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Over one hundred years ago Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius realized that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would lead to a warmer climate. When I was a graduate student in atmospheric sciences in the 1970's some of our faculty were conducting research on the effects of increasing atmospheric CO2 — not to determine whether it would cause warming, but by how much. Decades of research has confirmed what we know. The science was clear then and the science is clear now: increasing CO2 leads to warming of the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, foot dragging, bickering, and disregard for science by some politicians (including in the Oregon Legislature) has resulted in little serious action to deal with the problem to date.

As Mother Nature continues to make things worse for us we can argue about the cost; we can wait for others to take the first step. But if we want to avert a disaster we all have to take strong action to reduce the use of fossil fuels — now.

In Oregon the time is right. Senators and representatives meeting in the current session of the Oregon Legislature are in a position to take that action now. One of our local representatives, Shelly Boshart Davis, is on the key committee — the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction — considering legislation to deal with CO2 emissions. Urge her to act and support legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

Contact information for all legislators is online at www.oregonlegislature.gov or call 1-800-332-2313.

Robert Heald

Albany (Jan. 31)

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