Jack Moran, Eugene Register Guard, October 30 2018

Maya Green gets it.

SOCAN co-facilitators Alan Journet and Kathy Conway hold the SOCAN banner bringing Southern Oregon support to the Youth at the Eugene Wayne Morse courthouse for ‘The trial of the century.’

The 6-year-old girl, missing her two front teeth and wearing a colored sign on her back that depicted the Earth along with the words “I hope you get better soon,” stood among hundreds of people who gathered Monday outside the U.S. Courthouse in Eugene for a rally in support of a youth-led climate lawsuit against the government.

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The SOCAN banner and a small but intrepid group of SOCANistas braved the drizzly conditions to demonstrate support for the actions of the Youth to bring the case of holding our natural resources in trust for future generations

Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli, The Washington Post, October 28, 2018

Appearing the the Medford Mail Tribune as Climate change is upending wine industry

 Season after season, he’d been growing and harvesting the same grapes on the same land. But five years ago, Livio Salvador began to wonder whether something was changing.

When he walked through his vineyards, he would see patches of grapes that were browned and desiccated. The damage tended to appear on the outside of the bunch — the part most exposed to sunlight. Salvador talked to other growers and winemakers in the region, and they were noticing it, too.

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Guest Opinion / Op – Ed, by Alan Journet, Medford Mail Tribune, October 28 2018

In 2007 Oregon assumed national leadership in combating global warming with a measure that targeted a 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels. Because this was a voluntary measure, we are not on a trajectory to achieve what we now understand to be very limited goals. Meanwhile, droughts and wildfires in 2017 and 2018 indicate that action is urgent.

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Jackson County Board of Commissioner candidates Amy Thuren (left) and Dr. Lanita Witt answer questions on Environmental Challenges at the SOCAN forum

Moderator Liz Olson, and SOCAN co-facilitator Alan Journet pose at the podium

On Monday October 15th 2018 SOCAN entertained candidates for Jackson County Board of Commissioners for a forum on Environmental Challenges.  Although all candidates were invited and approached repeatedly, regrettably, only Democratic Party candidates appeared before voters to answer questions on this subject.  A summary of the event can be found here.

Alan Journet and Kathy Conway teaching climate trends in Jim Hartman’s Climate Solutions class

Kathy Conway teaching a segment on local trends and projections during Ashland Middle School’s climate science unit

 

 

During the Fall 2018 term, SOCAN’s Climate in the Classroom team visited Ashland High School to deliver presentations on local climate trends and projections in three sections of Jim Hartman’s Climate Solutions class and then delivered fifteen presentations in science classes of Kristina Healy, Jennifer Craugh and Daniel Otte at Ashland Middle School.

Master Climate Protectors Anne and Michael Meiring helped with the group exercises on Day 1 at Ashland Middle School

 

Alan Journet reviews the basic science of global warming with Ashland Middle School students

Master Climate Protectors Bella Tibbetts (pictured here) and Caroline O’Brien helped on Day 2 with group activities at Ashland Middle School

Thanks to climate champion Representative Pam Marsh (House District 5), delegations from SOCAN and Rogue Climate met on Friday October 12 for a little over an hour with House Speaker Tina Kotek to discuss our concerns about the forthcoming greenhouse gas emissions reduction bill and the proposed Jordan Cove project.

During the exchange, SOCAN co-facilitator Alan Journet argued that the proposal emerging from the Joint Journet shared with Speaker Kotek two articles written by Bill McKibben and the recent (2018) IPCC report to bolster his case.  Journet also argued the need for the bill to minimize the free allocation of allowance and generate sufficient revenue that mitigation (including promoting renewable energy, energy conservation and energy use efficiency) should be funded, along with regenerative agriculture and  carbon sequestering forestry in addition to serving social justice and equity. needs.

The Rogue Climate delegation, meanwhile, argued a strong case for the need to oppose the Jordan Cove project based on eminent domain concerns given that the benefits accrue to a foreign corporation, and the greenhouse gas emissions from the project that would be equivalent to nearly 60% of Oregon’s In-Boundary emissions, thus compromising Oregons’s efforts to reduce emissions.  The Rogue Climate delegation challenged Speaker Kotek to assume opposition to the project but she declined to do so arguing that the process should be allowed to play out.

In relation to the developing greenhouse gas emissions bill, Speaker Kotek indicated that discussion was starting from the 2018 Clean Energy Jobs Bill as proposed, but would not likely generate the $700 million in revenue that the 2018 bill was suggested as generating.  Rather, she argued, revenue would fall somewhere between zero and that figure. A ‘straw bill’ is expected to emerge in late 2018 or early 2019 so representatives know the direction that the committee is taking and they have a basis for discussion.

 

 

Carol Davenport, New Your Times, October 7 2018: Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040

Helen Davidson, The Guardian, October 8th 2018: IPCC climate change report calls for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels – live

Umair Irfan   Vox, October 7th 2018 A major new climate report slams the door on wishful thinking

Laura ???? October 8th  LA Times ‘Incredibly grim’ prognosis on global warming also carries clarion call for global action

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Allen et al. October 6th 2018: Global Warming of 1.5 °C an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

 

Summary of the forum by Alan Journet

From Left to Right: Moderator Liz Olson, Jeff Golden, Jessica Gomez, Representative Pam Marsh, Michalle Blum Atkinson.  ‘Yes” means they’d urge state departments to deny Jordan Cove permits; ‘No’ & ‘Yes’ means ‘maybe.’

All the candidates at the forum on Environmental Challenges presented by SOCAN on Monday October 1st agreed that climate science is real, but they disagreed on what to do.

