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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 24

Elect Dotterrer

I fear that Senator Bates does not understand much about the demographics of the district that he represents when he believes success or failure in Oregon is based on your party affiliation or which community you choose to live in.

His reasons for why we lag the nation and lag Oregon in coming out of the recent recession would be laughable, but poverty is no joke and not being able to find a job is no fun. It is time that we pull together to elect a person who will get something done and help grow the economy of Jackson County. Dave Dotterrer will get the job done.

Fred A. Zerull Jr., Jacksonville

Ad not negative

William Coyne writes (Sept. 17 letters) that Colonel Dotterrer broke his word by releasing a negative ad about his opponent. Excuse me? I've seen the ad several times, and it says nothing negative about Dr. Bates. It merely points that he voted against tax breaks for small businesses while voting for similar breaks for big businesses up north. Pointing out an incumbent's voting record is not in any way "going negative."

John F. Howard, retired U.S. Navy commander, Medford

Will Washington help?

Will Washington help us here in Southern Oregon with the impact of climate disruption? We have members of the Washington establishment that still think the earth is flat (Cruz, Bush, Ryan, Perry, Paul, Pense), that climate chaos does not exist (Rubio, Huckabee), that used to acknowledge that climate change exists, but now deny it (Christie, Kasich), and others who avoid judgment (Jindal, Walker). So, no help from Washington.

Leaders at all levels of government have an ethical responsibility to understand the science of climate change. Uninformed ignorance does not justify inaction. We should ask officeholders or wannabes: From where do they get information that informs their opinions? Why do they defend corporations that continue to emit dangerous levels of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, threatening us, our kids and grand-kids?

We cannot afford to wait for total scientific agreement because some politically motivated deniers will always exist. If we wait, we will soon find it's too late to prevent human-induced climate change devastation.

Concerned voters should attend the Candidate Forum on Clean Energy and Climate Change, 6:30-8 p.m., Oct. 8, at the SOU/RCC Higher Education Center, Medford.

Louise Shawkat, Ashland

Lawmakers must act

Burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere while carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has a warming effect. These realities are beyond question. And exactly where greenhouse gases are released makes no difference; they still contribute to global warming.

Since there is no such thing as carbon-free coal, we must minimize coal combustion. Exporting our coal might make coal executives wealthy, but it makes the climate condition worse.

Although burning natural gas emits less carbon dioxide than coal, extensive natural gas leaks occur between source and sink. Furthermore, when natural gas is extracted through hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process introduces cancer-causing toxins into our environment. This is permitted only because Vice President Cheney’s "Halliburton loophole" in the 2005 energy bill exempts fracking from clean water rules.

And methane (natural gas) has 23 times the warming impact of carbon dioxide. Because the extraction and export of natural gas is doubly damaging, we should reject the Lakeview-to-Coos Bay Pacific Gas Connector.

Finally, to control greenhouse gas emissions we could adopt a "polluter pays" principle, demanding a fee for the greenhouse gas composition of extracted fuels.

Ken Deveney, Ashland

Letters to the Editor, Sept. 24