Most of us don’t bother to read the fine print. Sometimes, though, it is quite informative.
For instance, in the Vote No on 1 ad that ran in Sunday’s Juneau Empire (Sept. 9), the fine print informs us that ConocoPhillips and BP Alaska are top contributors. How ironic! These are the very companies whose products — fossil fuels — are mainly responsible for higher ocean temperatures and acidification that are the prime suspects for changes in ocean productivity.
Curiously, neither “expert” quoted in the ad suggests that climate change’s impacts on our oceans may be the problem. And, we can control that something, despite what one of the ad’s experts contends that we can’t.
If you think about it, we are clearly seeing effects of climate change on land as well. Just look out your window at the absence of snow on Mount Juneau, Mount Roberts, and elsewhere.
Have you been enjoying our unprecedented warm and dry summer?
These changes on land also lead to higher temperatures and lower water in salmon streams because of less water from melting snow.
On the other extreme, high flows from increasingly large storms wash salmon eggs out of sediments or prevent adult fish from getting to suitable spawning habitat. These additional stressors from a changing climate mean all the more reason we need to take care of salmon habitat.
Before retirement, I was a habitat biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources. I worked successfully with resource development corporations to write permits that enabled projects to move forward while also protecting salmon habitat and mitigating impacts.
I have carefully read Ballot Measure One, and in my professional opinion, the proposed changes are timely and needed to better protect our increasingly rare and unique wild salmon runs. By passing this ballot measure, we will also help protect the jobs in commercial, sport and charter fishing that so many Alaskans and their families depend upon.
Join me in voting yes on Ballot Measure One.
My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire.