This Mail Tribune editorial really said it all;  Oregon Republicans have adopted the anti-democratic demeanor of the Trump White House and Congressional Republicans in rejecting representative democracy and their oaths of office and walking out to prevent discussion of huge array of legislative proposals addressing all manner of issues important to Oregonians of all political persuasions.

To protest this walk-out ROCPAC, SOCAN and ORD2 Indiviisible have been protesting in front of the Republican Party Offices in Medford and Grants Pass.  Interestingly, Republican volunteers in Medford initially engaged in discussions defending the walk-out, but later joined us on the street, even, and rather strangely,  bringing their Trump – Pence sign with them.

Guest Opinion by Alan Journet, Sunday February 23rd, Medford Mail Tribune

I am a biologist by training and career. Several decades ago, I was teaching an ecology course at Southeast Missouri State University when ecological theory and climate reality collided.

As I was discussing how temperature and precipitation patterns determine the distribution of natural biological systems (forests, grasslands, deserts etc.) across the planet, I realized how the climate projections of the day would, if they came to pass, destroy these natural systems on a planet-wide basis. I also taught conservation biology because I care deeply about the survival of planetary natural biodiversity; I care about lions, tigers, bears, and dickie birds, oh my. But, for those who don‘t care so much, but like to eat or live in a house, note that the same projected climate conditions would globally destroy our agriculture and forestry.

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Jacksonville Review, January 9th 2020

Anyone watching local events can see the temperature rising, snowpack dwindling, fire season lengthening.  These trends are not peculiar to Southern Oregon.  Our planet has warmed approximately a degree Centigrade since the industrial revolution.  Trends are progressing faster than climate scientists have anticipated.  We are in precarious times; the need for action is urgent!

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The struggle to save the planet

At this point, we all know that climate change is happening (or at least most of us do). But do we really know what it will mean to live on a planet transformed by it? We know the seas will rise, but have we truly reckoned with the fact that they are on track to be four to eight feet higher by the end of the century, at which point they will drown the Maldives, the White House, St. Mark’s Basilica, and the Bengal tiger’s habitat? We know that Earth is getting hotter, but have we actually come to terms with what it would mean if half the world were so hot that it would essentially cook the human body to death, as would be the case with a temperature rise of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius?

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BOOKS IN REVIEW

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH; LIFE AFTER WARMING

By David Wallace-Wells

Buy this book

LOSING EARTH; A RECENT HISTORY

By Nathaniel Rich

Buy this book

November 2019 Reminder Notes

1 – Legislative Days at the Capitol in Salem (Monday November 18th, 2019)

We have been absent from the Capitol building for several months.  Meanwhile, Timber Unity, Industry, and our well-oiled opponents and their lobbyists have been inundating legislators in the Capitol with their ongoing campaign of lies and misinformation.  On Monday (18th) we will try to recapture that sense of energy and enthusiasm for climate action that we demonstrated in the 2019 session.

To this end, we will be driving to Salem to (a) be seen in large numbers wandering the Halls in the Capitol, (b) visiting our legislators to indicate that we are still here and urging action, and (c) delivering letters from rural Oregon to those legislators demonstrating rural concern for action It would be helpful if those going to Salem were to carry  letters to their legislators (from themselves and anyone else they can tap to write a letter that:  1) identify why they were inspired by HB2020, 2) explain why they, as rural Oregonians, care, 3) Underline that this is unfinished business, and 4) urge a strong bill in the 2020 session. These can also be mailed / e-mailed: Find your state legislators: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-districts.html

The plan is to leave the region about 8:00 – 8:30 to be in Salem by around noon.  We are trying to schedule legislator visits between 12:30 and 2:00 so we can head back soon after that – to return by 5:30 – 6:00.  If you plan to make the trip, please contact Alan (541-301-4107, alan@socan.eco) so we can keep you updated on plans and the schedule of meetings.  If you would like to join a car-pool, let Alan know so this can be arranged.  SOCAN will buy carbon offsets for those joining the car-pool to counter GHG emissions resulting from the trip.  A flexible one-on-one orientation to the day’s activity and legislator messaging has been scheduled for whenever we arrive – at the Salem (Marion County) Democratic Party HQ: 245 High St NE, Salem, OR 97301 any time between 8am – 4pm.

