Lorrie Kaplan, Ashland Daily Tidings,  October 7th, 2020

In the coming weeks, Ashland residents will elect a new mayor and three new city councilors. Several issues are on voters’ minds, with the health of the economy and the city budget topping the list. But as the ongoing fire season has made painfully clear, we have more than one crisis on our hands. Climate change is here and now, and it poses an existential threat to our lives and livelihoods far beyond the pandemic.

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Southern Oregon Climate Action Now provides Southern Oregonians with an opportunity to learn where candidates stand on climate and environmental issues. All candidates for Oregon Senate Districts 1, 2, and 28; House Districts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 55; and County Boards of Commissioners in Jackson and Josephine Counties were invited to be interviewed using questions that are identical for every candidate competing for that position. You Tube videos of the interviews are NOW AVAILABLE.

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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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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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.

PROJECT LEADER – Kathy Conway

Project Description

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.  “Drawdown” is also the title of a book, and a website (drawdown.org), that document solutions aimed at resolving global warming by reducing greenhouse gases. A highly qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world were gathered to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change.  The website (https://www.drawdown.org/) is updated regularly with current information.

Goals

SOCAN’s Drawdown Project team is working to locally implement ideas presented in Drawdown.

Accomplishments

Link to Sectors that are being examined

How to Join

Please send an email expressing interest to info@socan.eco.

A Union of Concerned Scientists Assessment

Global warming emissions

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, though the global warming emissions from its combustion are much lower than those from coal or oil.

Natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant [1]. Considering only tailpipe emissions, natural gas also emits 15 to 20 percent less heat-trapping gases than gasoline when burned in today’s typical vehicle [2].

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Letter to Editor by Trish Vigil in Medford Mail Tribune January 3, 2017 and Ashland Daily Tidings, January 5, 2017

Neither crooks nor the corrupt care, but integrity is something most of us value. Without integrity, which can be assessed many ways, one cannot be trusted.

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Column by Diarmuid McGuire on Ashland Locals Guide, January 2018

As you read this missive, the planetary clock will have already struck 18. Gifts will have been opened, Family will have come and gone. Perhaps you will have taken a moment to wonder: did anything good happen last year?

As far as bad news is concerned, there has been plenty.  I’m not talking about the dangerous attacks on truth, justice, democracy, and the rule of law that are coming from our White House.  Not terrorism either, or being abandoned by Willie Taggart. We are a resilient bunch. We can recover form all these blows.

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