Good News:

  1. France has banned flights on routes that can be done by train in less than 2 1/2 hours.
  2. A California company is offering Oregon farmers free test runs of its electric tractors.
  3. In a world-first, the supreme court of Brazil has declared that the Paris Agreement is a human rights treaty that must take precedence over national laws.

The case that led to this ruling, PSB et al. v. Brazil (on Climate Fund), was filed by four political parties (the Workers’ Party, Socialism, and Liberty Party, Brazilian Socialist Party, and Sustainability Network) as a response to the government failing to distribute money from the national Climate Fund (Fundo Clima) since 2019.

The Brazilian government believed that the Climate Fund was not constitutionally protected and should the court interfere, it would violate the country’s separation of powers.

However, in the end, the Supreme Federal Court ruled, “Treaties on environmental law are a type of human rights treaty and, for that reason, enjoy supranational status. There is, therefore, no legally valid option to simply omit to combat climate change.”

Going forward, this means that any laws made by the Brazilian government that goes against the Paris Agreement will be invalid. Violating the Paris Agreement, and therefore the supreme court’s ruling would be seen as a violation of the country’s constitution and human rights.                                   —The Optimist Daily 7/14/22

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From an interview with Paul Hawken—

One of the 100 solutions presented in Drawdown stands out: Nuclear energy. Reversing global warming with nuclear energy seems like solving one problem while creating the next?

We are not advocates. We are measuring what exists. The fact is that today nuclear energy generates 11 percent of electricity worldwide and that share is growing. Our job is to model the impact when we use certain technologies or when we make certain choices. We are not a pressure group. We are not putting our beliefs into the world. Then our objectivity is gone. If you ask my personal opinion? Well, I think that nuclear energy is absolutely the most idiotic way ever developed in the world to boil water. It’s absurd.

Solar energy only comes in at the eighth place in the Drawdown list while most people see solar as the ultimate response to global warming?

We know that the combustion of fossil fuels has been the biggest cause of CO2 in the atmosphere. So the usual response is: We need to replace oil, gas and coal with renewable, low-carbon sources of energy. The mantra has been that we could solve the problem if we implement solar and wind, replace combustion engine cars with electric vehicles, eat less meat and don’t cut trees. Our data don’t support that perspective. There are many other—and better—solutions to reduce the amount of energy we need. That said: It is also a fact that everybody has been wrong about solar for 20 years. The most optimistic projections for solar have always been too low.

Olivia Rosane, April 18, EcoWatch

With their branches reaching up like knobby arms with tufts for fists, western Joshua trees are an iconic part of the California desert ecosystem, and environmental advocates want to make sure they stay that way in the face of development and the climate crisis.

To that end, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed a petition in 2019 to grant the trees protections under the California Endangered Species Act as a threatened species. But, on Wednesday, Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists argued that the trees were not imperiled enough to qualify.

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Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Cofacilitator,
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
7113 Griffin Lane
Jacksonville OR 97530-9342
alan@socan.eco
541-301-4107
February 7th 2022

Chair Helm and Members of the House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, and Water

I write as co-facilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now on behalf of the over 1600 rural Southern Oregonians who are SOCAN. Our mission is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate change consequences and motivate individual and collective action to address the resulting climate crisis.

As we address the climate crisis, we are conscious that we must not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote carbon sequestration, we must also prepare for the inevitable climate change consequences that will befall us.  One of the most obvious problems we will face is water shortage due to increased evaporation of that which is available, combined with reduced snowpack limiting summer and fall stream flow. This means that water conservation is and will continue to be a critical feature of our future.

Currently, the individual in each county responsible for monitoring water usage is the watermaster, an employee of the state Department of Water Resources.  While this individual is responsible for monitoring water abuse, current law does not allow that individual to enter private property to assess water use.  This means the individual has a mandate to do what he or she cannot do if the landowner declines access. This is patently absurd.

While HB4061 does not grant the watermaster right to access private property whenever desired, the bill does accord that individual the option of seeking a petition for a warrant to enter private property to assess water usage.

In rural Southern Oregon, the problem of water abuse is particularly evidence among growers of plants in the Cannabaceae family. Thus, we support the notion that the penalty imposed by HB4061 may equal the value of the crop being grown using the illegal water.

Respectfully submitted

Alan Journet Ph.D.
Cofacilitator
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Cofacilitator,
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
7113 Griffin Lane
Jacksonville OR 97530-9342
alan@socan.eco
541-301-4107
February 7th 2022

Chair Holvey and Members of the House Committee on Business and Labor

I write as co-facilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now on behalf of the over 1600 rural Southern Oregonians who are SOCAN. Our mission is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate change consequences and motivate individual and collective action to address the resulting climate crisis.

