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.

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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.

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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.

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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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