THE COST OF BURGERS
RE: “An Inconvenient Sequel Makes a Convenient Argument for Capitalism” [Film, Aug 2], in which Sydney Brownstone noted the new Al Gore film “doesn’t address the root of the problem” of climate change, and Burger Week, the Mercury’s annual promotion of $5 burgers.
This review seems a bit off base. The bigger reality is that it’s our animal agriculture industry that is the largest leading contributor to global warming, wasteful water usage, and ecological destruction. The amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions produced from animal agriculture dwarfs those of the energy industry.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not trying to defend the oil bastards. However, for you to give this kind of rant in a paper that, during the very same week, also ran a multi-page food porn promotion for Burger Week seems hypocritical. It’s not just Al Gore who’s missing the point.
I love your newspaper, particularly how outspoken you are about promoting progressive values. But I’m confused about how you square your concern about climate change with your advocacy for Burger Week. We know the beef industry is responsible for an obscene amount of greenhouse gases.
According to The Atlantic, “even if people kept eating chicken and pork and eggs and cheese—[removing beef from our diets] could achieve somewhere between 46 and 74 percent of the reductions needed to meet the target” for greenhouse gas emissions.
Burger Week could have been an opportunity to educate people about the link between beef and climate change, by, say, suggesting people eat burgers made from animals other than cows. But encouraging people to binge-eat burgers all week, without even a mention of the effect all that beef-eating has on the planet? It’s a missed opportunity to support more environmentally friendly options. I hope you’ll consider taking a more nuanced perspective next year.
RE: “Fights on the Waterfront: Photos/Video from Sunday’s Right-Wing Rally and Left-Wing Protest” [Blogtown, August 6], News Reporter Doug Brown’s story on clashes between activists. Right-wing marchers used a militia group, the Oregon Three Percenters, for security.
I’d say those “Three Percenters” don’t do a very good job at keeping the peace. Maybe they need more training?
RE: “Hall Monitor: Slap Yourselves, Portland” [News, August 2], in which News Editor Dirk VanderHart urged Portlanders to pay attention to Portland City Council as they make “a series of tweaks to the city’s ongoing settlement with the US Department of Justice over police abuses.”
Don’t we already have a police oversight section at City Hall? Namely, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) and the Independent Police Review (IPR)? Shouldn’t they be part of the discussion on this new acronym-fest? They have been doing police oversight for a very long time. Meanwhile, this new board doesn’t seem to have a lot of direction—and what does the mayor know about police oversight? He has a lot on his plate already. Is he the right person for the job?
RE: “An On-Duty PBOT Employee Trolled Under Armour with a Nike Swoosh—Then Retired” [Blogtown, August 4]. “In a bizarre and delightful series of events, the City of Portland is trying to collect more than $250 from a former transportation worker after he decorated a road in front of Under Armour’s new Southwest Barbur outpost with a Nike swoosh on his last day of work,” wrote VanderHart.
How is this in any way delightful? Nike already has its fucking swoosh all over our parks under “in perpetuity” deals that the city should never have made. Under Armour is no saint among corporations, but at least it makes substantial donations without any logo placement. When you splash your logo around, it’s not a charitable contribution. It’s an ad buy.
zipitup and Saul, you both win the Mercury’s letter(s) of the week! And you each get two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—where excellent movies can be enjoyed alongside environmentally friendly food options.
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