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Joe Turner: 'There are three distinct environmental threats on today's planet, all of which include mankind.'

The newest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came out and is being sold as a "code red for humanity" on the BBC — and after reading their report, I must say the biggest problem is that these scientists and politicians, such as Al Gore, need to learn how to communicate in terms that the average person on the street can understand. There are three distinct environmental threats on today's planet, all of which include mankind, and can be seen in every nation on earth. • Overpopulated enclaves. As big as Oregon state is, two-thirds of its businesses; two-thirds of its jobs and two-thirds of its tax revenue is spent in the Portland, Salem and Eugene metro areas, located within six counties. The closer people work and live, the more environmental damage and effects come into play. • Overdependence on fossil fuels. Whether it is fuel in our tanks, plastics for making water bottles or rayon and spandex in our clothing, mankind has become dependent on fossil fuels. • Deforestation. The ability to harvest trees, bushes, shrubs and grass faster than it can reproduce not only affects the quantity of clean air but also inflicts uncontrollable droughts. Mankind does not think of where he gets the clean air he breathes, but only how much money per linear foot he makes when he cuts a tree down. And about those electric vehicles, have they figured out what to do with the used batteries and those toxic flammable materials? No.

Joe Turner is a U.S. Army veteran and Columbia City resident.

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