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Oregon State Forests

The Inconvenient Truth

[written in 2006]

Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury has been travelling across the State presenting Al Gore's slideshow that was the core of the film An Inconvenient Truth.

Bradbury is on the State Land Board, which presides over decisions to clearcut our Oregon State Forests. (The Governor and State Treasurer are the other members of this Board.) These lands are usually overlooked given the bigger Federal forests and corporate industrial tree farms, but they belong to all citizens. If Bradbury wants to address climate change, he could push the State Land Board to stop logging our public State Forests . The Oregon Department of Forestry could force corporate clearcutters to shift to selective forestry and to stop spraying cancer-causing herbicides that poison air and water.

In December 2006, Bill Bradbury gave a presentation at South Eugene High School and stated we "need" to keep clearcutting our state forests "to help the kids" - just after he said environmental education was important.

Two years before this presentation, Bradbury gave a speech in the University of Oregon's Lillis Building (the world's largest solar array that was installed partly in the shade) and admitted we're at Peak Oil -- but did not mention anything the state was going to do as our part of the solution.

The State of Oregon is planning for continued sprawl growth with new highways such as the Sunrise Freeway (Clackamas), a new Columbia River bridge in Portland and the Newberg-Dundee Bypass. In November 2006, the Oregon Department of Transportation removed the West Eugene Parkway from state construction plans (in large part due to threatened lawsuits). If the State really wants to mitigate global warming and Peak Oil, plans for more highways should be canceled and the money diverted to improving Amtrak and other mass transit systems.

The State could start its effort for climate change by prohibiting clearcutting, strip mining, highway construction and more fossil fuel combustion facilities -- that would be a serious action that would show commitment for solutions.

Many politicians say they want to solve global warming but few want to make difficult choices that require changes for industries that make campaign contributions (construction, real estate, logging). Without these shifts, speeches about climate change are just hot air.