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The big, above-the-fold headline reads: “Benton Adopts Climate Plan,” followed by the subhead: “County aims to slash its emissions drastically by 2050.”

If that makes it sound like Benton County’s government is finally taking action to address climate change locally, please, don’t just stop at the headline, and don’t be fooled.

This “plan” only applies to Benton County government, not all of Benton County itself. Since Benton County employs less than 1 percent of the population here, this “plan” to encourage carpooling and double-sided printing is pretty paltry. Especially with that way far distant deadline of 2050.

The plan does include items like requiring all new construction or renovation of county buildings to meet high energy efficiency standards — which is a good thing. And since it’s a good thing, why not require it of ALL new construction and renovation projects in Benton County? Now that would have a real impact.

Real, significant results will only come from meaningful changes in rules that affect the entire county — not plans that just affect the government of Benton County. 

Imagine a family consisting of mom, dad and an infant. Mom and dad are both two-pack a day smokers, alcoholics, and problem gamblers. In this scenario, would you say the family’s overall health has been significantly improved if dad “aims” to smoke 75 percent less by 2050?

Our fossil fuel addiction is killing us. Only meaningful policies will change that.

Please, vote for real change: www.mania4benton.org

Max Mania

Corvallis (Sept. 6)

The writer is an unaffiliated candidate for a seat on the Benton County Board of Commissioners. 

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