Climate Nexus, Oct 13th 2016

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) did not properly account for climate change in its environmental impact assessment of a $1.4 billion natural gas pipeline, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In April, FERC found that the 160-mile Leach Xpress pipeline would have a limited impact on the environment, but the EPA argues potential emissions from burning the natural gas transported by the pipeline need to be factored in.

The EPA’s statement comes just a few months after the Obama administration called on federal agencies to consider the climate impacts of their projects and at a time of increasing pipeline protests due to environmental justice and climate impacts.

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Editor’s Note:  This is exactly the point SOCAN made in our submission written  in response to the FERC Draft Environmental Impact Statement in the Jordan Cove / Pacific Connector Project.  It’s great that, at last, the EPA has caught up with SOCAN.  May they do so again and repeatedly.

Union of Concerned Scientists: October 2016

An in-depth analysis of eight leading fossil fuel companies finds that none of them has made a clean break from disinformation on climate science and policy.

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Hurricane Matthew made landfall on October 8 in South Carolina, unleashing record-breaking rainfall and storm surge and driving historic flooding and destructive winds along the coasts of northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. Matthew first spun up into a hurricane on September 29, surging from a tropical storm into a Category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours, a stunning development consistent with the observed trend toward rapidly intensifying tropical cyclones. The storm’s development was fueled by seas warmer than the historical average, and by October 3, Matthew had generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy in eastern Caribbean of any Atlantic hurricane on record.

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Following the successful Climate Summit organized by SOCAN in October 2015, 350Deschutes planned a similar event for October 2016.  The event, Climate Change: Solutions & Opportunities, was held October 3 and 4 at the Mt Bachelor Village Conference Center.  SOCAN Co-faclitators Kathy Conway and Alan Journet attended the event on October 3rd when Alan gave a short presentation – with Diane Hodiak (Executive Director of 350Deschutes) – enititled ‘Climate Policy on the Horizon.’  This offered a brief exploration of the importance of addressing all Greenhouse Gases, not just carbon / carbon dioxide, along with a discussion of why Oregon Action is necessary, and the history of what has been happening and is being developed for the 2017 Legslative Session.

SOCAN Co-Facilitators Alan Journet and Kathy Conway attended the Environmental Education Association of Oregon Annual Conferece at Suttle Lake on September 30th to lead a 75 minute workshop entitled Climate Science Basics which employed images of the global warming basics and competing hypotheses to explain the recent warming trend to generate understanding of the science.  They then joined a panel discussion that explored climate change issues and the role of educators and education in stimulating meaningful action.

Additional images are available on the SOCAN Facebook Page

Lauren McCauley, Common Dreams, September 22nd 2016

“If you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

Though it may not have seemed possible, climate catastrophe is even closer than previously thought, with new figures released Thursday finding that—when the wells already drilled, pits dug, and pipelines built, are taken under consideration—we are well on our way to going beyond 2°C of warming.

“If you’re in a hole, stop digging,” begins the study, put forth by the fossil fuel watchdog Oil Change International (OCI), in partnership with 14 other environmental organizations.

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Nadia Pruis, Common Dreams Setember 23rd 2016

The planet could pass the critical 1.5°C global temperature threshold in a decade—and is already two-thirds of the way to hit that warming limit, climate scientists warned on Thursday.

Speaking at a University of Oxford conference this week, led by leading UK climate researcher Richard Betts, scientists said global greenhouse gas emissions are not likely to slow down quickly enough to avoid passing the 1.5°C target.

The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C was agreed to in the landmark Paris agreement negotiated by 195 nations last year.

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Bill McKibben, The New Republic September 22nd 2016

The future of humanity depends on math. And the numbers in a new studyreleased Thursday are the most ominous yet.

Those numbers spell out, in simple arithmetic, how much of the fossil fuel in the world’s existing coal mines and oil wells we can burn if we want to prevent global warming from cooking the planet. In other words, if our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do?

Here’s the answer: zero.

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Several council representatives from four cities gathered on Friday at the New Talent Community Center for a Networking Breakfast to discuss efforts, both underway and aspirational, to promote clean energy.  Hosted by Southern Oregon Climate Action Now and Rogue Climate, the breakfast served to allow council members and city staffs who have clean energy efforts underway to share what they are doing with one another and with those cities having an interest in launching such programs.

Recorder Ray Mallette, Mayor Darby Stricker, Mayor John Stromberg, Councilor Jim Lewis, Staff Adam Hanks, Facilitator Morgan Lindsey Councilor Collins; Photo by Allen Hallmark

L – R Recorder Ray Mallette, Mayor Darby Stricker, Mayor John Stromberg, Councilor Jim Lewis, Staff Adam Hanks, Facilitator Morgan Lindsey Councilor Collins; Photo by Allen Hallmark

 

The two hour gathering offered breakfast and an information exchange.  Each city contingent was assigned 6 minutes to for a teaser summary of their efforts or aspirations.  This session was followed by two twenty minute networking sessions where participants exchanged ideas in a more informal conversation.  The morning wrapped up with a discussion of what next steps might help stimulate further clean energy efforts in the Valley.

SOCAN Co-facilitator, Alan Journet served as Master of Ceremonies. Journet welcomed participants by assuring them that although SOCAN and Rogue Climate clearly are interested in promoting climate change action, this breakfast was an effort to promote networking and had no specific agenda of expected outcomes.  In that vein, participants freely discussed what their cities were doing and what they would like to see happen locally. They left with a better understanding of what is happening locally, and with contacts that might help them avoid re-inventing a wheel that had been invented by a neighbor city just down the road.

Mayor Stromberg kicked the morning off with a discussion of the Ashland Climate and Energy Action Plan currently under development and how effectively this is moving forward with enthusiastic citizen input.  Mayour Stricker followed up with a discussion of how Talent has been moving towards renewable energy both in city operations and among community residents.  Mike Quilty then explained how Central Point has been saving money by switching to more efficient city vehicles.  Jim Lewis explained how Jacksonville has become a ‘Green Power Community’ as a result of citizen involvement with Blue Sky program.  Jocie Wall, also from Jacksonville, closed this session with the hope of learning how a Conservation Commission or Committee might be established, and especially how small cities with limited resources might learn from other about developing clean energy efforts and stimulating water conservation.

Attendees generally indicated that this was a valuable first step, and looked forward to ongoing discussions via the personal contacts made or through future gatherings such as this.

Following the event, planning committee chair Journet indicated that although he was disappointed more cities didn’t send representatives, he was happy with the willingness of participants to share what they are doing and the outcome of greater appreciation among participants for what is happening locally.  He also expressed the hope that this first step would lead to future such gatherings to stimulate greater moves towards clean energy and a more sustainable local economy.

Attending the breakfast were Mayor John Stromberg, Councilor Rich Rosenthal, and City Staff Adam Hanks from Ashland, Councilor Mike Quilty from Central Point, Councilor Jim Lewis and Councilor and Mayoral candidate Jocie Wall from Jacksonvillle, and Mayor Darby Stricker and Councilor Christina Collins from Talent.

The Global Monitoring Division of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory has measured methane since 1983 at a globally distributed network of air sampling sites (Dlugokencky et al., 1994). A global average is constructed by first smoothing the data for each site as a function of time, and then smoothed values for each site are plotted as a function of latitude for 48 equal time steps per year. Global means are calculated from the latitude plot at each time step (Masarie and Tans, 1995). Go here for more details on how global means are calculated.

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