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The debate over whether there is even a Climate Crisis and whether it is human caused is a divisive tactic that only goes to forestall meaningful action.

Ninety-eight percent of the world’s climate scientists say that the Climate Crisis is a reality and that it is human caused. Two percent say that it isn’t, but they, for the most part, are on the payroll of the fossil-fuel industries whose production of coal, oil and gas are the primary causes of pollution. Allowing fossil-fuel corporations to conduct “business as usual” means the continuation of severe damage caused by the emissions of Green House Gases.

The fact that the Climate Crisis has become a partisan issue is lamentable because we all will suffer — if we aren’t suffering already — from its effects in the form of increased wildfires, droughts, irregular weather, flooding, acidified oceans with fish stock depletion, dying forests, degraded air, water, soil and ocean quality as well as massive insect (pollinators) and wild animal extinction, amongst a seemingly endless list of negative impacts.

To be properly informed about important issues of the Climate Crisis is the work of responsible citizens in a free and democratic nation. Accepting sound bites by news and talk show hosts without examining their validity is to become a victim and therefore subject to manipulation. We exist in what is being called the Post Truth Era where the fabrication and publication of falsehoods, fake news, and ‘alternative facts’ run rampant. They are designed to mislead us. If we subject ourselves to the so called news in all its many forms we often find ourselves confused and unable to make a rational assessment of a situation like climate change thus disempowering ourselves because we don’t know what is really happening and what to do about it.

So what to do? Try shutting off your TV, radio, cellphone, social media, close the newspaper, put down that best seller and walk out your front door and begin to notice things. I have noticed seeing a lot less butterflies, bees, birds and fish. I have noticed an exquisitely beautiful world dying by degrees all around me, starting with the understory of the once great spruce forests in my backyard and the tidal pools below my home — just to name a few of the life forms disappearing from our Earth at over a thousand times faster than is natural.

I invite you to compare notes with me. What you are noticing? Come join the Lincoln County Private/Public Climate Change Partnership. To do so send your email address to: CLMiller@co.lincoln.or.us Become a part of a county wide group organized by the Lincoln County Commissioners to assess and create an action plan for our cities and rural communities.

It has been said that to imagine the end of the world is easier than imagining the end of capitalism. Neither needs to happen if we all come to the table with good intentions to figure out this dilemma called the Climate Crisis and make an Action Plan to deal with it.

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