Feik: Stand up for our future
Thank you, Pamplin Media Group editorialists. Instead of printing letters to editors in reaction to former legislator Charles Starr's opinion that carbon emissions are good for the economy and the environment, you wrote your opinion titled "Winter doesn't mean the planet isn't warming."
I have made public comment before the Washington County commissioners, the Forest Grove city councilors, and have had published op-ed pieces about how 98 percent of non-biased climatologists/scientists say we have about 12 years to turn the warming of the planet around or our planet and all humans and life on it will be living on a very inhospitable home — our Mother Earth.
I helped form the Forest Grove City Sustainability Commission and later became its chair, but I resigned because many of the activities — like the plastic bad ban, the reduction in backyard burning — all seemed to help, but in the long run won't slow down the accelerating rate of climate disaster. The city and Sustainability Commission hired a Pacific University student as an intern and she did a very thorough greenhouse gas study that was supposed to be reviewed on a regular basis. Sadly to say, it ended up being shelved.
So, what can you do? Please support my efforts to convince the Washington County commissioners to support the Clean Energy Jobs bill, and to encourage our state representatives to eliminate the proposed exemption to Intel's emitting of fluorocarbons, a powerful greenhouse gas generated as a byproduct of their semiconductor manufacturing, for five years. For 35 years, Intel emitted fluorides from its facilities in reportable amounts, but never reported them to the Department of Environmental Quality. The DEQ finally realized it and fined Intel $143,000 for doing so (part of the fine was for Intel's building the two massive manufacturing facilities in Hillsboro without a valid construction permit).
Read Charles Starr's commentary arguing against seeing carbon dioxide emissions as dangerous, published Jan. 30, 2019.
Intel is currently permitted to emit 819,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year, which calculates to 1.5 tons per minute. The two natural gas-fired electricity-producing plants in Boardman emit about the same amount per year. The coal-fired plant produces about 2 million tons per year.
Please support the 21 youth who are suing the federal government over climate change disaster. Ten of those youth are from Oregon: six from Eugene, two from Beaverton and two from other parts of Oregon. They won three times in federal court (the federal government and the fossil fuel industry are the codefendants) and were scheduled to go to trial in federal court in Eugene Oct. 29, 2018, but one week before the trial, President Trump convinced his legal team to file another appeal.
Please Google "Meet the Youth Plaintiffs — Our Children's Trust," a youth-driven, global climate recovery campaign to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere. And consider contributing to their legal/travel expenses.
For our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, please take action now — speak out, write letters, lobby your city councilor, county commissioners, state and federal legislators, and talk with your neighbors, relatives and friends. The stakes are too high to not do so now!
Dale Feik is a Forest Grove resident.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this commentary contained a typographic error regarding the number of years left for climate action. The author intended to write that there are about 12 years left. The commentary has been corrected.
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