SOCAN’s Federal and State Project has organized two candidate forums: October 4th for Congressional District 2 candidates, and Jackson County Board of Commissioners candidates (Positions 1 and 3) and October 18th for State Senate and House candidates for Jackson County districts.  Both events will occur at the Medford Public Library starting at 7:00 pm. Audience members will be invited to submit questions.  Organizing team member Alan Journet appeared on the Jefferson Exchange (Tuesday September 27th 2022) to promote these events.

 

Author: Barbara Cervone

For several years now, I have followed the tidal wave of youth action around climate change, close at hand and across the globe, bringing it up in casual conversations whenever I can. Folks who know me probably aren’t surprised: I’ve spent a lifetime championing the voices and visions of young people, in good times and bad.

In this blog post (maybe too long to qualify as a “post” — a ten-minute read), I share voices from young climate activists here in the Rogue Valley and from secondary students in Tanzania, where climate-induced drought has upended their lives. I also sketch the contours of the ever-increasing youth climate movement of which these students are a part. I end with the question, “Where are we, their elders, as they fight the fight of a lifetime?” As a recently appointed “Master Climate Protector” with Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, I hope this adds to the conversation.

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Just a week after receiving similar criticism from congressional Democrats, Big Oil is once again facing allegations of misleading the public in an attempt to stall climate action and protect its bottom line.

In a report published Monday, environmental advocacy group Food and Water Watch accuses the industry’s biggest trade association of exaggerating the number of nationwide jobs created and sustained by oil and gas companies by more than 10 million. Fossil fuel advocates cite those inflated numbers, the report’s authors argue, when lobbying against fracking bans, drilling limitations and other policies aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

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Western State Attorneys General Seek to Halt Capacity Expansion

OAKLAND –

    1.  California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today filed a motion to intervene and request that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) deny the proposed capacity expansion of the Gas Transmission Northwest Express (GTN) pipeline. The Western states also submitted comments criticizing FERC’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the capacity expansion. The proposed capacity expansion would increase the amount of natural gas carried by the pipeline by 150 million cubic feet per day, resulting in increased greenhouse gas emissions and downstream impacts on nearby environmental justice communities. In the motion, the Western states argue that GTN’s application has not demonstrated sufficient evidence of a public need or that the project is in the public interest. In the comments, the Western states stress that FERC’s draft EIS entirely fails to analyze these impacts or to reconcile the expansion with state laws and policies promoting renewable energy, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

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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.

Nathan Gilles, Columbia Insight Eugene Register Guard, August 31 2022

heir branches drop gracefully, then curve upward to their tips.

They’re conifers, yet they don’t have coarse, rough needles.

Instead, they have soft, folded, scale-like “leaves,” bright green when new, darker when old. Their trunks — covered in thin reddish-brown bark — can grow to nearly 20 feet in diameter, though they aren’t ramrod straight like a Douglas fir, but noticeably wider at their bottoms, where flowing buttress-like structures form.

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I have long argued that if you are not alarmed, you are not paying attention. By the end of the century, our natural systems, agriculture, and forests could be destroyed.

This item by David Wallace Wells (nit know for bringing good news) seems to me quite reasonable in its alarming warnings….

The Uninhabitable Earth

Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

. ‘Doomsday’

Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

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Submitted to USFS by Alan Journet

As a retired ecologist and conservation biologist, I am well aware of the recent research that has demonstrated how important old growth forests are in terms of sequestering carbon from our atmosphere.

As cofacilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action now, I am also very familiar with the trends in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration and the need, as stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, not only to reduce emissions of these gases, but also to capture gases already in the atmosphere.  There is no more effective way to promote this sequestration than to encourage the development of, and the retention of, old growth forests.  Not only do these forests store huge amounts of carbon, but they also continue to capture carbon from the atmosphere at a substantial rate.  As a bonus, unlike young forests and plantations, which are immensely fire prone, these forests are also among the most fire-resistant forests on the planet.

On behalf of the over 2000 Southern Oregonians who are Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, I write in strong support of efforts to conserve old growth forests across the nation.

Individual comments can be submitted via this KSWild web page by August 30th.

 

 

A study showed that Indiana’s rural populations skepticism of climate change is complex. Some of it can be associated with a sense of being ignored and blamed for climate change woes.

Sarah Mellotte, The Daily Yonder, August 25th 2022

People who live in rural Indiana have complex views about climate change and aren’t as skeptical about long-term changes in weather patterns as public opinion polling may suggest, a new study said.

Indiana University student Molly Burhans said in a Daily Yonder interview that rural climate change views are “a lot more nuanced” than some may think. She co-authored a study with Associate Research Scientist Matt Houser of the University of Maryland about rural climate change discourse in Indiana.

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The Inflation Reduction Act was approved following a deal cut between Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and W. Virginia Senator Joe Manchin that would promote fossil fuel extraction and use.  The deal involved offering a companion bill to achieve these goals.  In the climate conscious community, this side deal was Dead On Arrival and is the subject of growing opposition. We should do all within our power to defeat it. – Alan J

Commentary by Bill McKibben

It’s starting to become clear that the “side deal” to permit pipelines and other fossil fuel projects that was put forth by Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer as an accessory to the Inflation Reduction Act (aka the ‘climate bill’) faces tougher-than-expected sledding in the Congress. Some of us started lobbying against the giveaways it proposed to the oil industry even before the IRA was signed, but now it appears that the agitation is growing—growing enough that what activists are calling a “dirty deal” may in fact be in danger.

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