PROJECT LEADER – ALAN JOURNET

Link to Government: Federal & State Resources Page

SOCAN January Monthly Meeting – Climate Action in 2021: Obstacles and Opportunities as viewed through the lens of the 2020 Election

Power Point (saved as pdf)

YouTube Video

Government: Federal and State Project Description

In order to stimulate appropriate action at the Federal and State levels, SOCAN is committed to reaching out to our elected representatives and their staffs both to express our concerns about climate change and its consequences, and advocate for or against positions held by these individuals and proposals that are under discussion in the various legislative chambers and administrative offices. Our hope is to serve as a resource for scientific knowledge and expertise on climate change to all reresentatives, candidates for public office while supporting governments and agencies in taking action to address the problem.

Goals

The goal of this group is to stimulate climate sensitive action at the Federal and State  levels of government.

Connection to SOCAN Mission

This project is designed to promote awareness and understanding about the need for climate action among elected Federal and State representatives and their staff . As a result of this engagement, we hope to stimulate action that will promote reducing the severity of climate change by both decreasing the causes of it and by preparing for its inevitable changes.

Accomplishments

This team has developed relationships with elected representatives at all levels of government, engaged in lobbying for legislation, and collaborates with the statewide Oregon Climate Action Plan coalition to promote the necessary rule making consequent upon the Governor’s 2020 Executive Order 20-04. We have also encouraged and support cities throughout the region in developing and implementing climate action plans.

How to Join

Please contact Alan Journet  (alan@socan.eco)

Background Information

While we are all individually responsible for doing the best we can do to address climate change through modification of our personal behaviors, the unfortunate reality is that this is a necessary but insufficient solution. Addressing this global crisis will take more than that; it will require the collective action of peoples throughout the world taking steps to curtail the greenhouse gas pollution that is increasing the global temperature and imposing havoc on our weather patterns. This global problem will take global collaboration. Beyond personal and corporate efforts, we want our local, state, and national governments to address climate change in a manner consistent with their authority and responsibility.

Resources

4 replies
  1. Cathy Seitz
    Cathy Seitz says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I am a long time forest defender. I just recently became aware that forests are being cut and burned for biofuels, which are classed as renewable energy, and this is getting funding as such. Funding that should be going towards research on efficiency and legitimate renewable energies. Burning forests to make energy is of course a lose lose. It started out they were burning garbage, and perhaps some plants still exclusively do this. Also so-called forest slash. However, things went south, and now clearcuts are involved. I shudder to think that very few environmentalists are aware of this issue, which means it may be become entrenched in the green new deal or whatever variants that Biden champions.

    I want to know what groups or individuals may be working on this so I can lend a hand.. Can anyone help me? I SOCAN taking a stand on this?

    Thanks for all your good work,

    Cathy

    Reply
  2. Alan Journet
    Alan Journet says:

    Cathy:

    This is a real and troubling conundrum. Unfortunately, in Oregon, biomass has achieved the status of ‘renewable energy resource.’ However, as you argue, if we are harvesting timber to burn in generation facilities, we are both emitting carbon dioxide, and preventing growing trees from sequestering more carbon. We understand that emitting carbon dioxide from burning trees is no more than what happens when dead biomass decays, though it happens instantly rather than over decades/centuries. We also understand that the carbon dioxide emitted was trapped by the growing vegetation from our current atmosphere rather than being transferred to our current atmosphere from one hundreds of millions of years ago (as occurs when we burn coal). However, we also understand that it takes many decades for a growing tree to recapture the carbon dioxide emitted when wood is burned and we also know that we only have a matter of a decade to address this problem and substantially reduce emissions. There may be situations where using biomass to generate electricity is justifiable, but the lifecycle greenhouse gas consequences of each proposed project should be evaluated in its own terms. If the project is burning slash piles and sawmill waste only, then there might be justification for using that biomass to generate electricity rather than just burning it in situ. Unfortunately, when projects start to dot the landscape at such density that the feedstock (wood resource) is insufficient to drive the facility, competition for standing trees ensues.
    This conundrum is, indeed, at the forefront of our minds as we engage with the state agencies in developing satisfactory responses to the Governor’s Executive Order in the arena of carbon sequestration on our natural and working lands. If you are interested in joining the discussions, please contact me: alan@socan.eco.

    Reply
  3. Cathy Seitz
    Cathy Seitz says:

    Hi Alan, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    I have written to Oregon Wild, and they are drafting a letter to representatives on the topic. Unfortunately, this is a bait and switch situation where it appears that whole trees are not being used as fuels, but in reality they are.

    Even slash is valuable to a forests, as we know, but should it be taken away? Or burned on site? Unfortunately, there isn’t enough of it to run biofuel plants, even if you carefully avoided cutting raw logs. It’s very important that environmentalists get this issue updated, because of the new administration, and the fresh look at climate change.

    An additional scandal is that grant money is going to find new biofuel plants, which tend to clear-cut rather than use garbage. And I’m talking about a lot of grant money, which ought to go to development of other renewable types of energy. We need to speak up on this. It will be harder to close biofuel plants already operating, but we should do that too. Unless they are burning other things, although garbage tends to produce pollution when burned, a whole other issue. Filtering that out tends not to be cost effective.

    Reply

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