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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A Day at the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C.

We’re bathed in SPF 70 searching for our friends on Pennsylvania Ave. It’s 93F, the hottest April 29 in history, and the Metro, Washington’s subway, has shut down for track maintenance from our Foggy Bottom stop up to Metro Center, so we hop on the shuttle bus with our nephew and his friend. The shuttle bus is SRO with wannabe marchers with signs. Everyone’s trying not to injure the locals, many of whom are frankly growing weary of the ceaseless weekend demonstrations, but are mostly encouraging nonetheless. We circle downtown for 30 minutes until we figure out it’s faster to walk.

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Let’s Talk Climate Hosts Lively Climate Action Town Hall

On March 16, 2017, Let’s Talk Climate hosted Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler in a Climate Action Town Hall. Let’s Talk Climate is co-sponsored by 350PDX and the Oregon Environmental Council. Three topics were up for discussion: the city’s energy policy, sustainable transportation, and just transitions. With the TaborSpace sanctuary nearly filled to capacity, an energetic Mayor Wheeler kicked off the evening by introducing the members of a three-person task force who, over the past eight months, have been working on a climate agenda report that will supposedly build on Portland’s current Climate Action Plan. The task force’s report is scheduled to be released to the public sometime in the next few weeks, with Mayor Wheeler promising that in regards to climate action, “We’re not going to do the least we can, we’re going to do the most we can.” Read more

Rhianna Lakin: With a Dream and a Drone the Sky’s the Limit

“To be honest, I was kind of scared,” Rhianna Lakin admits over lunch at a little Mexican restaurant near her work “I went far away and took my drone up high…”

Rhianna’s telling me about the time she came across illegal gold mining in a small village on the island of Lombok in Indonesia and filmed it–using her drone to get a bird’s eye view of the hazardous mining practices the poor local villagers were subjected to, which would otherwise have stayed hidden–an environmental crusader with an unlikely weapon which she has utilized from Sumatra to Standing Rock.

Five years ago, when a friend showed Rhianna drone footage from the Pacific Northwest, she knew immediately that she was going to learn how to fly one and use it, “to save the world.” Read more

State Legislation Update

The Capping Carbon Campaign is well underway. Our initial goal set back in the summer of 2016 was to ensure that all Portland area legislators are climate champions. We organized meetings between constituents and their Representatives and Senators and have met with most of our legislators. These meetings have been very positive. All the legislators we met with support strong climate legislation. We are especially fortunate to have as a champion Senator Michael Dembrow, who is the Chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, where Senate Bill 557, the Clean Energy and Jobs bill, was introduced.

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What the PUC?

350PDX’s very own Mia Reback cut straight through the technical jargon to cap off various environmental and citizen groups’ testimony concerning PGE’s disastrous energy plan at the most recent PUC meeting in Salem. “Where in this process are you adequately accounting for the full costs and risks of fossil fuels?” she asked, and she was speaking up for all Oregonians demanding clean energy now.

If acronyms and wonky energy policy-speak make your head hurt, let me sort through the RECs and PTCs and give it to you straight: PGE wants to build two natural gas fueled power plants in Boardman Oregon to supply power for decades­–locking Oregonians into reliance on fossil fuels at precisely a time when clean energy is becoming exponentially more available and affordable. Why would they do this you ask? Well, I asked the same thing and was met with chuckles: because PGE is guaranteed a 10% return on their investments; they are assuring their stakeholders profits, but at the expense of our environment and health. Read more

Volunteers from 350PDX hand deliver over 700 public comment cards to EFSC voicing opposition to PGE plan for gas plants at Carty

Oregonian’s Demand Clean Energy, Not Dirty Gas

This morning, volunteers from 350PDX, the Portland chapters of international organization 350.org, served as a megaphone for Oregonians who demand clean energy from renewables and oppose Portland General Electric’s plans to build two methane gas fired power plants to power the city of Portland at Carty/Boardman. Concerned community members hand delivered over 700 public comment cards collected by volunteers with 350PDX, The Sierra Club and Greenpeace to the Oregon Department of Energy’s Energy Facility Siting Council.

The two plants, if built, would be the largest source of carbon pollution in Oregon and would prevent Oregon from meeting it’s climate goals. Read more

Frustration and Hope at Senator Merkley Town Hall

Senator Merkley speaks to large crowd at Saturday’s town hall meeting

Over 2,000 people attended Senator Jeff Merkley’s town hall meeting at Franklin high school on Saturday, January 28, 2017. It was standing room only in the cafeteria with even more people in the courtyard, listening through the windows.

Senator Merkley, a native Oregonian first elected to Congress in 2009, began the afternoon by praising the Affordable Care Act which has allowed over 400,000 Oregonians to gain healthcare coverage who might otherwise have continued uninsured. He promised to continue the fight to protect the ACA despite the new administration’s attempts to repeal. Read more

Portland Women’s March__January 21, 2017

The march was very family friendly, an all ages gathering

It was an extraordinary showing of solidarity and unity against an evil the likes of which neither this City nor this country has ever faced. Shouting “Not My President” crowds estimated at up to 100,000 filled the central core of Waterfront park and side streets and 3 bridges. Speakers were speaking but most people were too far away to hear, so instead people talked to one another and yelled in approval as waves of cheers made their way to the marchers. Read more

To All Students, Alumni, Faculty and Staff of Willamette University

Help us Divest Willamette University From Fossil Fuels! Sign our Petition

The recent election results make it all too clear—citizens concerned about climate change must refocus their energies and resources at the state, local, and institutional levels to force action on climate change. We are unlikely to have leadership in this regard at the federal level. We need to step up our game.

Here is what we know: Climate change is accelerating. We are witnessing the increasing impacts of a warming planet more and more consistently. Experts agree that global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels will continue to accelerate and intensify these tragic climate disasters. The scientific consensus is clear and overwhelming: we cannot safely burn even half of global fossil-fuel reserves without dangerously warming the planet for several thousand years.

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