Legislative Report, Volume 29, Number 15 – April 2019 – The League of Women Voters of Oregon

In This Issue
Climate Change
Education
Governance
Natural Resources
Revenue and Tax Reform
Social Policy  
Climate Change  

By Claudia Keith, Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, Cathy Frischmann and Lynette Pierson
Don’t forget – Save the Date for May 29th Climate Day of Action in Salem. Details will be… Read more

Source: Legislative Report, Volume 29, Number 15 – April 2019 – The League of Women Voters of Oregon

Climate Change through the eyes of a 16-year-old girl

Source: Letter to the Editor: Climate Change through the eyes of a 16 year girl… | News Lincoln County

My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations.

I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re only repeating the message of the united climate science.

Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. Is that really too much to ask?

In the year 2030 I will be 26 years old. My little sister Beata will be 23. Just like many of your own children or grandchildren. That is a great age, we have been told. When you have all of your life ahead of you. But I am not so sure it will be that great for us.

I was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; I could become whatever I wanted to. I could live wherever I wanted to. People like me had everything we needed and more. Things our grandparents could not even dream of. We had everything we could ever wish for and yet now we may have nothing.

Now we probably don’t even have a future any more.

Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money. It was stolen from us every time you said that the sky was the limit, and that you only live once.

You lied to us. You gave us false hope. You told us that the future was something to look forward to. And the saddest thing is that most children are not even aware of the fate that awaits us. We will not understand it until it’s too late. And yet we are the lucky ones. Those who will be affected the hardest are already suffering the consequences. But their voices are not heard.

Around the year 2030, 10 years 252 days and 10 hours away from now, we will be in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, that will most likely lead to the end of our civilization as we know it. That is unless in that time, permanent and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society have taken place, including a reduction of CO2 emissions by at least 50%.

And please note that these calculations are depending on inventions that have not yet been invented at scale, inventions that are supposed to clear the atmosphere of astronomical amounts of carbon dioxide.

Furthermore, these calculations do not include unforeseen tipping points and feedback loops like the extremely powerful methane gas escaping from rapidly thawing arctic permafrost.

Nor do these scientific calculations include already locked-in warming hidden by toxic air pollution. Nor the aspect of equity – or climate justice – clearly stated throughout the Paris agreement, which is absolutely necessary to make it work on a global scale.

We must also bear in mind that these are just calculations. Estimations. That means that these “points of no return” may occur a bit sooner or later than 2030. No one can know for sure. We can, however, be certain that they will occur approximately in these timeframes, because these calculations are not opinions or wild guesses.

These projections are backed up by scientific facts, concluded by all nations through the IPCC. Nearly every single major national scientific body around the world unreservedly supports the work and findings of the IPCC.

During the last six months I have traveled around Europe for hundreds of hours in trains, electric cars and buses, repeating these life-changing words over and over again. But no one seems to be talking about it, and nothing has changed. In fact, the emissions are still rising.

When I have been traveling around to speak in different countries, I am always offered help to write about the specific climate policies in specific countries. But that is not really necessary. Because the basic problem is the same everywhere. And the basic problem is that basically nothing is being done to halt – or even slow – climate and ecological breakdown, despite all the beautiful words and promises.

The UK is, however, very special. Not only for its mind-blowing historical carbon debt, but also for its current, very creative, carbon accounting.

Since 1990 the UK has achieved a 37% reduction of its territorial CO2 emissions, according to the Global Carbon Project. And that does sound very impressive. But these numbers do not include emissions from aviation, shipping and those associated with imports and exports. If these numbers are included the reduction is around 10% since 1990 – or an an average of 0.4% a year, according to Tyndall Manchester.

And the main reason for this reduction is not a consequence of climate policies, but rather a 2001 EU directive on air quality that essentially forced the UK to close down its very old and extremely dirty coal power plants and replace them with less dirty gas power stations. And switching from one disastrous energy source to a slightly less disastrous one will of course result in a lowering of emissions.

But perhaps the most dangerous misconception about the climate crisis is that we have to “lower” our emissions. Because that is far from enough. Our emissions have to stop if we are to stay below 1.5-2C of warming. The “lowering of emissions” is of course necessary but it is only the beginning of a fast process that must lead to a stop within a couple of decades, or less. And by “stop” I mean net zero – and then quickly on to negative figures. That rules out most of today’s politics.

