Guest Opinion: Clean energy would strengthen Oregon rural communities

Guest column by Merten Bangemann-Johnson in Medford Mail Tribune / Ashland Daily Tidings January 7, 2018

2017 was a year of compromise and disappointments in the battle for controlling climate change, both nationally and locally. Oregon’s temperature has been steadily climbing for years. We’ve seen early snowmelt, blistering heat waves, heavy downpours and a dangerous uptick in wildfire risk. The erratic weather trends will only worsen and will detrimentally impact our local economies for generations. Unless we address the root cause of global warming: wanton climate pollution.

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Using the Airbnb Model to Protect the Environment

Seema Jayachandran, New York Times, December 29, 2017

As the world’s population grows, so does demand for land. One upshot is that setting aside big tracts to protect endangered species and carbon-rich forests is increasingly expensive.

Enter the Airbnb economic model. While it’s not a panacea, it provides attractive solutions for conservation as well as housing.

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Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch Have Set Our Future on Fire

Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation December 11, 2017

The fires and storms ravaging the planet are only going to get worse, especially if we don’t end the power of climate deniers.

The fires of hell roared through the City of Angels, dispatched by the lords of darkness. Blasted by 80-mile-an-hour winds that turned palm trees into giant torches, the blazes that ravaged Los Angeles and Southern California beginning December 4 were the worst veteran local firefighters could recall. As the conflagration entered a second week, it had already destroyed an estimated 1,000 structures, burned hundreds of thousands of acres of land, and left smoke-choked residents scrambling to buy face masks to keep breathing.

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10 Ways to Be a Better Environmental Steward in 2018

Cassie Kelly, Ecowatch December 27th 2017

Protecting the natural environment may seem overwhelming with increased natural disasters, melting sea ice, and threatened wildlife. But your choices can truly go a long way for your community and your health. Here are ten ways to be a better steward in 2018 and help others do the same!

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2017 Was The Year Of Extreme Weather

NPR Science Correspondent Christopher Joyce on Weekend Edition Saturday December 30th 2017

This year will go down in history for its extreme weather. Researchers have now definitively attributed three major extreme weather events to climate change.

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Uninhabitable Earth or Not

The Uninhabitable Earth

Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

By David Wallace-Wells New Ypoprk Magazine, July 9th 2017

To read an annotated version of this article, complete with interviews with scientists and links to further reading, click here.

I. ‘Doomsday’

Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

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But the there’s this:

Scientists challenge magazine story about ‘uninhabitable Earth’

Chris Mooney, Washington Post July 12, 2017

The temptation to paint a dire picture of climate change, at a time when the Trump administration seems bent on questioning a widely accepted body of climate science and withdrawing from international agreements, is clear. But the picture still has to be plausible and accurate, a number of scientists argued this week in response to a lengthy article in New York Magazine.

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Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again

Eric Holthaus, Grist December 18 2017

Last week, at a New Orleans conference center that once doubled as a storm shelter for thousands during Hurricane Katrina, a group of polar scientists made a startling declaration: The Arctic as we once knew it is no more.

The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet’s life-support system.

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Interior Sec. flew a National Park director to D.C. to berate, warn not to send climate change info

Jen Hayden, Daily Kos Social December 15 2017

Last month, the social media folks at California’s Joshua Tree National park sent out a tweet (seen below) noting that 97% of the world’s climate scientists “agree that human activity is the driving force behind today’s rate of global temperature increase.” Well, that didn’t sit well with climate change-denying Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, someone who has been frequently accused of wasting tax dollars on things like charter helicopters to go horseback riding with Mike Pence, chartering private flights (from an oil and gas billionaire no less!) to spend one night at his Montana home and yes, even buying a hunting video game for the cafeteria of the Department of the Interior. Zinke found yet another way to burn taxpayer dollars. After seeing the tweet from the Joshua Tree National Park account, he flew the director from California to Washington, D.C. to light him up in person.

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Guest Opinion: We can create infrastructure jobs without jeopardizing our future

Guest Opinion b y Jeff Merkley, Medford Mailt Tribune, December 8, 2017

When Jordan Cove LNG announced its plan in 2012 for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Coos Bay, it painted a compelling picture. The project would create hundreds of construction jobs and improve port infrastructure in a region hit hard by the loss of sawmills and canneries. Simultaneously it would lessen the carbon dioxide pollution driving climate disruption by replacing higher-polluting coal.

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Clean Energy Jobs a win-win solution for Applegate residents

Alan Journet, The Applegater, Winter 2017

Win-win and no-regrets solutions rarely come our way, but in the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, our valley has a chance to hit that sweet spot.

Most Applegate Valley residents know that our temperature has been climbing for decades (for more information, visit  www2.usgs.gov/climate_landuse/clu_rd/nccv/viewer.asp) bringing early snowmelt and heat waves. Less obvious is the transition from high-elevation snowfall to lower-elevation rainfall, resulting in reduced snowpack and water shortages during summer and fall. Additionally,
rainfall is occurring more often as heavy downpours rather than light soil replenishing drizzle, thus stimulating floods. Together with reducing soil moisture, these drying patterns stimulate wildfire risk. Furthermore, the trends will only become more severe unless we address
their root cause: climate pollution inducing global warming.

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