes results from their energy content, the ocean level and the surge they generate.
The evidence indicates clearly that global warming is influencing hurricanes. While it may not be increasing the frequency of hurricanes, it is likely increasing their intensity and the amount of rainfall they produce. Meanwhile, as warming expands oceans and melts land-based icepacks, ocean levels are rising. The result is higher storm surges that cause far greater flooding. Recall Hurricane Sandy flooding the New York subway, an outcome thought preposterous just a few short years ago.
As global warming continues unabated, the threat of ever-stronger hurricanes is ignored at our peril. It is unconscionable that our president should reject the science and commit Americans to ever more frequent deaths and disasters. We should not tolerate this future.
Kathy Conway, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now