‘Not falling’

Upfront, let me state I do believe our climate is changing with human impact; as it always has and always will. But Chicken Little, the sky is not falling.

It is irresponsible to use our kids by scaring them into thinking that in 12 years, humanity will be on the “brink of extinction” as Beto O’Rourke suggests, or that we have 10 years only to act, as the darling OAC states. June 29, 1989, the UN predicted nations will be wiped off the face of the earth if the trend is not reversed by 2000: “We have a 10 year window of opportunity.” In 2007, Al Gore stated that the North Pole summer ice could be gone in seven years. In 2008, he said the polar ice cap may be gone in five years. In 2009, a 75 percent chance the polar ice cap will be ice-free in the summer in five to seven years.
Check the data, some things are improving as some are getting worse. Using scare tactics does not promote education and personal responsibility. The “prophets of doom” use it for governmental control and power, and it is really shameful. Dire consequences are not helpful to solving the problem.

Remember the ozone layer hole? The ozone is back, well, it depends on one’s view: One layer is back and one is declining — depending on which scientist you review. I suspect all are correct to some degree. Not all scientists, as O’Rourke suggests, are on board.
I commend Pastor Vicky Stifter for making a greater personal commitment to reduce her impact. Teach our youth stewardship and personal choices, that is what impacts and drives the market. Planting a tree absorbs 48 pounds of carbon per year; an average human emits 2.8 pounds. It does not solve the problem, but it does contribute to the solution. When the hypocrites spouting government control for climate change given up their private jets, air conditioning, their wealth of millions (as we should give ours), and take commuter trains and planes, then I might be willing to jump on that government gravy train. But please stop manipulating the youth for power and control.
Steve Nybroten
White Salmon
Editor’s note: The June 29, 1989, quote was from a senior U.N. environmental official stating “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.” NASA reports the Artic sea ice is declining at a rate of 12.8 percent per decade, having fallen from 8 million square kilometers in 1980 to as low as 3.5 million square kilometers in 2012; it currently sits at 4.5 million square kilometers, with a downward trend consist through the last 30 years. The News could not verify the average daily amount of human emission, but the US Department of Energy collects “carbon dioxide emissions per capita” and found that the average American produced 16.5 metric tons annually, or approximately 100 pounds/day.
Vote for levy
A previous letter writer claimed Hood River County collects $35,567,975.16 in tax money. What the writer failed to explain is that 90 percent of property taxes go to other taxing jurisdictions like school, library and fire districts. I encourage readers to review property tax statements, see where taxes go, and confirm the county retains only around 10 percent of collections.
A permanent tax rate of $1.41/$1,000 assessed valuation puts Hood River County in the bottom 25 percent of all Oregon counties for property taxes. Compare that rate to our neighbors’ — Wasco County at $4.25, Multnomah County at $4.34, and Clackamas County at $2.98. If the Local Operating Levy passes, Hood River’s total collections would be no more than $2.30/$1,000, still very low. After five years, voters decide whether to renew the levy, giving Hood River County time to work on other solutions to support valuable county services like public safety and security, public health, veterans’ services, and more.
Please join me in voting YES for Hood River County’s Local Operating Levy.
Paige Rouse
Hood River
Editor’s note: Paige Rouse  works at Pageworks Design and was contracted by Hood River County to assist with public outreach related to its budget crisis, including the Local Operating Levy proposed for the May 21 ballot.
‘Ticket from a thicket’

As we prepare for the upcoming presidential election in 2020, many voters on both sides of the aisle are wondering “what kind of ticket will emerge from a thicket” and then run against Trump and Pence? Well, my younger brother, who resides in the Philippines, believes it will be Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders … and he says they are bound to win … especially with this slap-happy slogan: “Double your pleasure, double your fun, two Rip Van Winkles are better than one.”
Bill Davis
Hood River
Presidential elections
Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump for a number of reasons. One, she was not a good candidate for the job. Moreover, the Democratic National Committee, with Debbie Wasserman Schultz as chair, tried to push Bernie Sanders to the side, angering many Democrat voters. Then, towards the end of the campaign, Clinton chose to forego any campaign stops the last week or so prior to the election, leaving Donald Trump to continue his sometimes two-a-day campaign speeches in what is termed the “rust belt” of America where millions of jobs had been lost during the Obama era. Trump was able to pick up some of the disgruntled Democrat voters and although very close in a number of states, we won over the Electoral College votes winning the election with some 306 total electoral votes.
The only reason the Democrats want to change from the Electoral College system to a pure popular vote is because they want to stack the deck against any opposition. After all, the Electoral College is based on population and Congressional representation, also based on population. Justin Danner wrote in his “Not Viable” letter in this section of the HRN on March 30 that a voter in Wyoming (?) has four times the sway over the Electoral College as a person from California. It isn’t LAND that makes the difference, it is people. Wyoming has three Electoral College votes, California has 55, Texas has 38, New York has 29 as does Florida, so I fail to see how a cowboy from Wyoming can have more influence than some rich actor from La La Land. They are equal but without the Electoral College, the cowboy’s voice will not be heard.
Roger Neufeldt
Mt. Hood-Parkdale
Apologies all around
I do not condone Mr. Sheppard’s behavior at the Walden Town Hall. Perhaps an apology is in order. First, however, I would appreciate an apology from Donald Trump for:
  • Mocking Serge Kovaleski’s disability on national television
  • Describing the ability to grab women by their “genitalia”
  • Characterizing immigrants from our southern border as criminals and rapists
  • Trying to destroy an insurance program that protects those with pre-existing conditions
  • Re-tooling our tax code to benefit the very wealthiest of our citizenship
  • Spreading falsehoods about the nationality of our 44th president
  • Trump’s failure to address, nor acknowledge the rising tide of violent nationalism
And you, Mr. Walden, have remained silent throughout.
I suppose I am a little confused as to who in fact has been rude, disrespectful, and owes an apology? Perhaps there are at least three folks?
Who’s first?
Eric Cohn
Hood River
Editor’s Note: Benjamin Sheppard is a social worker.

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