Damian Mann, Rogue Valley Times, March 7th 2023

Main Street in downtown Medford will welcome the city’s first-of-its-kind, two-way bike lane this fall.

A plan is in the works to convert a vehicle travel lane from Bear Creek to Oakdale Avenue into a separate mini-roadway just for cyclists.

“This may be the first one in the Rogue Valley,” said Ann Smith, a member of the Siskiyou Velo board of directors. “We’re hoping other cities in the area look at this.”


Every year, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) publishes a scorecard evaluating the performance of Senate and House legislators. The 2022 scorecard is now available at here.

Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
February 21st 2023




Chair Marsh and members of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment:

I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN), an organization of over 2,000 rural Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and urge statewide action to address it. The mission of SOCAN is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate chaos consequences and stimulate individual and collective action to address it. Since rural Oregonians occupy the frontlines in experiencing the impact of the drought, shrinking snowpack, wildfires and extreme weather that the climate crisis imposes, we are strongly committed to statewide action.

We are, therefore, delighted to have seen the progress that state agencies have made over the last two years in responding to Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04. We were just as delighted to see the legislature pass HB2021 two years ago requiring that retail electricity in Oregon shall be generated using 100% clean energy by 2040.

Since Oregon became a national leader in addressing the climate crisis in 2007 with HB3543 the state has drifted back in the pack. The reason we drifted back is because the program was voluntary, a reality that allowed recalcitrant businesses to evade their responsibility for stepping up.  It was not until EO 20-04 and HB2021 that Oregon regained a measure of leadership. But now, the same entities and mindset that caused our state to drift are returning to take advantage of loopholes in programs and policies whenever they can. One such problem is energy users that link in to generation facilities not covered by HB2021 such as public power utilities and Idaho Power.

Heavy duty energy users such as data centers and cryptocurrency mining operations are chief among the offenders. It’s time to close the loophole!

Those of us living in rural Southern Oregon are offended that businesses are attempting to by-pass the requirements of HB2021 and thereby increase our risk of suffering reduced snowpack, drought, wildfire, and heatwaves. We urge the legislature to correct this oversight and ensure everyone plays by the same rules.

The climate crisis is being driven by everyone who uses energy that is derived from fossil fuels. If we are to avert the looming crisis, we must ALL collaborate together to address it.

For these reasons Southern Oregon Climate Action Now urges passage of HB 2816

Respectfully Submitted

Alan Journet

Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
February 21st 2023


Reference HB3056

Chair Marsh and members of the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment:

I write as cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN), an organization of over 2,000 rural Southern Oregonians who are concerned about the climate crisis and urge statewide action to address it. The mission of SOCAN is to promote awareness and understanding of the science of global warming and its climate chaos consequences and stimulate individual and collective action to address it. Since rural Oregonians occupy the frontlines in experiencing the impact of the drought, shrinking snowpack, wildfires and extreme weather that the climate crisis imposes, we are strongly committed to statewide action.

Buildings and Climate Pollution

We understand fully that building operations contribute substantially to both the global and U.S. total carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Rukikaire and Loran (2022) reported that globally buildings account for 34% of energy demand and some 37% of carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile, quoting International Energy Agency (IEA) data, Architecture 230 (2022) reported that buildings contribute 40% of annual global carbon dioxide emissions, of which 27% results from operations and 13% from construction (the so-called embodied carbon emissions in buildings). Meanwhile, Leung (2018) reported that for the U.S., buildings account for 29% of the greenhouse gas emissions annually. She also reported that in commercial buildings, Heating, Cooling and Ventilation account for 30% of the total emissions, while in residential buildings, this value is 38%. There can be little doubt that heating and cooling our buildings collectively contribute substantially to the climate crisis. This implies that anything we can do to reduce building emissions would be beneficial in addressing the climate crisis.

This also leads to our understanding that addressing the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) component would be a great contribution Therefore, anything we can do to encourage the use of more efficient HVAC technologies will reduce statewide emissions, especially if this is restricted to technology that is powered by electricity rather than fossil gas (see below).Fortunately, passage of HB2021 in 2020 affects the source of our electricity, requiring it to be 100% clean by 2040. Therefore, the benefit of electricity will only increase.

