Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Our readers' mailbag includes letters about climate action and Beaverton's city priorities.

Congress should act on climate in 2020

Time for my year-end evaluation of fears and strengths!

My greatest (and most selfish) fear is for the time that the changing climate will affect me directly. It's coming. In my lifetime. Whether it's higher produce prices resulting from droughts and floods or hearing news of major storms pummeling coastlines.

In 2020, I want to take more personal steps for climate solution.

In the Portland area, we may not consider ourselves directly impacted by the changing climate. Nevertheless, we need to ask ourselves how we can influence our local government. The changing climate needs a solution that will decrease carbon emissions with less financial impact.

What about the Energy Innovation Act (H.R. 763) (sponsored by Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL))? The one aspect of H.R. 763's proposed bill on the House floor that I like is that is takes the fees that are assessed from the emitters and turns it right back around to us. Everyone gets dividends! According to Citizens' Climate Lobby, several of the world's premier economists support a carbon fee and dividend, benefiting the environment while not harming the pocket books for the average American; it is "revenue neutral."

With the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, we can have more money and less disasters. This is achievable! Here is what we can do: We need to tell Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici to hear that we want this simple answer to the big question of how to affect climate change. They can use their power to advocate for major legislative action.

My New Year's resolution is to let Blumenauer and Bonamici know that I want them to support H.R. 763. I plan on being part of the climate solution in 2020. And you?

Drew Alcoser, Cedar Mill

Beaverton sends message with plans it approves

I am writing in response to some painful irony I found in the recent "Year in Review" article.

I have really enjoyed reading the Beaverton Valley Times these past few months. One thing I have noticed is the repeated emphasis on the values of inclusion, diversity, and ensuring the rights and welfare of the economically disadvantaged. Every week, these themes are touched on in more than one main story. These are values Beaverton residents and leaders say are important to them.

Read our 2019 Year in Review story, published online Dec. 24, 2019.

Which is why something struck me as odd when I read about the ground breaking ceremony for Life Time Fitness. I read that as a result of Beaverton City Council approval, "Beaverton will also welcome a new, high-end athletic club sometime in late 2021 ... Instead of offering low-cost goods and groceries."

Apparently, the city council voted in 2006 to block a Walmart over traffic concerns, and yet voted to approve "a three-story athletic club, outdoor swimming pool, 619-space parking garage."

Both options will cause congestion, so I am struggling to understand how a club for the affluent will help the poor more than a Walmart, which sells inexpensive goods and provides hundreds of jobs. Does not sound very "woke" to me. Help me out here, Beaverton City Council. Thanks.

Brooks Doherty, Beaverton

A wish for climate action in the New Year

Exercise. Cook more homemade meals. Ah — It's time for resolutions!

My resolutions are to do more yoga and take action on climate. Yoga is entirely under my control; My flexibility will increase the more I do. But I realize that anything I do for climate will be swamped by what the government does or does not do.

So, my New Year's resolution is a New Year's wish: My wish is that my Members of Congress solidify their own resolve to take bold action on climate in a collaborative and bipartisan manner.

The good news is that simple and effective national legislation exists. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, H.R. 763, will drive down emissions 36-38% within 10 years while protecting the poor and middle class from increased costs by returning revenue to Americans via a monthly dividend. Best of all, it has the support of hundreds of businesses, faith groups and nonprofits from across the political spectrum.

Congressional Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici and Kurt Schrader have the power to make climate a bridge issue by supporting H.R. 763. While I work to reduce my carbon footprint, their leadership would lessen my unease about partisan politics and our uncertain future.

Daniela Brod, West Slope

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