Letters: For planet's sake, support Green New Deal
At 19 years old, when I look to the future, my first thought is that there might not be much of one.
I see the impacts of climate change taking place already — fires took the homes of my family members and their neighbors, I was choked by smog on my bike rides home from work last summer, there are thousands of people either dead or displaced due to droughts, hurricanes and war enacted by our thirst for fossil fuels ... the list goes on.
The United Nations says we have about 12 years to make major behavioral changes before the critical tipping point. I am terrified, but I have hope because of the Green New Deal and the momentum it is gaining.
The Green New Deal outlines a plan for major socioeconomic change — replacing the fossil fuel industry with a green energy infrastructure that creates jobs for everyone and offers reparations to the communities most affected, and much more.
The Green New Deal is what we need and any presidential candidate who wants my vote or the votes of anyone else my age, growing up in a time of climate crisis, needs to support U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Sen. Ed Markey's resolution.
Don't compare burglary to horrors of assault
I found myself seriously troubled by a recent My View ("Salem Dems too lenient on property crime," Feb. 26) linking and comparing burglary to rape and sexual assault.
Really? The most heinous personal physical assault short of murder compared to property loss? I've had my house burglarized, and yes, it did feel like a personal invasion, but nothing like what I'd imagine a rape or sexual assault victim would feel.
Phrases like "lawmakers obsessed with lingering hugs and suggestive comments" and "driving a colleague out of office for hugging and touching her," ring glaringly dismissive.
Comparing property crime to rape and sexual assault is egregious at best, and a bizarre and convoluted path to follow in an attempt to discredit attempts at criminal justice reform in the realm of property crime.
Give us tools to reuse, repair electronics
A bill concerning Oregonian's ability to repair and reuse electronics is in committee.
The bill, called Right to Repair, would make manufacturers release information like tools, manuals and parts which are crucial for independent tech repair companies.
If for no other reason than waste production, this is a major problem. As a student, I understand the value that technology can add to the ease of daily life. However, I also know how easily products can malfunction and need replacing. One company even went so far as to glue the battery in place which makes repairs nearly impossible.
Passing this bill would be a major step in making it easier for Oregonians to repair and reuse electronics. I urge state lawmakers to support the interests of constituents and small businesses rather than large out of state corporations and pass right to repair.
Carbon bill best way to invest in our future
The science is clear: Climate change is a crisis, one that deserves to be treated seriously and without compromise.
When this Legislature takes action on the defining crisis of our times, as they are poised to do with House Bill 2020 (also referred to as "cap and invest"), Oregonians present and future deserve a bill that accomplishes its professed goals, with minimal free allowances and offsets and an aggressive target for curbing emissions.
HB 2020 is, at its core, a referendum on what kind of state we want to be. Are we content to drag our heels on climate action, enabling old, dirty technologies to pollute our air, sicken our citizens, and drive the climate crisis ever forward? Or can we find the leadership to take a bold step forward for our state's forests, farms, families, and future and play our part in solving this problem?
It's often said that Oregon has the opportunity to be a model for the country and the world in enacting this program. The Legislature must not squander that opportunity, and should pass a strong, visionary bill to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in a better and brighter future for our state.
More traffic lanes? Maybe just more traffic
After sitting in traffic for over an hour on my way back to Portland from my job as a substitute teacher in Hillsboro, I'm almost tempted to believe that the Oregon Department of Transportation's plan to invest $450 million in a 1.8-lane highway expansion sounds like a good idea.
Luckily, I spent the day teaching students about the importance of research and data and how our notions of what is "common sense" are not always rooted in reality.
Highway expansion, it turns out, is one of those instances. More lanes, it seems, should ease the flow of traffic.
In reality, however, highway expansion has never improved traffic conditions — what we see every time, instead, is an influx of vehicles on the road, all stuck in the same mind-numbing, infuriating gridlock.
With 40 percent of Portland's carbon emissions flowing from transportation, fueling an increase that has been proven ineffective to remedy traffic woes in the midst of a full blow climate crisis seems like a monumentally bad idea.
ODOT should be investing in ramping up public transportation and other green infrastructure — this is Portland, not Los Angeles.
Head to nomorefreewayspdx.com before April 1 to leave a public comment and tell ODOT to oppose the Rose Quarter Highway Expansion and invest the money where it's needed.