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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 10

Whose bottom line?

Evidence strongly indicates human-induced global climate change is real and the unprecedented rate of warming is tied directly to our dumping of greenhouse gases like CO2 into the atmosphere. As a result, we are experiencing many more severe storms, droughts, fires and challenges to agricultural production.

Like it or not, developed countries depend on a growing economy to fund "progress" and perceived well-being. Profit and the bottom line are our artificial gauges for “success.” Society suffers when a commonly owned resource such as our atmosphere receives waste such as CO2 from sources that elect not to pay the real cost of proper disposal.

The problem is huge and complex. Solutions must come in many diverse ways. One way to acknowledge the economic factor involved is by charging to dump waste greenhouse gases into the atmosphere like we do with solid waste in landfills.

The tax on carbon emissions, so roundly criticized by the Oregonian editorial reprinted Sept. 26, could help reduce the societal cost of business impacts. It would recognize the importance of our atmosphere to all of us and begin to address the most important environmental issue of our time. Whose bottom line is more important?

Eric Dittmer, Medford

Children with guns

The Sept. 28 MT carried a picture of a little girl smiling as she proudly displayed a turkey that she had killed. Thanks to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, children as young as 9 can go out and shoot the animal of their choice without even passing a hunter education class.

The cutoff age used to be 12, but was lowered to 9 in hopes of swelling the dwindling ranks of hunters. The little girl in the picture killed a buck when she was just 9 years old. Another little girl of the same age recently killed a man because she was given a gun she could not control — her parents had paid $200 so their family could enjoy this “experience,” and now that little girl has to live with the results for the rest of her life!

Children should not be the target of government-sponsored indoctrination into a gun culture that practically makes killing a family value. Far better to teach children that each life is unique and valuable and should be respected as such. I only hope Brooke, the smiling child with the rifle, really understands the significance of taking a life just for “fun.” 

Susan Bauer, Talent

Oregon should lead

In response to “Other Views: Carbon tax, the Cover Oregon of tax reform” (Sept. 26), The Oregonian editorial board’s cavalier dismissal of a carbon tax is surprisingly unburdened by information.

Carbon pricing has already benefited the economies of British Colombia, Sweden, Ireland and Australia, and the best available research (regional and national REMI) indicates that Oregon would be an even bigger winner. The reason is obvious: Oregon is not a producer of fossil fuels, so an incentive to abate consumption would keep money inside our communities and give local industries a boost.

The concern for low income households is well taken, but organizations such as the Citizens Climate Lobby and Oregon Climate have a solution: return the revenue as an annual dividend, just like Alaska does. A reasonable carbon tax would yield more than $1,000 per year for each voter: the lowest income two-thirds of us would get more money back than we’d pay in additional taxes. The idea is not to fix global warming by tempering our meager contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, but to lead the country with a progressive, free-market climate policy that would actually benefit our economy.

Camila Thorndike, Ashland

Congrats to Ashland

Your efforts to use water wisely these past several months have brought us through the worst drought summer in recent memory with a full reservoir and without mandatory water curtailment.

Typical summer water use by our community is upwards of 6.5 million gallons per day. This summer, despite the heat and drought conditions, our community reduced its water use to an average of 4.5 million gallons per day. That’s 2 million gallons of water a day that was not used on irrigating our lawns and shrubs, washing our cars and sidewalks and all the other things we often use water for during the summer.

You heard the call to action: “Use Water Wisely” and you did. As a result, the city never had to initiate mandatory water curtailment.

It’s the mark of a great community that people can come together for a common purpose under the most adverse circumstances and triumph over those circumstances. That’s the story of Ashland’s drought in a nutshell! We proved again why Ashland is so special.

Thank you, Ashland. Please continue to use water wisely!

Mayor John Stromberg and City Administrator Dave Kanner, city of Ashland

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 10