Timber Unity has a mission statement to the effect that it will work to protect Oregon communities and jobs. It is a thoroughly worthy objective. I have no doubt that its members are sincere in their mission, which resulted in their efforts to defeat the cap and trade legislation.

The question that I hope some of its members can answer is whether the mission to protect is confined to the year 2020, or whether they are committed to carrying on this mission for the remainder of this century. If the latter, please let us know how you propose to protect the community of Tillamook in particular.

First some parameters. Across the globe, both air and ocean temperatures are rising. This is a measurable fact. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. This is a measurable fact. One property of the carbon dioxide molecule is that it acts like a green house. This is an undisputed physical property of this gas. Glaciers are retreating and the ice caps of Greenland and the Antarctic are melting. These are measurable facts. Around the globe ocean levels are rising and the rate is increasing. This is a measurable fact. These facts can be ignored in the hope that they will go away, but they cannot be honestly denied. There is too much hard data for this option.

Let us look at only one challenge arising from the above facts that will be facing Tillamook. If nothing is done, it is entirely conceivable that the children in Tillamook’s schools today will live to experience the streets of their town flooded by the rising ocean waters. Properties will be have to be abandoned and most of the dairy farms in the surrounding area will be wiped out, along with most of the jobs in the county.

As I see it there are only two possible solutions to this scenario. One is to try to slow down and perhaps even halt global warming. This solution requires the joint effort of all counties including ours. The cap and trade legislation may not have been perfect, but it was at least the beginning of a solution. Could its goals be achieved in another way acceptable to Timber Unity? The other solution would be to erect a flood barrier across the entire Tillamook Bay, from Cape Meares to the mouth of the bay. While the barrier would keep the ocean out it would also dam the rivers. So massive pumps would have to be included to pump fresh water out into the ocean. It would be an enormously expensive project. The advantage of this solution is that nothing needs to be done now, and so it can all be shoved off onto our grandchildren. However it too would have a number of adverse side effects, such as the end of the oyster industry in the bay.

We all know what Timber Unity is against, but we do not know what it is for. Please let us know what long term solutions you propose to the challenges that we in Tillamook, and our grandchildren in particular, will be facing with respect to global warming.  If they make sense we can all get behind you.

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