Wake up to limited natural resources
Utilizing our natural resources without compromising future generations should not be controversial if we care that our descendants will enjoy a decent life.
The obvious reality is that our planet possesses limited resources. Concerns remain that mismanagement/wasting of both our renewable resources (forests, water, air, food, etc.) and non-renewable resources (coal, oil, minerals, etc.) will bring a future where these fall to such desperately short supplies that human suffering, international conflicts, and war result.
The United Nations Conference on Economic Development published a set of non-binding recommendations ("Agenda 21") to encourage rational resource management through the 21st century. The proposals were adopted by 178 governments to encourage sustainable resource management. In 2013 a related U.N. report entitled "Wake up before it's too late" encouraged similar sustainable practices in agriculture for food security in a changing climate.
The latter report clearly urged developed nations (that's us) to move away from high-energy, high-fertilizer-input (GMO), monoculture agricultural practices because they are just not energy sustainable as we continue to waist our renewable resources. There are less energy intensive ways to feed ourselves and not destroy the environment. Want to know more? Go to www.socan.info.
Justice demands rejecting Keystone
Last summer, in Georgetown, President Obama identified the main criterion for Keystone is that it must not significantly exacerbate our climate crisis.
The State Department has just released its analysis of Keystone. Despite being viewed in the media as an endorsement of Keystone, the executive summary states very clearly: "The total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed project would contribute to cumulative global greenhouse gas emissions."
We know that the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has reached 400 parts per million, higher than it has ever been while humans roamed the planet. The consequence of the pollution we are imposing on ourselves is a continued trend of warming and deepening climate chaos.
We also know that we must leave over 50 percent of known fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we are to protect the livability of our planet. The World Bank and International Energy Agency concur.
Deciding which fuels should be left requires that we assess their energy returned against energy invested. Tar sand and shale oil, barely breaking even energetically, should be left alone. For many of the same reasons, natural gas extracted by fracking should be rejected.
Intergenerational justice demands that President Obama reject Keystone.
Kathy Conway, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
Leave lawful gun owners alone
Looks like the city is again looking for a solution for a problem that does not exist. I object to any proposed ordinance that creates or expands on law-abiding gun owners in Ashland.
Not only does the council risk running afoul of Oregon's preemption statue and exposing the city to costly litigation, but it sends a message to the most law-abiding segment of our society that they should visit and spend money elsewhere. As a small-business owner I'll vote against those who vote for this!
Greenhouse gases are bad manners
Mention climate change or global warming and the resultant emotions too often interfere with frank, rational conversations. Is Global Climate Change real? Is it part of a natural cycle of warming and cooling? Is human activity contributing to the problem?
I often refer to a quote from Mario Molina, Nobel Laureate, whose research uncovered the role of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in causing the "Ozone Hole" over Antarctica. He also encountered skeptics relating to the facts and resistance to taking action.
His quote from the video, "Changing Face of Science" refers to our using the atmosphere to conveniently dispose of our waste gasses. He said, "If nothing else it is bad manners." What a basic philosophy to caring for our shared home.