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Letters, Jan. 22

Status quo worth keeping

I read Seymour Collins’ guest editorial published on Jan. 16. While I respect his opinion and he does make some good points, he missed a key point that we all need to consider: the planned use of eminent domain to clear the way for the pipeline.

Eminent domain can be used for a number of reasons (see Wikipedia for some general information), but it generally requires a “public good” to be achieved. Taking away private property rights to facilitate a foreign company’s transport of our natural resource to overseas markets doesn’t really seem to me to fit that requirement.

If it is tax dollars we seek, a small sales tax that our myriad visitors and tourists will also pay might make more sense. For a state that is so anti-taxes, its seems odd that we would instead allow the trampling of private property rights to achieve similar goals. The writer implies that those against the project are protectors of the status quo. If that means we keep private property rights intact, that’s a status quo worth keeping.

Gary Curtis


Ignore ‘Dismissives’

Yale’s Program on Climate Change Communication demonstrates that Americans fall into one of six categories regarding climate science conclusions: Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful and Dismissive. Fortunately, over 70 percent of us accept science, understand that global warming is happening and agree that humans are responsible.

Meanwhile, the Dismissive category represents less than 10 percent of us. Like the president, they simply reject the science and disregard the obvious evidence, visible to all, that tells us something untoward is happening. No amount of data can persuade Dismissive Americans that we have a problem or that we should reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases.

Among them are an array of Ashland’s malcontented contrarians who accept and promote any absurd conspiracy hoax that passes by just so long as it conforms to their anti-social, anti-government pre-conceptions. They include racists, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, Nazi sympathizers, xenophobes, flat-earthers, and birthers.

Fortunately, they represent a very small proportion of the voting population. This means their stupidity can be ignored and their demonstrable ignorance can be nullified by sane voters at the ballot box.

Regrettably, the Dismissives include Oregonians who oppose our state enacting meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction policies. We should ignore them and demand meaningful action.

Trisha Vigil


Oregon hypocrisy?

During her inauguration speech, Gov. Kate Brown highlighted her commitment to protecting the environment and fighting climate change. This was ironic since various state departments are currently assessing permit applications for the Jordan Cove pipeline and terminal project.

At a Jan. 8 public hearing on Jordan Cove, I testified against the project on behalf of myself and 74 other residents of Medford. Among other concerns, I highlighted the extreme danger of the project to public health and safety.

Last month, Oregon released its revised Cascadia Earthquake Playbook, laying out the likely catastrophic impacts from an overdue massive earthquake. It would be incredibly hypocritical for the state to issue dire warnings on the likely earthquake loss of thousands of citizens and major infrastructure systems, only to then turn around and greenlight an inherently dangerous gas pipeline and LNG terminal in the Cascadia impact zone, particularly the tsunami zone in Coos Bay.

As for climate change, the Jordan Cove operation would quickly become a huge emitter of greenhouse gases, obliterating Oregon’s past leadership on climate change.

So will the state be hypocritical and approve Jordan Cove or continue to protect its citizens and the environment? Governor Brown?

Don Barry


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