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It's About Greed

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Editor: 

In advocating for a Humboldt County "Climate Action Plan" process, David Simpson, co-founder of the Mattole Salmon Group writes, "The decades of inaction based in denial are having tragic consequences, mostly in other places in the world, but our turn could come at any moment." ("Some Urgency," Sept. 19).

Dismissing the tragic impacts that are already occurring here is irrationally optimistic, yet, precisely what many elected and appointed officials want to hear to appease powerful business interests. "Keeping it positive" provides solace for industry leaders fearing economic inconvenience from local family's choosing to reduce consumption and alter lifestyles that largely contribute to climate change and environmental degradation.

Humboldt County's fishing fleet is a fraction of what it was, rising temperatures spread diseases among plummeting ocean fish populations; we're experiencing unprecedented closures during abalone and crab seasons; seaweed and mushroom gathering now require permits. Every year, there's more bad news: diseased starfish suddenly losing their limbs, salmon populations collapsing.

Our summertime family camping area located on the isolated South Fork of the Trinity River has swimming holes choked in algae from lower flows and rising temperatures combined with nitrogen and phosphate runoff. The rich abundance of salmon, trout, reptiles, amphibians, eels, crayfish and freshwater clams we observed 45 years ago have all sharply declined. The otters that once rushed upstream feeding on them have vanished.

We often hear that "denial" is the base of inaction while the greed at the base of "denial" is broadly self-censored. If greed is allowed to take its usual course, we'll be joining other nations needing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission in addition to a Climate Action Plan.

George Clark, Eureka

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