Who We Are
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) is an all-volunteer grassroots, 501(C)(3) non-profit organization of over 1,500 Southern Oregonians and friends who are concerned about the climate crisis; we are concerned about climate change consequences and ocean acidification that both result from emissions of greenhouse gases. We collaborate to address these problems.
The mission of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) is to promote awareness and understanding about the science, causes, and consequences of climate change. We work with individuals and organizations in Southern Oregon, statewide, nationally, and internationally to advocate for both personal and governmental actions that reduce the emissions and atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases. Within this framework, we are committed to supporting climate solutions that address the social injustices that have undermined vulnerable communities for many decades and that still plague our society today.
We seek a reduction in the global atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration to 350 parts per million Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
Our first meeting, organized by a steering committee that included current co-facilitators Alan Journet and Kathy Conway, was in September 2012 when 70 attendees gathered to brainstorm possible climate actions and projects. In June 2013 the committee became the Leadership Circle and, after obtaining non-profit status, a Board of Directors was formed and approved the by-laws in December 2014.
The first big SOCAN event, in February 2013, ‘It’s A Rogue Thing: Bringing Climate Concerns Home’ was organized by a team of SOCAN volunteers assisted by many non-SOCAN volunteers.
SOCAN took a giant step in October 2015 with ‘Our Critical Climate: Trends, Impacts, and Implications – A Rogue Basin Summit’ attracting over 250 concerned individuals from across the basin.
For a decade, SOCAN activists have engaged with the coalition promoting state legislation and monitoring agency activities.
Currently, SOCAN activities are based on projects organized under five program categories: Community Engagement; Education; Transportation; Natural Resources; and Government.
Fire Recovery, following the 2020 Almeda Fire, engages with the community to increase awareness of the relevance of climate change in recovery efforts.
Businesses Taking Action encourages local businesses to incorporate sustainability and social justice in their day-to-day operations and recognizes those that do. It also provides an opportunity for concerned consumers to identify businesses taking action.
Sustaining Climate Activists provides support to individuals who are stressed by the climate change experience. Meanwhile, Voices of the Valley provides an opportunity for individuals to share how climate change has impacted them.
Our Monthly Meetings provide free public programs to the community on climate related issues.
In 2017 a SOCAN team organized and taught the pilot offering of the ten-week Master Climate Protector course. This has since been offered annually with 15-20 graduates each session and many working on service activities that increase community climate consciousness.
The Climate in the Classroom Project promotes climate awareness among students and teachers throughout our region. Our science-based approach supports teachers as they introduce students to climate issues.
Presentations to regional civic and service organizations remain an important outreach component of SOCAN.
Oregon Legislative and Congressional Districts provides climate summaries for legislators and residents across the state.
Collaborating with other organizations, SOCAN promotes the electrification of our Public Transit system. Additionally, we work with the national Transit Equity program to increase awareness of the importance of promoting equity considerations into our public transit system.
Forests and Fire promotes awareness of the interactions among climate, forests, and fire risk.
Through engagement with the Southern Oregon Climate Smart Working Group (SOCS) we are promoting the incorporation of climate smart principles in the management of our natural resources.
In collaboration with Oregon Coast Energy Alliance Network (OCEAN), Offshore Wind promotes the exploration of establishing a wind generation project off Oregon’s south coast.
Water Management and Conservation collaborates throughout the region to encourage climate conscious water use.
Federal and State project promotes climate action at the federal and state levels. Throughout our existence, SOCAN has collaborated with the statewide coalition of climate activists encouraging meaningful state greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Meanwhile, the County and City project focuses on climate action at the regional and local levels and the Ashland Climate Action project promotes climate action and the actualization of the city’s Climate and Energy Action Plan.