Letters: Climate change will cost Oregon millions
State Rep. David Brock Smith wrote a letter to the editor saying, "HB 2020 will devastate Oregon families, their communities and the businesses that support them."
He claimed Oregonians contribute only 0.14 percent of carbon emissions and said the director of DEQ described that as "minuscule."
Oregonians represent 0.055 percent of the world's population. If Oregonians emit 0.14 percent of the world's carbon, they emit over 2.5 times as much carbon as the rest of the world per capita. Yet he said nothing about this.
Also, he said nothing about the cost to Oregonians that will occur. A study in the journal Nature reported that a global rise of 0.5 degrees centigrade above the target of 1.5 degrees C, would cost an extra $20 trillion in gross domestic product by 2100, a loss of about $42.66 billion for Oregon.
Neither did he mention the lives that would be lost. A study by the Climate Impact Lab states, "by the year 2099, even with economic growth and adaptation, 1.5 million more people will die each year around the world because of increased heat. By comparison, 1.25 million people died in 2013 in all traffic accidents world-wide."
How much are 1.5 million lives lost per year due to increased heat worth?
Former DA's ideas on crime not universal
On Feb. 26, the Portland Tribune published an op-ed by former Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis. This op-ed speaks to the personal views of Marquis, but it most certainly does not represent the views of the deputy district attorneys from Multnomah County that we, the Multnomah County Prosecuting Attorney's Association, represent.
For us, there is no type of crime victim who is more important than another. All victims have a right to be heard and respected, regardless of whether they have suffered inappropriate touching, theft or any other offense.
Unwanted touching is never acceptable, and the fact that a victim also is a lawmaker in no way lessens that harm; to imply otherwise is disrespectful of the law and the rights of victims including those who work in our Capitol. Indeed, our members spend their entire careers trying to serve the law and victims with dignity, professionalism and compassion.
Similarly, to equate criminal justice reform efforts with disregard for the trauma experienced by victims of crimes like rape and burglary not only disrespects the experiences of those who have been victims of sexual offenses, but also inaccurately portrays the often-deep collaboration underlying these efforts.
Criminal justice reform is never perfect, and no criminal sentencing structure is without criticism. Constructive criticism of our criminal justice system should be encouraged, but personal attacks and inflammatory language denigrating the participants in that system — including lawmakers — have no place in that conversation.
We work long, hard hours to try to ensure public safety and protect the rights and voices of crime victims. Josh Marquis' comments do not embody the work we do, and the positions expressed in his op-ed are not shared by the MCPAA.
Multnomah County Prosecuting Attorneys Association
Multnomah people's fate not well known
I attended a grade school with the same name as our town, Multnomah.
My teachers taught me that the Multnomah people were a great Indian nation that lived where the Willamette River drains into the Columbia River. They even showed me a picture of Chief Multnomah, a proud and impressive-looking warrior with a square chin, high cheekbones, copper skin and a colorful headdress.
But my teachers were hesitant to say much more about these Indians.
Consequently, the true story of these people was just conjured up in my youthful imagination. Then, recently, I stumbled upon some tragic information about these people.
The Multnomah Indians were a large band of Chinooks that could neither read nor write, so their history was passed down in the oral tradition around the campfires. There were many Multnomah villages that occupied the banks of rivers, sloughs and waterways of the lower Columbia as far north as Canada, south to the Willamette Falls, east to Cascade Falls and west to St. Helens.
Their main village, Cathlapotle, was on or near Sauvie Island. This cluster of large cedar lodges was the home of 3,500 people year-round and as many as 10,000 during the harvest seasons.
Some historians believe that the Multnomah people were the largest tribe of settled Indians in all of America.
Then tragedy struck. In 1830, a disease, generally thought to be malaria, devastated the Multnomah villages. Within a few years the village of Cathlapotle was totally abandoned.
By 1834, the Multnomah people had nearly been wiped out due to this unseen and unforgiving epidemic. By 1910, with only a handful of Multnomahs still alive, the remaining people were placed on a reservation where they all soon died out.
Now I understand my teacher's hesitation. This true story of the Multnomah people would have been a devastating tale for a young "cowboy" like myself.
Pass new law limiting big campaign donations
The candidates in the most recent gubernatorial election raised a combined $21 million to run their campaigns.
To her credit, Gov. Kate Brown's goal in capping the amount individual donors can give is important. However, that alone is not enough to change the way such races are ran and won.
Both GOP nominee state Rep. Knute Buehler and Gov. Brown's campaigns received only 7 percent of their funds from small donors. Thus they both heavily relied on funds from big, single donors and out-of-state contributions.
In order to move to a more representative system, state legislators need to pass small-donor elections, which would give candidates without access to big donors the ability to raise enough money to run a viable campaign.
Passing this bill would move one step closer toward creating the representative and responsive democracy that Oregonians deserve.
Youth crusade shows
signs for better future
This is important: "I'll bet the dinosaurs thought they had time, too. … What's the point of learning facts if our leaders ignore them? … The Earth isn't dying, she's being killed. … Planet over profit. … I'd like a future."
These are some of the signs carried by young activists on Friday, March 15, as part of the Global Youth Climate Strike.
I am proud to have been among the thousands of students who marched on City Hall in Portland to demand our right to climate justice. We turned out in great numbers and marched in unity, and in doing so, we showed just how much we cared. But I feel like we still did not make ourselves heard to the obliging adults who are in charge.
This is important. This is literally the world at stake. We are past the point where individuals can make a difference just by reforming their habits. The most recent United Nations report gives us 12 years to make our change complete. The deadline to act is now.
Effective legislation is essential for cutting carbon emissions across the state, and we cannot afford to lose another year before the next legislative session. Clean energy jobs is only a start, but an urgently needed one in Oregon.
This is important. Nationally, we must support the Green New Deal as well.
We need to take the Global Climate Strike as a call to action. The youth of the world recognize the imminence of the threat to our future. One sign at the march read, "The oceans are rising, and so are we." Another said: "If you don't start acting like adults, we will."
Because, in the end, "There is no Planet B."