Sher: The shift from fossil fuels can and must be done

To the Editor:

As individual citizens, what do we actually know about climate change? If we are honest, we’ll admit that our knowledge is generally pretty spotty. Furthermore, the information we think is accurate might be coming from media sources and politicians who are being less than truthful in order to help their benefactors in the oil/energy industries.

But we do know that we love our children and grandchildren. Current climate science is clear that the extreme weather events we’ve seen in the last few years are just the beginning of a serious climate crisis. Do we want it on our conscience that we did nothing while extreme weather began to spiral out of control, becoming more and more devastating every decade — eventually leading to mega-hurricanes, repeated massive floods, unstoppable wildfires, unbearable heat waves, deadly tornadoes ripping up communities, droughts shriveling up cropland and creating widespread famine, mass extinction of species, hundreds of millions of climate refugees, world-wide economic depression, etc.?

The consensus of climate scientists is that we are currently headed toward these disastrous conditions well before the end of this century if we don’t drastically curb our carbon emissions now. (These changes will be effectively permanent, by the way.) The shift away from fossil fuels can be done — it is mostly a matter of public policy — and it MUST be done. It is not too late. Otherwise, an unknown percentage of our children and grandchildren will not survive this bleak future. Don’t take a chance with the lives of our loved ones.

Chuck Sher

Petaluma, California

Campbell: National Recovery Month — ‘Together we are stronger’

To the Editor:

Eastern Oregon communities are facing a serious challenge: the prevalence of substance use and mental health disorders.

One in five young adults lives with mild to moderate mental health conditions as well as substance use conditions. More than 6% of youth ages 12-18 experience substance use disorders and more than 25% experience mild to moderate mental health conditions.

However, there is hope in working together to build a more coordinated and cohesive prevention, treatment and recovery-oriented service system. This change must start at the community level.

September is National Recovery Month, providing an opportunity to share information, raise awareness and take action toward improving the lives of people and families impacted by mental health and substance use conditions. This year’s theme is “Together we are stronger.” 

Recognizing that substance use and mental health conditions often go hand-in-hand, at Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc., it is our goal to promote a system of behavioral health services where all people at risk of or affected by substance use and its associated trauma can reduce their emotional and physical suffering while stepping into a safe and welcoming journey to wellness.

We can all play a part in inspiring health and healing for people living with behavioral health conditions by supporting people who are on the path of recovery — no matter where they are in that journey — and by building awareness of these conditions in our own communities. 

If you want to show your support for individuals living in recovery, let your loved ones and colleagues know you support them in their recovery journey. National Recovery Month events are happening in communities across Oregon, so please participate because together we can make a difference. 

Kevin Campbell

CEO of Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.

The Dalles

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