Energy.gov (undated) argues that: “Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners for all climates.” The benefit, furthermore, is stated as: “Today’s heat pump can reduce your electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters.” The heat pump technology is clearly advantageous compared to conventional systems and should be encouraged.

The Drawback of Fossil Gas (= Methane or Natural Gas)

The fossil fuel euphemistically called ‘natural gas’ is a fossil fuel composed of 70 – 90% (API 2021) methane, but when delivered to our homes, it is almost pure methane {Naturalgas.org 2013). Like other fossil fuels, when combusted, either in the power plant to generate electricity or in the home for heating or cooking, the gas produces carbon dioxide. Table 1 reports the pounds of carbon dioxide emitted per million BTUs of energy generated from fossil fuels.

Table 1 seems to suggest that in terms of combustion emissions of carbon dioxide, fossil gas is an improvement over other fossil fuels. Unfortunately for the gas companies, this is not the whole story. In all energy resource cases, we must undertake full lifecycle assessment of emissions. In the case of gas, we go to the source and start there. The gas must first be extracted and processed, and then transmitted under pressure through pipelines to target end users. The first catch is that throughout the life cycle, gas leaks. In addition, unlike carbon dioxide which has a half-life of centuries to millennia in the atmosphere, methane has a half-life of only about a decade. The second catch arises from the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of the gas. Methane is over 80 times worse than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas on a 20-year basis and nearly 30 times worse on a 100-year basis (IPCC 2021). It will be readily evident that this means not much methane has to leak to negate the combustion benefit depicted in Table 1.

In the popular press, the focus on what is driving global warming and thus the climate change consequences, carbon dioxide is often identified as the culprit. While carbon dioxide is assuredly the most important driver, it is accompanied by several other gases, notably methane, nitrous oxides and human-generated fluorinated gases. Several years ago, NOAA established an Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI) reporting the impact of various gases on the overall trend. The AGGI set 1990 as 1, and reports divergence before and after this date of the various GHG concentrations in the atmosphere, and their contribution to the overall impact. (Figure 1).

As can be seen, the AGGI in 2021 was 1.49, meaning that the impact of these gases is nearly 50% greater than in 1990. Additionally, of that 1.49 Index value, about 0.49 (nearly 50%) results from gases other than carbon dioxide.

Additionally, among these gases, methane contributes about 8%. The message is clear: we should not ignore gases other than carbon dioxide and specifically should not ignore methane, the major contributor among these other gases.

It was not until the last decade or so that studies of the leakage of methane during the fossil gas cycle were undertaken and its significance revealed. Before this realization, it was probably reasonable to argue that natural gas was the cleanest fossil fuel. That’s when the notion of natural gas as a bridge fuel to a renewable energy future was established. Regrettably, we now know this reputation is an illusion. Yet, it has remained a claim by gas companies (e.g., Neslen 2017).

Robert Howarth and colleagues from Cornell University, among others, have been studying this issue for many years. Howarth et al. (2011) were among the first to report that the range of methane emissions for conventional gas extraction and processing was 1.7 – 6.0% while that from shale extraction was 3.6 -7.9%. Howarth (2014) offered the mean for conventional natural gas extraction as 3.8% and that for shale extraction as 5.8% and reported the break-even percentage above which the gas becomes worse than coal as 2.8% assuming the 20-year GWP value for methane. The justification for using the 20-year GWP is simply that, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2018) argued net zero emissions is required by 2050, thus the length of time for action is short. This makes the 100-year value meaningless. It also means that, on average, both conventional and shale extraction produce methane emissions that rate their fossil fuel worse than coal in terms of its global warming impact. Thus, the conclusion has to be that methane (natural gas) is potentially worse than coal as a global warming fuel.

In a later report, Howarth (2019) concluded: “shale-gas production in North America over the past decade may have contributed more than half of all of the increased emissions from fossil fuels globally and approximately one-third of the total increased emissions from all sources globally over the past decade.” Zhang et al. (2020) concluded that for the largest extraction field – the Permian Basin: “[the] magnitude of emissions is 3.7% of the gross gas extracted.” Note that this is confined to Permian Basin emissions and does not include emissions from transmission out of the Basin to the end user. However, even this is substantially greater than the break-even point of 2.8%. Meanwhile, a study on 2018 emissions of methane from the full fossil gas life cycle indicates that it accounts for some 26% of the nation’s total methane emissions (Littlefield et al. 2022).

