Hurricane Harvey and the Future of Oregon’s Rural Counties

The beginning of the year’s above average precipitation began in the Southeast corner of the state in some of its most rural counties

Flooding in Oregon in early 2017 damaged many rural roads. Hurricane Harvey is expected to do the same in Texas; dumping an additional 1-3 feet of rain in the days after 2.5 feet of rain had already fallen in the first three days of the storm. Harvey previews future flood-problems for Oregon’s rural roads, while also lending  insight into how simple things such as simply being more careful with one another can save as many lives as rebuilding the physical infrastructure that connects us.

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Bangladesh In Devastating Climate Change-induced Flooding

Climate Change Induced Multiple Heavy Floods Hit the Same Areas During a Single Monsoon Season in Bangladesh

Written by Mukti Rahman, a 350PDX IREX Fellow during the fall of 2016. Mukti has since returned to her home country of Bangladesh, and continues to work to empower women in the work of ensuring access to clean drinking water as the sea levels rise and salinate the groundwater.  

credit: 350.org in Bangladesh

Due to heavy rainfall, this year people of Bangladesh have been affected by multiple heavy floods. Prolonged and successive devastating floods are being induced by climate change impact. Life has come to stand still & economic activities have been severely jeopardized. Around 25% of 160 million population of the country including major cities (Dhaka, Chittagong etc.) has been affected. Over thousands of villages have been inundated by this prolonged flooding, even several times each. Schools remain closed due to the devastation. Road and railway communication in many areas have been snapped. Access to medical facilities especially in the rural areas has become externally limited. People in the affected areas are in dire need of dry food, medical supplies, and fresh water. Access to adequate sanitation especially for women and children has become nearly impossible. Resulting in high proliferation of infectious water borne diseases like Diarrhoea, Hepatitis, Typhoid etc. Due to inundation of homesteads, many families have moved to higher land and living in makeshift shelters expose to elements of weather.

 

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Oil Train Blockade Rolls Bakken Tanks to a Stop

Two adults lying down on train tracks with flower pot lock boxes and sunflower-painted umbrellas around them. Behind them, a sign reading "Gov Inslee say no Vancouver Oil Terminal"

Climate Activists set up their blockade near Vancouver

When police arrived at the scene responding to an oil train blockade, what they saw was not a trifold or rally, but a community garden. In a call for Governor Inslee to shut down the Tesoro Savage crude oil export terminal proposal, climate activists locked down in a rolling blockade in front of a Bakken oil train. The lock boxes were built into flower pots with sunflower umbrellas surrounding them.

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City Council Votes to Defend Fossil Fuel Terminal Ordinance

The Portland City Council voted unanimously to appeal the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) decision to reverse the Fossil Fuel Terminal Ordinance. Check out the short video from the City Council Meeting to hear why the City Attorney and all 5 City Council Members want to appeal the LUBA decision and fight to defend the fossil fuel ordinance.

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Portland Just Energy Transition Initiative Goes Public

On July 5th, over a hundred and fifty people gathered at Central Lutheran Church in NE Portland to learn about the Just Transition measure, a measure that will fast-track Portland to becoming a city that is 100% dependent on renewable energy sources. Minutes before the event began, volunteers scrambled to get enough chairs to seat everyone. We all knew that this measure was going to be important and didn’t want to miss a thing. The room buzzed with anticipation, excited to find out how Portland could combat climate change in a way that coincides with social and racial justice.

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Citizen Groups Vow to Keep Pushing For Fossil Fuel Policy in Portland: LUBA’s Decision Upholds Challenge

July 19, 2017 (Salem, OR) – Today, the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruled that Portland’s Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments, passed unanimously in December of 2016, is inconsistent with the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Portland’s fossil fuel policy intended to prevent new major fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the City. LUBA dismissed many of the other arguments brought by the oil industry and the Portland Business Alliance against the City’s policy. LUBA’s ruling is likely to be appealed to the State Court of Appeals.

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350PDX at Sunday Parkways in May

Two 350PDX volunteers sharing information at a Sunday Parkways event in May 2017.

A small handful of volunteers brought 350PDX to the Sunday Parkways events in May. Thanks to everyone who helped!
At one of the Parkways events, we collected 142 comments of people asking the Public Utility Commission to make sure PGE doesn’t build new gas electricity generation plants (adding to the 10,000 comments people have already submitted!) Lots of kids were wearing 350PDX pins, drawing adults to come find out what that number meant!

Thanks to Pat for coordination, Rand for early AM set-up, Rand, David, Lori and Jane for excellent comment gathering, Bonnie, Gregory, and Donna for beautiful banners and flags, and other friends and family who stopped by for support!

— Melanie, Fossil Fuel Resistance Team & Maya, Community Organizer

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Climate Change Snapshots #3

 

California is our nation’s environmental umbrella. Although the EPA generally has complete authority to set pollution standards for cars, Section 209 of the Clean Air Act grants CA the power to set its own emissions standards for new motor vehicles through the use of waivers, i.e. – CA has the ability to set a higher standard than the federal government. In addition, other states can opt into CA’s higher standards over the federal ones. 14 states, totaling 40% of the US’s population (states in green) have adopted CA’s standards. With such a large proportion of the nation’s autos covered by the higher standards, automakers are forced to abide by the higher standards or lose money making vehicles that meet two different regulations.

For forty years the EPA has granted all but one of the more than 100 waivers sought by CA and the single denial was later overturned.

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100% Renewable Passes!!

We had a big win- the City of Portland and Multnomah County both unanimously passed what is one of the strongest 100% resolutions in the country!

The Resolutions commit the City and County to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy in all sectors by 2050 while simultaneously prioritizing equity and community-based renewable development. The resolution also takes a strong position against new gas-fired power plants and other fossil fuel infrastructure, which we’ve been fighting hard for all along, and excludes biomass from public lands as a renewable energy source.

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Portland City Club: Taking Oregon’s Temperature

Portland City Club hosted a public event called “Taking Oregon’s Temperature” at the Multnomah County Library on April 26th. The speakers were Kathie Dello, Associate Director of Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, and Angus Duncan, Chair of the Oregon Global Warming Commission.

Ms. Dello outlined the third Oregon climate assessment report, which is created every three years. The report was compiled from peer-reviewed scientific literature from summer of 2013 through summer of 2016; the report itself also underwent peer review. It documents a broad range of climate change-related issues, including increased coastal flooding, changes in ocean chemistry, and changes in forest vegetation. Of particular concern is a decrease in the mountain snowpack on which Oregonians rely for water resources; snowpack has been unusually good this year but poor overall in recent years.

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