One of the realities that we understand in addressing the climate crisis is that in addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting carbon sequestration, we must prepare for the inevitable warming and climate change that are baked in as a result of the emissions already released.  This preparation, known as adaptation, involves adjusting our behavior in ways that allow us to maintain a healthy, vibrant and sustainable lifestyle even as changes befall us.  Achieving adaptation involved identifying the most vulnerable segments of our community and determining how best to protect them from the oncoming changes.

We are well aware that farm and forest workers, along with construction workers who must work outdoors are among the most challenged by global warming itself and the climate change and increasing wildfire risk that this imposes.  We are also very aware that some employers of these vulnerable workers are insensitive to the health risks that heat and smoke inflict.  The result is that workers are often expected, at the risk of losing their jobs, to work long and unconscionable hours while being exposed to heat and smoke, sometimes even without reimbursement.

It is often argued that a measure of our civilization is how well we treat the most vulnerable among us.  Here is a perfect opportunity for the Oregon Legislature to demonstrate that it cares about vulnerable Oregonians.  In fact, HB4002 requires no more of employers than they would require of themselves if they were behaving responsibly. The only justification for opposing this bill is if one rejects the notion that employees should be treated fairly and justly.  The Oregon Legislature should not reward such unconscionable attitudes and behavior.

As residents of rural Southern Oregon, we are acutely aware of the threat climate change and wildfire pose to our friends in the agricultural arena. For the above reasons, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now endorsed HB4002 and commends it strongly to your attention for a ‘Do Pass’ recommendation.

Respectfully submitted

Alan Journet Ph.D.
Cofacilitator
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Tyler Ridgle, kdrv Jan 25th 2022

MEDFORD, Ore. – Tuesday, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now board members and members of the public gather to learn about harmful greenhouse gases from retired marine biologist and SOCAN Board member, Dr. Bill Gorham.

His presentation displays the cause of warming above the ocean, greenhouse gases, and how oceans have fallen to the detriment of impractical habits adopted by humans.

“Rather than having an average temperature that’s about 59 or 60-degrees Fahrenheit, were it not for the ocean capturing that extra heat, it would be about 120 degrees Fahrenheit.”

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Los AngelesTimes Editorial, January 13 2022

New results from a long-running public opinion survey show that about 1 in 3 Americans is now “alarmed” by global warming. Is it any wonder, given the horrific onslaught of fires, floods, heat waves and other climate disasters we’ve experienced in the last year alone?

The share of the U.S. adult population alarmed by global warming nearly doubled over the last five years from 18% to an all-time high of 33%, with about half of that increase occurring between December 2020 and September 2021, researchers with Yale University and George Mason University reported Wednesday as part of a twice-a-year nationwide survey. About 59% of Americans are either “alarmed” or “concerned” about climate change and overall are becoming more engaged and supportive of policies to reduce planet-warming pollution.

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Our biological world whether individual species or natural ecosystem assemblages of species of flora and fauna) are dependent on the two dominant consequences of global warming: temperature and precipitation; they are fragile! In Biological Consequences of Climate Change Alan Journet explores how global warming and its climate change consequences are affecting our living world.

Many of us spend time and resources trying to do what is best to fight global warming and its climate change consequences.   It is only consistent, then, that we should not use banks that invest in and offer loans to fossil fuel extraction projects.  By the same token, states such as Oregon that are trying to reduce emissions should not invest their accumulated funds in promoting fossil fuel extraction.  The claim by the Oregon Investment Council that it has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize investment interest belies a level of ignorance and amorality that is difficult to comprehend.  First – the argument assumes that investing in fossil fuels makes sound financial sense.  However, (a)  it is obvious that these corporation are on a collision course with future required behavior and legislated regulations , and (b)  it presupposes that investing in renewable energy is less financially rewarding, and (c) it ignores that (a) above will result in these corporations suffering billions of dollars of ‘stranded assets’ that will become a worthless financial anchor.

Efforts are underway to persuade OIC to divest from fossil fuels:

Opinion: Oregon must disclose and divest from fossil fuels

Khanh Pham, Paul Holvey and Jeff Golden, The Oregonian, December 8 2021

ham represents House District 46-Southeast Portland, Holvey represents House District 8-Eugene and Golden represents Senate District 3- Ashland in the Oregon Legislature.

As legislators in Oregon’s environmental caucus, we know our state must take bold climate action now.

When it comes to tackling the climate crisis, there are already plenty of reasons for Oregonians to take pride in our state. Earlier this year, the Legislature passed three clean energy bills focused on energy affordability and climate-smart housing. In 2018, Portland also passed the first municipal clean energy fund in the United States.

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