HB2990 Resilience Hubs


Alan R.P. Journet Ph.D.
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
March 18th 2023


Reference House Bill HB2990

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

My name is Alan Journet, again I testify 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.

When we discuss ‘addressing’ climate chaos, our minds often, and quite naturally, turn to how we can prevent the ongoing crisis from deteriorating further through mitigation. This generally involves either reducing our emissions of climate pollution, or capturing greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere through the promotion of photosynthesis as a natural solution, or through technology that captures the gas(es) from our atmosphere.  However, in addition to mitigation, addressing the climate crisis also involves developing programs that help those suffering from climate change to maintain viable and vibrant lives as we move forward together. Regrettably, as the climate crisis worsens, the future that is inevitable unless we eliminate human-induced emissions today will bring us an increasing frequency of severe weather and climate-induced phenomena. The serve weather events will include thunderstorms and flooding as well as heat waves and drought. Since we live in a Mediterranean (winter wet / summer dry) climate, western states have always experienced conditions that feature drying soil and vegetation annually each summer and fall. This annually produces conditions where fire is likely. Warming, which will be greater in the summers than winters, reduced summer rainfall, and reduced snowpack will all conspire to exacerbate the summer drying and thus elevate wildfire risk.

These are the conditions that Oregon residents will experience as the century unfolds. It is incumbent upon governments, local and state, to acknowledge this reality and prepare for it.  While those of us who are economically better off will likely have the wherewithal to survive these phenomena, those who are less economically advantaged will become ever more vulnerable to these calamitous events. Providing Oregonians with locations where they can escape these climate-induced phenomena will be critical to allowing our communities to survive. As a bonus, these Resilience Hubs will also serve the same purpose in the event of calamitous events unconnected with climate such as a Cascadia Subduction Earthquake.

Enough information has been provided on what Resilience Hubs comprise and what they offer that I will not repeat that here. Rather, I commend you to the website of our companion organization, Rogue Climate, for a discussion of Resilience Hubs. Suffice to conclude by noting that Resilience Hubs can be designed to meet local needs and thus serve Oregonians from rural and urban locations alike.

For these reasons, those of us in Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, operating in the heart of Almeda Fire country where many of our friends and family members, especially lower income residents, found themselves instantly without a home and with no place to shelter, urge passage of HB2990.

Respectfully Submitted

Alan Journet


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