Additionally, Hmiel et al. 2020 assessed that anthropogenic methane emissions from fossil fuels represent 30% of the global source of the gas.

Assessment of the impact of emissions from fossil gas indicates that it is profoundly not ‘the clean fossil fuel’ and should be avoided as seriously as coal and oil should be avoided.

In order to maintain their market share and business model, gas companies are attempting to create the impression that they are committed to reducing climate pollution from their product. Unfortunately, the methods that they claim will achieve this goal are, at best, questionable.

A separate issue regarding fossil gas (methane) has emerged as a great concern over recent years: that regards the tremendous negative health impacts that its use in homes imposes on residents, especially, of course, children. Excellent discussions of these costs can be found in Gottlieb and Dyrszka (2017) and O’Rourke et al. (2022). Even for those denying the reality of the climate crisis, the health effects alone of continued reliance of fossil gas should warrant its rejection.

Leiserowitz et al. (2023) report that the ratio of Americans accepting that climate change is happening versus rejecting it is now about 4:1 (70%:16%) with 58% accepting that it is human-caused and only 27% thinking the cause is natural. It is time for us all to take the crisis seriously and act appropriately. HB3056 is another Oregonian step in this direction.

For these reasons, Southern Oregon Climate Action now supports HB3056, but suggests that it should preclude fossil gas heat pumps.

Respectfully Submitted



Alan Journet

Meteor Blades, Daily Kos, December 13, 2022

Just over half the Republicans in the Senate and House who take the oath of office in three weeks have expressed views in opposition to what the overwhelming majority of scientists tell us is happening with Earth’s climate. In the House, there are 110 of them, including 19 newly elected representatives. In the Senate, there are 39, including four who have been elected since 2020.  We can expect them to do everything they can in the 118th Congress to undermine any efforts to address the climate crisis that none of them publicly says is a crisis. (An updated roster of all 149 has been compiled below.)

It would be bad enough if all these lawmakers were merely fools. However, most of them know climatologists’ warnings aren’t fake news. This doesn’t stop them from continuing to regurgitate debunked propaganda that the fossil fuel industry has for four decades been paying shills to disinform the public about. Nor does it spur them to take legislative action to address what scientists say we must. They don’t care. And if fattening their wallet accompanies their not caring, so much the better.


Nov 10, 2022 | News Release Western Environmental Law Center

This month, conservation groups finalized a legal agreement with the Bureau of Land Management to reverse a Trump-era rule excluding vastly more logging in post-fire landscapes from detailed environmental review. The agreement resolves a legal challenge the groups brought against the agency in October, 2021.

“Categorical exclusions” allow agencies to approve actions having minimal environmental effects without detailed environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Trump rule increased the maximum area for categorical exclusions permitting logging of “dead or dying trees” from 250 acres to 3,000 acres—a 1,200% increase. The rule also doubled the maximum amount of permitted road construction from one-half to one mile of permanent road. The previous categorical exclusion rule required those roads to be temporary. The Bureau will now engage in rulemaking to remove the categorical exclusion language from its NEPA implementing procedures and revert to the old guidance. In the meantime, BLM will refrain from using the categorical exclusion.


Here’s a short 2 minute video that explains the basic process that causes global warming and is driving the climate crisis.

Environmentalists fear Christine Drazan will set the state’s emissions reductions targets back decades. She’s ahead in the polls, thanks in part to the presence of a third party, Democrat-turned-independent candidate.

Emma Ricketts, October 25, 2022 Inside Climate News

The unexpectedly close race for governor in Oregon has environmentalists worried that a Republican win could roll back the state’s ambitious climate response, much of which could easily be erased by the next occupant of the governor’s mansion.

Oregon’s gubernatorial election is catching national attention this year, with Republican nominee Christine Drazan on polling less than a percentage point ahead of Tina Kotek, her Democratic counterpart and former House speaker credited with helping pass the state’s ambitious Clean Fuels Program.


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


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.