Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Climate change inaction is costly

Recently The Bulletin printed a guest column that rejected the scientific consensus on climate change and stated that climate change prevention is costly. In reality, the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting.

A recent study conducted by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office and published in The Bulletin on Oct. 24 reported the exorbitant cost of climate change. In the last decade, the historic weather events exacerbated by climate change cost U.S. taxpayers $350 billion. The GAO estimates that costs associated with climate disasters will increase by $12 billion to $35 billion each year by the middle of the century. The report also warned that the less the government does to prepare and combat climate change the more it will cost taxpayers and hurt American businesses. Clearly, failing to act on climate change is costly and puts our country and future generations at an economic disadvantage.

So what if we ignore the scientists’ consensus on climate change? Beyond the significant monetary and economic costs of not acting on climate change, we must ask ourselves what kind of world will we leave to our children if we choose not to act? If we choose to pollute our air with carbon emissions, destroy our oceans and rivers, contaminate our drinking water and soil? The environmental and economic risks associated with failing to act on climate change are clear. Now, how will we gamble on the future for our children?

Caroline Skidmore


Vehicles, like guns, kill thousands

In 2013, there were 33,636 deaths in the United States attributed to use of firearms. Of these, 21,175 are classified as suicides, about 65 percent. Of the nonsuicides, I could find no figures on the number of people killed by police, or the number of people who committed “suicide-by-cop” (people who wish to die and goad the police into killing them). In the same year, there were 32,893 vehicular deaths, of all kinds. Some small percentage must surely be suicides, but I could find no figures for this.

All figures come from Wikipedia articles.

So why is it that every time there is mass murder such as occurred in Las Vegas recently we hear and read the usual bleating from the usual suspects for even more gun control/confiscation? Yet every time there are mass deaths in a traffic “accident,” we never hear calls for a ban on motor vehicles from these people.

Is death by motor vehicle more socially acceptable?

Further, why does the gun control crowd not get excited by the high percentage of suicides by firearm, or by innocent citizens being killed by police (usually ruled “justified” by police departments and grand juries, even when clearly not justified)?

Are suicides and police shootings also socially acceptable?

I would like to hear some explication of this anomaly from our liberal/Democrat friends. After all, if guns and motor vehicles kill approximately the same number of people, should we not have more controls — or even outright bans — on both?

Mike Koonce


Bend loves dogs, but also wildlife

I am writing in response to the Oct. 26 letter “Trail needed for off-leash dogs.”

First of all, I am a dog lover, especially a lover of the larger breeds. I have owned Weimaraners, German wirehairs, and let’s not forget the beagle.

Bend is a dog-loving town, but my sense is we are also a wildlife-loving town. Wild critters do their best to cohabit with us and with our pets.

Dogs are only being dogs, on leash and off. They are hunters and coursers by nature. There are many ground-dwelling and ground-nesting birds in our area. Quail come to mind, but many sparrows nest on the ground or close to it. Ducks can be found on the ground, even far from water. Turkeys. Squirrels cannot always outrun a dog, nor can other small ground dwellers.

Dogs also scent-mark shrubs and trees, which can make that area undesirable or uninhabitable to other wildlife.

All wildlife deserves an opportunity to be relatively safe, and loose dogs are one more hazard among the many they already face.

An on-leash, or enclosed, park provides safety for the dogs and helps to avoid dogs rushing strangers.

As our world grows smaller and more crowded, it is challenging to find room for all of us. Wild things need to be considered fully in the big equation.

Suzanne Staples