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Letters from readers for 9-5-2014


Who does Heimuller work for?

Columbia County Commissioner Henry Heimuller’s largest out-of-state campaign contributors in 2014 are BNSF Railway Co. and Portland & Western Railroad. Heimuller has received, and continues to receive, campaign funds from railroad interests. To continue to receive railroad money, he must be doing something the railroads want. Therefore, he is representing the interests of the railroad.

I often wonder why Heimuller seems to have little or no concern about railroad safety issues, and the other impacts of increased railroad traffic, such as lower property values, reduced business activities — including employment — and longer commute times for Columbia County residents. Heimuller’s acceptance of campaign contributions from the railroads creates the appearance that the reason for this lack of concern in increased railroad traffic is not ideological or job creation, but instead financial.

It is disappointing that Heimuller accepts railroad contributions when he is supposed to represent the interests of the people, businesses and investors of Columbia County. How can Heimuller tell constituents that he is here to represent them when he ignores the negative impacts of the railroad and instead takes money from the railroads?

Brian Rosenthal

Scappoose commercial and

industrial real estate owner

The depletion fee, reconsidered

Alaska put a “depletion fee” on oil and the state has benefited greatly over the last 30 years.

Should Columbia County benefit from its vast 110-plus years of gravel inventory, which largely benefits the greater Portland area? Gravel is the main ingredient in concrete and paving.

Should Columbia County alter its depletion laws to cover more than just road repair, as the law reads now? Perhaps depletion-fee money could aid jail operations.

When a customer orders a truckload of gravel today, he pays $260 or so to have 13 tons delivered. That’s $20 per ton.

Up the depletion fee 65 cents per ton and that increases the buying contractor’s price by $8.45. But it raises $2 million from a source other than property taxes.

What are the rock company’s arguments against this?

I challenge Cal Portland, Knife River and others: Make your presentation clearly on the pages of this newspaper.

I want to know.

Wayne Mayo

Scappoose

Why climate change skepticism is warranted

Last week we were treated to the ideas of Mr. William Allen, a true believer in the global warming/climate change religion, specifically the religion of anthropogenic (i.e., man-made) climate change (see “County leaders must take a stand on climate change,” Opinion, Aug. 29).

Those with an inclination to uncritically trust authority will no doubt be swayed by Mr. Allen’s arguments. After all, who would dare to argue with supposedly 97 percent of climate-change scientists? Such a person would have to be one of those mad climate-change deniers.

Unfortunately for Mr. Allen, his religion is not science, but propaganda masquerading as science. The first problem is that true science is not about consensus or majorities of opinion, but about an unbiased focus on the facts of reality. The history of science is full of stories of a lone individual challenging the authority of the establishment against all odds and ultimately prevailing. This is potentially bad news for those hawking the climate-change religion because it means that one man armed with the truth beats 99.99 percent of all the others whose opinion is corrupted.

But this begs the question: If 97 percent of climate-change scientists have managed to convince themselves that they truly believe in anthropogenic climate change, as Mr. Allen claims, then what could be the source of corruption?

The answer was inadvertently provided by Mr. Allen himself: government. Notice the reverent awe as he invokes authorities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Department of Homeland Security, etc.

These agencies in and of themselves should be viewed with skepticism and are, in my opinion, even more suspect when associated with the promotion of any particular scientific cause.

When they created the Constitution, our Founding Fathers understood that a central government should have very limited powers, such as a military for defense, a court system for settling disputes, a criminal justice system, and the power to facilitate trade between the states. I found no place in the Constitution where the role of government is to promote a particular scientific viewpoint.

There is a very good reason for this.

The founders knew that whenever government moved away from its proper role, corruption would be the inevitable result. Exhibit A in the corruption sweepstakes comes from the University of East Anglia, where we find the university engaging in the wholesale falsification and cover-up of climate data in order to remain in the good graces of its government sponsors. An out-of-bounds government corrupts itself and everything it touches. The reasons for this are too lengthy for me to explain in this venue, but they have to do with the nature of government and its tendency to threaten individual liberty whenever it is not held within strict control.

I would actually like to know if anthropogenic global warming has any basis in reality, but I will remain skeptical until the unholy alliance between corrupt government and corrupt science is broken. Once that happens, true science can begin.

Roy A. Fuller

Scappoose

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