Want to do your part to preserve our one and only planet Earth for human habitation? Of course you do.
Good news is, it'll just take a few minutes for you to have that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with doing the right thing -- for those of us alive today, and for generations to come.
Next Monday, October 12, the Salem City Council will vote on a motion by Councilor Tom Andersen that sets strong greenhouse gas reduction goals for the Climate Action Plan being worked on this year and 2021.
The short and simple motion says:
I move that the City Council adopt the following goals as part of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP):
• By 2035, Salem’s greenhouse gas emissions shall be reduced to 50% of the citywide greenhouse gas emissions for the baseline year of 2016, and
• By 2050, Salem should be carbon neutral.
Beautiful! This brings Salem in line with other Oregon cities that have established greenhouse gas reduction goals, as described in background information on Andersen's motion: Portland, Corvallis, Eugene, Bend, Milwaukie, Ashland.
This makes great good sense for one key reason: there is no scientific debate about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a lot, as quickly as possible, if humanity is to avoid suffering the worst impacts of global warming.
Which includes the drought afflicting Oregon that exacerbated the recent devastating wildfires.
Thus there is no reason to waste time in the Climate Action Plan process discussing the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By setting forth the goals in Andersen's motion now, city officials and the public at large can focus on how to bring about the necessary reductions in carbon pollution.
Public input isn't needed on why those reductions are needed. That question was settled many years ago. The scientific community agrees that global warming is happening, humans are causing it via steadily increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and actions need to be taken to reduce those emissions.
Anyone who doubts this is a climate change denier. There are plenty of them in Salem, as elsewhere in the country. They're entitled to their misguided opinion, but the facts of climate change are unaffected by attempts to discount the scientific consensus of global warming as "fake news."
Because it isn't.