Fisherman Pressures Smith on Climate Change

Earlier this week, the East Oregonian ran a guest editorial from Marc Davis of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders. The article noted the impact that global warming is having on Oregon's sportsmen and calls on the members of our congressional delegation (one in particular) to help combat global warming:

Global warming certainly is an ecological and moral issue. It also is an economic issue.

Hunting and sportfishing alone contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to Oregon's economy. In 2006, there were more than 809,000 sportsmen and sportswomen who spent nearly $900 million.

I've been fishing in Oregon all my life so the impacts of global warming on Oregon's rivers hit very close to home. This winter, fishing guide friends of mine barely were out on the water as the rivers were blown out by too much rain. The heavy rain is consistent with what our local scientists are saying about the "increase in precipitation" due to global warming. Global warming actually is affecting our beloved salmon at all parts of their life cycle - from flooding that washes out redds (nests) to higher summertime water temperatures to changing ocean conditions creating inadequate food.

Climate change impacts in Oregon threaten to increase water temperatures to a tipping point, reduce necessary habitat and intensify the allocation battle between agriculture and threatened species.

Oregon's senators and representatives need to step up to the plate and sponsor comprehensive climate change legislation aimed at reducing global warming pollution. This will help ameliorate these negative impacts and work to keep Oregon's rivers and fish thriving.

He singles out one Senator who isn't doing enough:

The math is easy. If we reduce global warming pollution by just 2 percent each year over the next 40 years, by 2050 we can have this under control with carbon reductions of 80 percent. Two percent. That's do-able. And it will help us avoid the worst effects of global warming.

The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, which includes significant funding for critical fish, wildlife and habitat protection, is a bill that gets us on this 2-percent-per-year path. It likely will face a vote in the Senate this spring.

As sportsmen, we know the threat is urgent, the solutions are clear and the time to act is now. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., should join Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in co-sponsoring the Climate Security Act. This is a vote for our quality of life today and a vote to begin meeting our moral responsibility to confront global warming for our children's future.

Meanwhile, Stop Gordon Smith lists 1.5 million reasons why Senator Smith refuses to support the bill:

Smith has raised nearly $1.5 million from the special interests who control his vote on climate change.

According to the Center For Responsive Politics, Smith has accepted:
$271,475 from Oil & Gas Interests
$300,354 from Electric Utilities
$230,871 from Air Transport Interests
$91,947 from Trucking Interests
$305,804 from Manufacturing & Distributing Interests
$163,019 from Railroad Interests
$93,850 from Sea Transport Interests

Read the rest. Discuss.

  • JohnH (unverified)

    Funny how Gordon Smith keeps managing to avoid being mentioned in articles dealing with environmental catastrophes that are happening right under our eyes--the end of the West Coast salmon season.

    I would think fishermen and Klamath basin tribes would be shadowing Smith to get out the facts on how Cheney diverted Klamath water to farmers to support Smith's last re-election campaign--at the expense of salmon.

  • Larry (unverified)


    Sen Smith knows more than you do about politics.

    Fish don't vote, Klamath farmers do.

    Kari figured it out... money doesn't vote, but it buys lots of 'em. $1.5Million. That is moola. Moola buys votes (or at least, in squeeky clean Oregon, it buys stuff that gets you votes).

    Nov-Merkley-ick better bring lots o' moola to the table when they are done waging their little battle, cause the war is a coming and it's gonna be a big one.

  • james bradach (unverified)

    There are not enough farmers in the Klamath basin to get a guy elected for a pie eatin contest. That little Rovean circus down there was to stir up all the nations 'farmboys', pretty effective stunt till all those dead salmon came floatin up to the surface. Cheney is quite the sportsman. You can't tell that story in a way that helps our Mr. Smith. Lots and lots of angry salmon fishermen and women on the west coast this election. They got money...saving a lot on gas, groceries and bait. They just have a hard time about who's to blame for their not catching any fish.

  • Larry (unverified)

    Maybe they should blame Rep. Walden... since he was in on it also. He is almost as vulnerable as Smitty, but I think he still gets 65%... Smitty maybe only 58%. 2 more years versus 6 more years. Whatever.

  • Jiang (unverified)

    It's easy to see why he avoids mention. Knee-jerk party loyalists- both parties- outside Oregon, often will casually suggest, "oh, Smith, he isn't bad on the environment, is he, he's the Senator from Oregon...". He allows personal ambiguity to be fleshed out with the State's rep. If this gets national coverage, it's a body blow to him. Those same simple minds will quickly learn to add, "but he's not like the rest of Oregon". Saw it happen with Sen. Peckerwood.

    There's a bigger new political truth in this though, IMHO. I worked on an Americorps project near Baton Rouge, LA, last summer, and was staggered by the demographics of the "green liberals". It seems that those stodgy, "don't care 'bout every dang critter, human life ubber alles, but it'll cost me my job" types turned overnight when they started pulling up black carrots in their garden, etc.

    The Steelheaders are a sign that we're nearing the "idiots get it" level on global warming. When that happens I'm afraid there will be more loss of credibility for the left that hasn't been able to get anything consequential accomplished in the last 25 years, more than the right that has been pandering to big energy. The right are all filthy with the stentch of environmental terrorism and will en-masse find a way to dress it up in language that homo domesticus finds acceptable.

    Which is where I point the finger. Mainline public opinion has become analogous to the behavior of a "pet horder". They can't see that by overpopulating the environment with domesticated creatures, the wild has no chance, and the pets live miserable lives. They're convinced they love animals. The domesticators of humans are saving your souls.

    The natural world cannot survive, as long as humans create a dysfunctional alternative against which it must compete, which only advantage it lacks is the ability to immediately exploit a situation regardless of sustainability. Don't matter what the species is- cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, llamas, humans- as long as someone is engaged in the program of domesticating them, there will be corresponding disruption in the natural environment. That's the point of domestication. And with politics you celebrate that your masters have let you elect a head pet to represent your interests. 'course you can express your opinions directly by peeing on the masters leg, but then you get kicked out. Nothing like the contingencies of human society. You're not terrified of the wild man. The horror, indeed.

  • Larry (unverified)

    Jiang, you do have a lot to say.... I am sure that those more nuanced and educated than I have followed your train of thought.

    For those who prefer the soundbite just before the election, and just look at a broad overview of who is running, will choose from Sen. Smith, the Democratic challenger, and also John Frohenmayer(sp). Since Steve Novick told the Oregonian that John was the 2nd best candidate in the Senate race (ie better than Merkey), I suspect that the progressive vote may splinter between the Democratic nominee (Novick or Merkley) and John. Sen Smith's millions will help insure his victory, even if Novick is the nominee.

  • (Show?)

    Kari figured it out... money doesn't vote, but it buys lots of 'em. $1.5Million. That is moola.

    Huh? What do I have to do with anything? I'm confused.

  • JohnH (unverified)

    Before anyone goes off half cocked, I want to correct my previous statement about the Klamath basin. Apparently salmon runs are great there this year. Go figure!

  • james bradach (unverified)

    Where are your links? It is still early down there but all I can find are some folks trying to sell fishing trips' not much current info. You know they call it fishing, they don't call it catching. It hardly matters if there are fish there or not. Bush and his boys have done irreparable harm to a already damaged resource. $120 million hit to coastal towns in OR and CA. It is going to be a tough summer. I'm sure their first impulse was to say everything was fine. You know the President thinks that 'fish and the human being can peacefully coexist'!

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