The fact that we are speaking of “lowering” instead of “stopping” emissions is perhaps the greatest force behind the continuing business as usual. The UK’s active current support of new exploitation of fossil fuels – for example, the UK shale gas fracking industry, the expansion of its North Sea oil and gas fields, the expansion of airports as well as the planning permission for a brand new coal mine – is beyond absurd.

This ongoing irresponsible behavior will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.

People always tell me and the other millions of school strikers that we should be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished. But the only thing that we need to look at is the emission curve. And I’m sorry, but it’s still rising. That curve is the only thing we should look at.

Every time we make a decision we should ask ourselves; how will this decision affect that curve? We should no longer measure our wealth and success in the graph that shows economic growth, but in the curve that shows the emissions of greenhouse gases. We should no longer only ask: “Have we got enough money to go through with this?” but also: “Have we got enough of the carbon budget to spare to go through with this?” That should and must become the center of our new currency.

Many people say that we don’t have any solutions to the climate crisis. And they are right. Because how could we? How do you “solve” the greatest crisis that humanity has ever faced? How do you “solve” a war? How do you “solve” going to the moon for the first time? How do you “solve” inventing new inventions?

The climate crisis is both the easiest and the hardest issue we have ever faced. The easiest because we know what we must do. We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases. The hardest because our current economics are still totally dependent on burning fossil fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in order to create everlasting economic growth.

“So, exactly how do we solve that?” you ask us – the schoolchildren striking for the climate.

And we say: “No one knows for sure. But we have to stop burning fossil fuels and restore nature and many other things that we may not have quite figured out yet.”

Then you say: “That’s not an answer!”

So we say: “We have to start treating the crisis like a crisis – and act even if we don’t have all the solutions.”

“That’s still not an answer,” you say.

Then we start talking about circular economy and restoring nature and the need for a just transition. Then you don’t understand what we are talking about.

We say that all those solutions needed are not known to anyone and therefore we must unite behind the science and find them together along the way. But you do not listen to that. Because those answers are for solving a crisis that most of you don’t even fully understand. Or don’t want to understand.

You don’t listen to the science because you are only interested in solutions that will enable you to carry on like before. Like now. And those answers don’t exist any more. Because you did not act in time.

Avoiding climate breakdown will require cathedral thinking. We must lay the foundation while we may not know exactly how to build the ceiling.

Sometimes we just simply have to find a way. The moment we decide to fulfill something, we can do anything. And I’m sure that the moment we start behaving as if we were in an emergency, we can avoid climate and ecological catastrophe. Humans are very adaptable: we can still fix this. But the opportunity to do so will not last for long. We must start today. We have no more excuses.

We children are not sacrificing our education and our childhood for you to tell us what you consider is politically possible in the society that you have created. We have not taken to the streets for you to take selfies with us, and tell us that you really admire what we do.

We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back.

Legislative Report, Volume 29, Number 12 – April 2019 – The League of Women Voters of Oregon

In This Issue:
Climate Change
Education
Governance
Natural Resources
Revenue and Tax Reform
Social Policy 

By Claudia Keith, Julie Chapman, Shirley Weathers, and Cathy Frischmann
Some progress and ACTION is still needed on your part: Please let the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (JCCR) and… Read more

Source: Legislative Report, Volume 29, Number 12 – April 2019 – The League of Women Voters of Oregon

Planned Parenthood Day of Action, Wednesday, April 17

Registration link plus info:
 
Link for registration: bit.ly/PPAODayofAction
 
 
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 @ 9:00 AM
Salem, OR
 
Oregonians issued a mandate in the 2018 midterm elections: They want more access to health care, not less. We expect our elected leaders to take action now to invest in our communities, close the growing economic divide and protect the rights of our neighbors, co-workers families. We showed up on Election Day, and now it’s time to show up on Lobby Day: Please join us Wednesday, April 17th in Salem for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon’s 2019 Day of Action!
 
Once every two years, PPAO mobilizes citizen lobbyists from throughout the state to amplify our voices. This is an all ages welcome event. We’ll provide an extensive, robust and fun training; march to the State Capitol; and meet with elected officials to discuss our legislative priorities.

This year, we are proud to join a broad coalition of Oregonians of color, people of all genders and abilities, LGBTQ communities and immigrants who are fighting to give women and working families a fair shot at success. Together, we are demanding that legislators support policies to break down the system of discrimination and inequality that continues to hold us back:

  • Revenue reform: Health equity is impossible without stable, adequate funding that ensures all Oregonians can access the services they deserve to help them stay healthy. We will advocate for a budget that ensures reproductive health care and sexual health education for more Oregonians.

