By Mark Gamba, Mayor City of Milwaukie
The last time carbon in our atmosphere routinely exceeded 400 ppm was three million years ago. At that time temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees warmer, and the ocean levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. Imagine if, instead of being above 80 degrees the last week in July, we were well above 90 degrees, and in August if we exceeded 100 degrees for weeks on end. With summers that hot in the Northwest, the probability of wildfires and forest fires increases. Energy usage would skyrocket as more air conditioners were installed, and our air pollution would rival or exceed Los Angeles.
These are not predictions; they are all already happening. Climate change isn’t something happening in some distant future; it is already here.
What are your criteria for choosing a place to live? Does it include good schools? Liberal attitude? Low taxes? Lots of jobs? Lovely natural beauty? How about a low crime rate?
If the latter is your priority, then welcome to Clackamas County, where a recent study shows that five of the 10 safest places to live in Oregon are located. West Linn, where less violent crime occurs per capita than any other place in the state, is the safest. Also on the list are Canby, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie and Wilsonville. Curiously, not in the top ten are any communities east of the mountains, on the coast, nor south of Corvallis.
Finally, for those with truly inquiring minds, we must mention that West Linn has only 30 other cities in the entire U.S. which are safer.