A moral obligation

Suppose I didn’t pay taxes because my contribution is so small compared to the state or national budget. It is trivial — but represents a serious burden on me. Does anybody think this argument would fly as a moral or legal defense of my position?

Yet polluters make this argument constantly — and they get away with it because we let them. Polluters dump their toxic waste in our air and our water because it’s free — and processing their waste would cost money and dent profits. So we all pay the price in health, environmental or clean-up costs. Does anybody think this represents justice?

The lamest argument for Oregon refusing to reduce its climate pollution is the parallel claim that — as a state — we pollute so little that our effort to reduce emissions is meaningless, so we shouldn’t bother. Making this argument demonstrates a complete lack of morality.

We know the livability of our planet depends on our reducing climate pollution globally. If we want our corner of the globe to be saved, we need to reduce our emissions first. Only then will we be able to urge others to do likewise.

Support Oregon SB 557 for clean energy and jobs.

Trisha Vigil