Letters, Oct. 4
Protect climate refugees
As sea levels rise and lands become arid, people are losing their homes to climate disaster. We must help. The Climate Displaced Persons Act (H.R. 2826 and S.B. 1335) provides assistance to those abroad who lost their home to climate change, and recognizes a new type of refugee, the climate refugee.
As a Peace Corps volunteer I worked with volunteers across the world. Nowhere is the impact of climate change more profound than Kiribati, an island nation in the heart of the Pacific that is being slowly consumed by sea level rise. Kiribati has done little to contribute to climate change, but now its towns are submerged in advancing tides. The Kiribati people realize that they must someday leave their homes. They wish to immigrate with dignity.
Passing the Climate Displaced Persons Act provides climate refugees with disaster mitigation aid and resettlement options. Congress must also pass legislation to address climate change, such as carbon pricing. Without climate legislation, increased drought and smoke could force us in the Rogue Valley to migrate as well.
Urge Sen. Ron Wyden, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Cliff Bentz to recognize climate refugees and enact the Climate Displaced Persons Act.
Support for mandates
We have tried the “let the people decide and they will do the right thing” method of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and that has led to a prolonged economic and health crisis. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners was partly to blame for this failure, as they have consistently refused to encourage (much less mandate) healthy behaviors like mask wearing, social distancing and vaccinations.
The Mail Tribune article about the Board of Commissioners declaring a state of emergency to try to thwart the state level COVID-19 mandates quoted Commissioner Colleen Roberts as saying, “most of the public input has been against the governor’s order.” This does not surprise me, as most people only contact their local officials when they are against something.
Since Commissioner Roberts implies that they govern by listening to the squeaky wheel, I suggest that anyone who would like to end this pandemic, even if that requires mandating safe behavior, send an email to the board at BoC-CAO_Admin@jacksoncounty.org.