The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Richard Badalamente
Kennewick 

Letter from the community

Time to do something about fires

 


Our hearts go out to the people of Brewster and Pateros and other Washington areas ravished by 2014’s record wildfires. It is hard to imagine their heartbreak as they are comb through the ashes of their homes, schools, and churches. Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and Utah are all fighting wildfires in triple-digit temperatures, in drought-stricken areas.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, we are experiencing an unusual wildfire season, with 32 large active fires going on, most in the Pacific Northwest; over 30,000 blazes nationwide! Washington Governor, Jay Inslee said, “I know people have seen fires before. This is a different beast. This is a fire storm.”

According to the Oregon Climate Research Institute, drought-fueled wildfires, exacerbated by an increase in forest morbidity due to pest infestation, is projected as a major impact of global warming in the Pacific Northwest—a forecast supported by the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington.

It’s past time for us to tackle global warming head on, and we have the tools to do it. Many leaders in both political parties agree that a good place to start is with a nationwide carbon fee and dividend, such as that proposed by the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. I urge you to learn about this sensible proposal (http://citizensclimatelobby.org/carbon-tax/), and then tell your member of Congress to support it.

 

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