Attending the debate were Jeff Golden and Jessica Gomez candidates for Senate District 3, House District 5 incumbent Pam Marsh, and House District 6 candidate Michelle Blum Atkinson.  The panel of candidates seeking to represent us in Salem at the Southern Oregon Climate Action Now Forum was dominated by Democrats because, among Republicans, only Jessica Gomez chose to attend.  On climate change, forest issues, and other environmental issues, there were obvious differences of opinion.

On addressing global warming, for example, Golden, Marsh, and Blum Atkinson expressed support for meaningful greenhouse gas emissions reduction policy in the state.  House District 5 Representative Pam Marsh touted her leadership in Salem in promoting such legislation.  Jeff Golden, candidate for Senate District 3, meanwhile firmly supported legislation that demands substantial emissions reductions and expressed concern that any proposal developed should be sufficiently rigorous that it really addresses the problem.  Indeed, Golden identified environmental concerns as the primary reasons for, and corner stone of, his candidacy and argued Oregon should assume a leadership role in addressing the problem.  House District 6 candidate Michelle Blum Atkinson identified environment as one her priorities, and committed to supporting climate action.

While accepting the science and the problem, Republican candidate for Senate District 3 Jessica Gomez voiced her disagreement with the Democrats.  Gomez, scoffed at the idea that we are facing ‘climate chaos,’ suggesting this is merely frightening language.  To address the issue, she argued for more research, complained that the cap and trade proposals are too complex, and suggested that a global solution was necessary. Gomez reflected the standard Oregon Republican caucus position that Oregon’s contribution to the global budget of emissions is so small that state action is unnecessary because it would have a trivial impact.   Gomez also raised the specter of the Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) problem of several years back, again echoing Republican criticisms.  Climate action champion Marsh dismissed that claim by pointing out that the Clean Energy Jobs proposal is totally unlike BETC.    The inference drawn is that Gomez would not support meaningful action on climate change while Golden, Marsh, and Blum Atkinson would.

Addressing the blight of our summer, forest fires, the Democratic candidates all accurately related the problem to climate change induced by global warming and fuel- build-up from fire suppression.  They argued for a program of thinning the forests and reintroducing controlled fire.  Jessica Gomez, meanwhile, primarily touted the standard party line that the problem is mainly a result of environmental regulations and the reduction of logging in the 1980s.

Answering a question about how well their positions reflect their party’s priorities, the Democrats argued generally that they support the state party platform.  Golden stressed the need for action on environmental issues that is generally stronger than the party platform while Marsh expressed appreciation for that platform, and Blum Atkinson argued her strong opposition to the Jordan Cove project.  Meanwhile, despite offering the standard Republican position on most issues, Gomez claimed she does not follow the party line.

In responding to a series of Yes/No questions, all candidates agreed that environmental regulation are not too rigorous, while Golden, March and Blum Atkinson opposed Ballot Measure 104 designed to raise to 3/5th a vote designed to raise fees and licenses, only Gomez approving this proposal. All candidates opposed the use of environmental tactics in Measure 105.  Finally, on the Jordan Cove project, they differed.  While Golden, Marsh and Blum-Atkinson indicated opposition, Gomez responded ‘maybe.’

In response to audience questions, there were less clearly articulated differences.  All agreed the state should help promote resilience to climate change, though Gomez argued it was more a local than state issue.  In relation to reducing land-fill use and promoting recycling, all were in favor of ma.  king recycling easier: Golden encouraged incentives to reduce packaging, Marsh supported a plastic bag ban and Blum Atkinson argued for eliminating plastic bags.  Gomez, meanwhile, argued in favor of producing natural gas from garbage as an insurance policy against the likely earthquake.   In terms of protecting the most vulnerable communities from toxins, all agreed for the need to do this.  Finally, in response to a question about how to prevent a cap and trade program for allowing banks to profiteer from the sale of permits, all but Gomez argued that the way the bill was written and administered could address this potential problem.  Only Gomez used this as an excuse to argue against the proposal.

Overall Golden, Marsh and Blum Atkinson generally argued for the need for climate action, forest management that acknowledges the rile of fire suppression and climate change, and environmental protection at least the equal of their party’s platform, despite offering the standard Republican position on most issues, Gomez argued that she does not follow the party line.

SOCAN co-facilitator and forum team leader Alan Journet noted that all candidates for these races were invited, with most of the Republican candidates being offered the option of selecting a date that was convenient to them.  “While we learned much about where the candidates in attendance stand, it’s unfortunate that most of the Republican candidates considered environmental challenges of so little importance that they chose not to face their voters on the issues,” Journet concluded.  On Monday October 15th SOCAN will again offer a forum on environmental challenges, this time for candidates seeking to represent residents on the Jackson County Commissioner.

Nick Morgan, Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 2018

As locals reel from a wildfire season that’s already consumed more than double the average number of acres burned over the past decade, leaving behind still-lingering smoke in its wake, local business leaders say they’re learning to adapt while state officials place new ideas on the table.

Diversifying the local economy beyond tourism was an idea floated by two economic experts Saturday during a Smoke and Fire Summit held Saturday in Ashland.

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Jason Clark, Medford Mail Tribune, September 4, 2018

Western states need to implement restoration forestry practices on a large scale and fast. Restoration forestry backed by adequate public investment will pay back dividends in a four-pronged benefit package: 1) increased wildfire resilience, 2) habitat values and other ecosystem services, 3) economic invigoration, and 4) long-term carbon storage. The primary obstacles to a future of healthy, fire-resilient forests are political will and adequate investment.

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