Letters to the Editor

Letters: May 23, 2019

Want to write a letter to the editor? Here are some tips

Tri-City Herald editorial writer Cecilia Rexus gives some pointers about writing letters to the editor.
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Tri-City Herald editorial writer Cecilia Rexus gives some pointers about writing letters to the editor.

Irrigators muddy Snake River issue

Recent full-page solicitations by the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association in the Herald addressing Snake River dams are a blatant attempt to obfuscate the Snake River salmon issue. Their tabloid-inspired postured language makes it clear that they solely wish to convince us their self interests are above all else.

There is no question that circumventing the Snake River dams would make it immensely easier for salmon to reach their spawning areas. The Irrigation cartels will get their water regardless, they always do. The Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce and other tribes have only memories of what the Idaho Salmon once was, and should have their due instead of being marginalized, as has been the past.

We can find a way.

David P. Sisk, Richland

It’s time for us to try a different path

We need to get past glib categorization if we’re going to survive. We need to stop assuming that people are idiots if they voted differently than we did and can be easily lumped into convenient heaps of contempt. Anger will not cool down summers that are the hottest in recorded history, whether these summers naturally occur or are exacerbated by industrial activity (or both).

We need to desalinate rising oceans and irrigate arable land, so we can grow oxygen-producing plants. We need to stop slashing and burning the plants that will help us (cf Amazon Valley). The earth, water and air are neither Democratic nor Republican and preceded those parties by eons. Millions of species would be better off without us, but that doesn’t mean we need baseless wars to finish us off. We need to find a way to coexist and not “win” by cheap dominance and control.

What I’m saying is not “pie in the sky,” and everyone honestly assessing this will agree. If we’re going to enjoy “pie on the earth,” we need to stop denying the need for change or opposing the people who know what it will take.

Michael Kiefel, Walla Walla

Carbon fee costs less in long run

Some people I talk with about climate change are concerned about the unintended consequences of the carbon fee and dividend climate policy that Citizens Climate Lobby advocates. Analysis of the policy finds many benefits (lives saved, jobs created, economy stimulated, as well as carbon emissions reduced), but there probably are negative consequences of this policy that have not been identified in the analysis of it. Although the technology we need to replace fossil fuels as our primary energy source is becoming competitive with fossil fuel even without the policy, some studies have suggested small negative impacts on the economy from similar policies.

But those negative impacts pale compared with the unintended economic and ecological consequences of the carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere by fossil fuel combustion. The last National Climate Assessment estimated sustained damage to the U. S. economy of 4 percent if the Earth warms 8 degrees F without a climate policy. That is comparable to the decline in U.S. GDP during the deepest 18 months of the Great Recession. But we were able to borrow our way out of that recession. We cannot borrow our way out of sustained damage. And then there are incalculable ecologic impacts.

Steve Ghan, Richland

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