  • Housing reform: Unstable housing affects health outcomes and is an underlying, contributing factor of health inequities in Oregon. Planned Parenthood patients rely on stable homes in order to live healthy, successful lives and access the health care they need.

  • Paid family leave: It is essential for employers to support pregnant, parenting, and caregiving employees by providing paid family leave. Without universal policies like paid family leave, Oregonians continue to face real barriers to staying in the workforce and maintaining their earnings when family caregiving needs arise.

Here is more information about the day:

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon Day of Action

When
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Where
First Congregational United Church of Christ
700 Marion St NE
Salem, OR 97301
We’ll be meeting at the First Congregational United Church of Christ  for a full training before heading over to the Capitol.

Parking

Street parking and metered parking are available, and there is a parkade a few blocks from the Congregational UCC that you can pay to pay in called Chemekata Parkade. The church does not have on-site parking so please plan ahead!

What To Bring

Please bring a reusable water bottle if you have one, wear clothes you feel comfortable wearing while meeting with your representative, and wear shoes you will be able to walk in. All other materials will be provided!

Action Alert! Climate Legislation: HB 2020-31 It’s Heating Up!

ACTION ALERT!  Climate Legislation:  HB 2020 -31  IT’S HEATING UP!

Date:   April 9, 2019
To:       All League Members and Oregonians
From:  Julie Chapman, LWVOR Climate Portfolio and Norman Turrill, LWVOR President

CONTACT ALL LEGISLATORS ON THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON CARBON REDUCTION TO SUPPORT HB 2020 -31. Email addresses are below.

The Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction (JCCR) recently introduced an improved version of the climate bill, HB 2020 -31. Committee members are under pressure to reverse or water down the amendments, particularly those regulating pollution from waste incineration and fluorinated gases. Please email committee members by April 15.

Subject line: “The -31 amendments strengthened HB 2020” or “Thank you for supporting HB 2020 -31” or “As an Oregonian, I support HB 2020 -31” or …

Messaging for emails: Put the message in your own words; your email can be short. You can copy and paste the same personal message for all members of the committee, but please address and send the email to each legislator individually. Identify yourself with your address, but emphasize that you are an Oregonian, and this is important Oregon legislation.

  • Thank you for including waste incineration in the industries regulated by the bill.
  • The Covanta trash incinerator burns plastics and medical waste and emits a mix of heavy metals and other pollutants. We urge you to hold them accountable by keeping them under the cap, as you have done in the -31 amendments. This is a critical step to move us towards climate solutions.
  • Thank you for now including the super pollutant F-gases from semiconductor manufacturing as emissions covered by the bill.
  • F-gases are 7,000 to 23,000 times more potent than CO2 as greenhouse gases. It is critical that we require mitigation of their effect.
  • The -31 amendment ends an exemption for the F-gases used in semiconductor manufacturing, placing F-gases under the cap from the beginning of the program. Please pass the -31 amendments and keep these polluters in the program.
  • The F-gases account for 1/5th of the total greenhouse gas impact of all other Oregon manufacturers covered under the Oregon Climate Action Program. It is critical that we require mitigation of their effects.
  • The emergency clause is essential to this bill. Climate change caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions is the most significant emergency of our time.
  • Please keep the specific percentage distributions from the Climate Investment Fund identified in -31 in the bill: 40% will go to impacted communities and 10% to tribes. Oregon communities that suffer the biggest impact from the warming we already experience must get the most relief.

Thank you for adding your voice! For more information, contact Julie Chapman, LWVOR Climate Portfolio member juliebchap@gmail.com or ph. 503-415-9715.

Amendments HB 2020 -31: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/187693

Original HB 2020: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2020/Introduced

Additional F-gas information from EPA website: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/overview-greenhouse-gases

Democratic Members of Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction –

Co-Chairs:

sen.MichaelDembrow@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.KarinPower@oregonlegislature.gov

Committee members:

sen.LeeBeyer@oregonlegislature.gov

sen.JeffGolden@oregonlegislature.gov

sen.kathleentaylor@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.kenhelm@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.JohnLively@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.PamMarsh@oregonlegislature.gov

 

Republicans Members of the JCCR Committee:

Co-Vice Chairs:

sen.CliffBentz@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.DavidBrockSmith@oregonlegislature.gov

Committee members:

sen.FredGirod@oregonlegislature.gov

sen.AlanOlsen@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.DanielBonham@oregonlegislature.gov

rep.ShellyBoshartDavis@oregonlegislature.gov