It's our last collection of readers' letters of 2020! We await your letters in the New Year.

Let's do more to protect all life

As my alarm goes off once or twice, I eventually need to use the bathroom to start my day, following a good teeth brush, to then taking my medication.

At this rate, my time flies by, because the water I consumed to flush, to brush and a good 6-8 oz glass with my medication is at the source of a gentle push of an object in a certain direction. Blows my mind constantly.

That is why I practice daily conscious gratitude for water — because it is a precious commodity for my life. Therefore, it is a precious commodity for all life: the animal, plant, fungi, protists, archaebacteria and eubacteria kingdoms.

Toxic tides from nutrient runoff are rising. The concerning future affects us all because the quality of water is corrupt from degrading pollutants. All aspects of the water cycle are at stake. Emerging contaminants from our personal care and pharmaceuticals products cause a direct decrease in photosynthesis when they enter the water system. At the minimal scale, we all interact with the pollutants entering the water system from flushing the toilet, taking a shower, maybe swimming — but at the temporal scale, there is a significant decline of freshwater species due to habitat loss deterioration from our products.

We receive an immense amount of benefits from other species. We enjoy food, drugs, ecological benefits, health benefits, cultural benefits, yet we are destroying the systems, especially the water system, that are keeping them and us alive.

It is time to ascend and start giving a damn about how this equal resource is not so equal. Research which ingredients are pollutants and endocrine disruptors. Sulfates, parabens and oxybenzone are dangerous ones, to start. Maybe challenge friends and family to see how much trash collectively you can pick up in simply five minutes.

Karsen Buck, Forest Grove

A short letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. President,

Our election is how our democracy works. Our democracy has ruined your bid to continue your autocracy. Your response to our election speaks volumes about your lack of character.

Everyone now knows that you care more about yourself than our citizens. May you never make autocracy great again.

Michael Kingsley, Beaverton

Different perspective on 'King of the Trees'

I was saddened by the headline story about the Royal House in Portland's West Hills (published Dec. 17, 2020).

This award-winning house was built in an undisturbed? wooded area. Very wealthy people who are concerned about escaping COVID-19 left the big city and purchased this house for $2.55 million so they could enjoy the natural setting.

Read our story, first published online Nov. 24, 2020, on the Royal House.

Unfortunately, we all continue to ignore the fact that such undisturbed areas are becoming less available for birds and other wildlife. Since 1970, 3 billion birds have disappeared in the United States, and habitat loss is one of the main reasons.

When people move into the woods, they are coming and going and bringing their noise and lights and other disturbances with them, making those areas extremely unlikely to ever be used again by nesting native birds. From 50% to 75% of Earth's ice-free land has been converted to human use and can no longer be considered wild. With continued population growth and development, it isn't coming back.

What? makes this story even more disturbing is that the same architects are building nine more houses on nearby lots. Clearly, the award-winning architects have not considered the extreme? damage they plan for these natural areas, but have likely considered the extreme profits that await them with this destruction. They fool themselves with their language that they are building? "something that really integrates into the forest without displacing much of the forest area."

Clearly, in our culture, money talks, but nature has no voice. If the wildlife that? requires undisturbed areas to survive had a voice, they would post "Keep Out."

I hope the newspaper's next story on King of the Trees will be about the owls and hawks that rely on those trees for their survival.?

Candice Guth, Portland

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