Please wear your orange SOCAN, grey MCP,  or the white Clean Energy Jobs T-Shirt since our goal is to be conspicuous by our presence.

2 – Urgent Action Requested – Help us take a stand against corporate polluters!

Would you like to close loopholes in Oregon law that currently allow cancer-causing chemicals like mercury, arsenic and lead to be released into our air, water, and soil? Sign The Toxics Reduction and Right to Know Act (IP 56) right now!

The Toxics Reduction and Right to Know Act will give Oregon voters a voice in the 2020 election to close toxic pollution loopholes and allow total transparency of toxic pollution. Here’s what it does:

Toxic pollution is making people sick and contributing to unnecessary deaths. Toxic pollution causes cancer. Toxic pollution causes asthma. Toxic pollution causes heart disease. Together we can reduce toxic pollution and lift the gag order that prevents local communities from learning which toxics go into their air, water and soil from industrial and commercial facilities.

The Toxics Reduction and Right to Know Act has been endorsed by Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Beyond Toxics, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PICUN), Oregon Environmental Council, NAACP Eugene/Springfield, Union of Concerned Scientists, and others in the Oregonians for Clean Air coalition (including SOCAN).

We are seeking signature on the first round petition drive to get the Secretary of State to accept the Ballot Measure.  This requires that statewide we gather 1000 signatures submitted to and reaching Renew Oregon by Wednesday (21st).  We’d like you to  download the form, sign it, and mail it by Monday at the latest to the address on the form: (Renew Oregon, Attention Sonny Mehta, P.O. Box 5999, Portland OR 97228).

By keeping Americans focused on the climate benefits of gas vs. coal, industry seeks to delay a broader debate of the deficits of gas vs. renewables.

October 17, 2019 – Environmental Health News

The natural gas industry is on an aggressive public relations tear to convince Americans that for decades to come, it is the “bridge” between coal and renewable energy.

The campaign is loaded with disinformation. The American Petroleum Institute (API) says it’s pushing gas as a “foundation for the future” because it is “clean.” Major fossil fuel companies including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell are API members. The Independent Petroleum Association of America is playing up outdated 2008 praise of gas by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to decry pledges by leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to ban hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for gas.

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WILLIAM J. RIPPLE, CHRISTOPHER WOLF, THOMAS M. NEWSOME, MAURO GALETTI, MOHAMMED ALAMGIR, EILEEN CRIST, MAHMOUD I. MAHMOUD, WILLIAM F. LAURANCE, and 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries

Twenty-five years ago, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1700 independent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences, penned the 1992 “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” (see supplemental file S1). These concerned professionals called on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioned that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” In their manifesto, they showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They expressed concern about current, impending, or potential damage on planet Earth involving ozone depletion, freshwater availability, marine life depletion, ocean dead zones, forest loss, biodiversity destruction, climate change, and continued human population growth. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course
would bring.

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Letter to Editor,  Louise Shawkat,  Medford Mail Tribune, 04/16/2019

Scientists are able to measure Earth’s ecological assets. Yearly, Earth supplies a finite amount of plant-based food and fiber, livestock and fish, timber and other forest products and built-up lands. And yearly, Earth is able to absorb a finite amount of the greenhouse gas emissions we produce.

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Letter to Editor by David Lane,  March 27, 2019 Medford Mail Tribune

There’s a war going on. It’s a quiet, sneaky war by an invisible enemy that threatens our economy, our environment and our lives.

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Alan Journet at the Jackson County Democratic Party Central Committee meeting March 28th speaking about HB2020; Photo by Allen Hallmark.

Alan has been known to become somewhat energized on the need to support meaningful greenhouse gas emissions proposals. Photo by Allen Hallmark.

Members of SOCAN’s Government Group and others have been offering and delivering presentations on HB2020 throughout the month.  Here, Alan Journet is offering comments to the Jackson County Democratic Party Central Committee which then voted to endorse HB2020.  A couple of weeks earlier, the Josephine COunty Democratic Party Central Committee also heard a presentation, and likewise voted to endorse the bill.