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.

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

CLDC & Corvallis City Club: Climate Experts Q & A – Jan 31, 7 p.m.

Corvallis CitySpeak: Climate Change

 
January 31, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
WHERE:
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
645 NW Monroe Ave
Corvallis, OR 97330
USA
COST:
Free

The Corvallis Advocate’s first CitySpeak event of the year will challenge participants to think critically about their part in the bigger picture that is climate change and its local and global effects. Most importantly, the event will challenge us to adopt the resolution this year of lessening our individual and group impacts, and discovering other ways we can combat climate change and climate injustice.

The event will be held in the main meeting room of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan 31. It will feature three panelists, covering an expanse of subject matter and expertise that will be integrated into an initial presentation period, followed by questions from the moderator, then an audience question and answer session, before closing remarks.

Moderating the panel will be me, Stevie Beisswanger, Editor-in-Chief of The Advocate. Panelists will include OSU climate change professor Jillian Gregg, Sustainability Coalition representative Jeannette Hardison, and Civil Liberties Defense Center Attorney Cooper Brinson. Panelists will provide tools and information into a range of topics, including general impacts, food waste reduction for individuals and businesses, and climate justice and activism.

Found at
 

Human Rights and Climate Change – Apr. 25 – 6:30pm – Newport Library

Lecture and community dialogue on human rights and climate change, sponsored by 350occ.org. It will be led by Dr. Tom Kerns, Director, Environment and Human Rights Advisory
 on the Steering Group of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking, and Climate Change
, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at North Seattle College.

Read the article here:

Source: Human Rights and Climate Change (There’s some light reading….) – News Lincoln County

Citizens’ Climate Lobby and 350ooc address climate change

NEWPORT — Environmental advocacy group 350occ and the local Climate Control Lobby will be joining forces to address issues that impact the region.

Source: Newport News Times | 350occ to join with local climate lobby

Carbon tax and revenue distribution on agenda

NEWPORT — Environmental advocacy group 350occ and the local Climate Control Lobby will be joining forces to address issues that impact the region.

“We’re trying to figure out how we can work together to address the issues of climate change as they affect the Oregon coast,” said Martin Desmond, co-organizer for the Newport group of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, in a Thursday, March 29 interview.

The groups are holding an open meeting at the Newport Public Library in the downstairs conference room on April 16 at 6:30 p.m.

CCL is a national organization started in October 2007 to “create the political will for climate solutions by enabling individual breakthroughs in the exercise of personal and political power,” according to its website. Their big push is for “Carbon Fee and Dividend” legislation, which would tax carbon at $15 a ton and an additional $10 every subsequent year. Revenue would be paid out to citizens as dividends.

The Newport group of CCL organized in January to, among other projects, support that legislation in Oregon.

“That’s probably going to be one of the primary issues CCL and 350occ.org, and more groups, are going to be working on this year,” Desmond said, “getting this set up so that when the session comes back in 2019, it’ll be ready.”

He and a friend did the math and estimate that a $15-per-ton carbon tax would increase the cost of gasoline about by about $0.15 a gallon. In Oregon, the bill was presented during the short legislative session but did not pass.

350occ was started by Bill Kucha about a year ago. At that time his intent was to do the initial organization of the group then step out of the spotlight. Cyndi Karp will be taking over as 350occ chair.

The founding enterprise, 350.org, is a network active in 188 countries “building a global climate movement,” states its website. The group’s name stems from the safe limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, 350 parts per million. The name of 350occ applies to the group’s Oregon Central Coast chapter.

Along with working for Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation, 350occ has brought many issues and guest speakers to Lincoln County to discuss things like electric vehicles, divestment, methane and fracked gas, and renewable energy. They endorse The Declaration of Human Rights and Climate Change, “Reaffirming the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelationality of all human rights, the interrelationality of all life on Earth and the dependency of all life on Earth on a healthy biosphere and Earth system integrity,” and are “Convinced that the potential irreversibility of climate change effects gives rise to an urgent need for new forms of state and non-state responsibility, accountability and liability.”

Concerns specific to Lincoln County are ocean acidification and the growing prevalence of wildfires.

“Ocean acidification is going to have a pretty serious impact on the fishing here; it’s going to have unknown impacts through time,” Desmond said. “It’s one of those issues that is quite significantly underestimated. It’s a fundamental impact on micro-organisms in the ocean, which has a significant impact on everything as you go up the food chain.”

As a young man, Desmond worked for the forest service on fire crews. “Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, we’d paint buildings and stuff. Occasionally we’d go fight a fire. Now, with a shorter snowpack season, the forests are drying out more. Fires are getting more often and bigger, for instance the Brookings fire last summer. The severity of forest fires has been increasing, so that’s going to happen here, too.”

He said, “I think 30 or 40 years from now, future generations will realize we’ve go to do more than just change light bulbs in our houses.

350occ.org encourages people to get involved in the Drawdown EcoChallenge, “a 21-day engagement program focused on carbon reduction,” from April 4-25. Find out more at drawdown.ecochallenge.org/about/event

Contact reporter Joan Brown at 541-265-8571 x211 or jbrown@newportnewstimes.com