climate change

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Some of your friends and neighbors will be walking off the turkey and pie this weekend. 

And some will be doing that while making a statement about climate change. 

The Global March for Climate Solutions is timed to coincide with a major meeting of countries in Paris to discuss climate issues. 

The Paris terrorist attacks and the security situation there wiped out the march in Paris itself, but many communities--Eugene included--will observe the march with local activities. 

NASA/Public Domain

In the eyes of people focused on climate change, saving the planet is relatively simple and straightforward: power down, green up, and shout out. 

Those are the main components of the Ashland Climate Challenge, starting November 15th as Climate Week in Ashland concludes. 

Ashland and nearby Talent are developing Clean Energy Action Plans for moving into a world beyond fossil fuels. 


Three-quarters of our planet are covered by oceans, so what happens in those oceans can have a profound effect on the rest of the planet. 

We've learned this lesson--often the hard way--in recent years, as the oceans warm with the rest of the Earth, and the acid levels in the water rise. 

It's getting hard for some creatures, like coral, to survive. 

Abel Valdivia is an ocean scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity

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If there were money in halting climate change, we might have a lot more enthusiasm for the efforts. 

Which is exactly why groups like Oregon Climate are talking about variations on "climate fee and dividend" programs. 

Under such a program, the emitting of greenhouse gasses would incur a tax or fee, and the proceeds from such a program would be returned to households. 

Who would not want a check in the mail? 

There are some issues to work out, not the least of which is getting buy-in from political figures. 


  Young people in Eugene continue to make headlines with lawsuits filed against state government, meant to produce action on climate change. 

The cases, with mixed legal success so far, are based upon the "public trust doctrine." 

University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood wrote the book on public trust law.  Really, she's the author of a textbook on public trust law, and will explain the approach at the coming Southern Oregon Climate Summit in Medford. 


Some of the most clear evidence of climate change is being seen inside the Arctic Circle.

Sea ice has been much less extensive in recent years, impacting animals like the polar bear and the native cultures that coexist with the animals. 

The Gwich'in people are concerned in particular about protecting caribou, threatened by climate change and oil exploration.

Southern Oregonian Dennis Specht recently spent time among the Gwich'in, he and Sarah James of the Gwich'in Steering Committee are working to convince members of Congress to act. 


The judge said no.  The plaintiffs appealed.  The judge said no again. 

That's the ultra-short version of a lawsuit filed against state leaders in Oregon, filed to produce action on climate change on behalf of children, by Our Children's Trust

Despite limited success in state court (now on appeal), the group just filed a similar suit against the federal government. 

The high temperature in Medford hit 105 Monday, 26 degrees above what is considered "normal" for the date. 

So let's talk weather and climate in VENTSday... do you need any more convincing that things are different? 

Our other topic: letting states place their own regulations on campaign spending.  What do you think? 

Our weekly VENTSday segment puts the listeners front and center. We throw a pair of topics on the table, and let callers and emailers vent--politely--on those topics.

Filing Suit To Clear The Air

Apr 27, 2015

The defendant name has changed, but the lawsuit is the same. 

A pair of Lane County teenagers are suing Oregon's governor (now Brown, not Kitzhaber) over climate change. 

Chernaik v Brown would require the state to develop a plan for dealing with greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. 

The suit is the brainchild of Our Children's Trust, based in Eugene. 

Just HOW Much Warmer We Are

Apr 2, 2015
NASA/Public Domain

It's a different world we're leaving our kids. 

A warmer one, certainly. 

A recent report from Environment Oregon shows that Oregon is clearly warmer than it was generations ago... and the Millennial generation reached adulthood in the hottest ten years in the last century. 

Making Markets For Carbon Trading

Mar 31, 2015

Even if you know the basics of carbon taxes and fees--to charge polluters for putting carbon in the air--the details can blow some smoke into your brain. 

Tom Bowerman at Policy Interactive has a grasp of the details. 

He wrote bills currently before the Oregon legislature that would set up carbon cost mechanisms. 

Pump It Up: Oregon's Clean Fuels Debate

Mar 25, 2015

The Oregon legislature recently voted to continue the "clean fuels" program begun six years ago. 

The program requires companies selling motor fuels in Oregon to reduce carbon by 10% over the next ten years. 

The Oregon Environmental Council and other groups pushed for the passage of this year's bill, despite warnings from opponents that passage could set up fights over transportation funding. 

Youth Lawsuit On Climate Change Moves Ahead

Jan 15, 2015
Michael Jastremski/Wikimedia

We always talk about leaving the planet in good shape for future generations. 

With climate change, that might not be so easy. 

And that's exactly the point seized upon by Our Children's Trust

OCT files lawsuits in the name of children, seeking to trigger government action to protect young people from climate change impacts. 

Carbon Money: $2 Billion Question

Dec 4, 2014
Michael Jastremski/Wikimedia

Discussions of climate change focus on the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, and finding ways to reduce what humans release. 

But if you're going to tax or charge for carbon emissions, how much?  And how should the money be used? 

Those issues will be discussed this weekend at a Medford event, "The Two Billion Dollar Question."

The organization Oregon Climate set up the event. 

HOW Rising Sea Levels Affect Our Coast

Nov 11, 2014

One of the features of global warming will be a rise in sea levels. 

So coastal areas will notice some of the most severe effects if the climate continues to change. 

Which causes us to think a bit differently about the big ocean just west of us. 

Geologist Dr. Jonathan Allan has been thinking about it for a long time.  

He'll present a lecture on shoreline erosion and flood hazards this week in Coos Bay.

Changing Climate In The Courts

Jun 19, 2014
NASA/Public Domain

Addressing climate change through government is the domain of the executive and legislative branches. 

But how much are they doing? 

Not very much at all, in the eyes of some observers. 

So they filed lawsuits to force government action on the climate. 

At least one court would not even hear the case. 

Eugene Council Considers Climate

Jun 3, 2014
NASA/Public Domain

"Think globally, act locally" may get its biggest test in the realm of climate change. 

And local groups are indeed taking a number of approaches to the issue. 

In Eugene, young people presented the city council with a Climate Recovery Ordinance. 

A Regional Look At The National Climate Report

May 15, 2014
NASA/Public Domain

Denial does not equal defense. 

Global warming may still be denied by some segments of the population, but the evidence of its existence is overwhelming. 

And that evidence includes the recent release of the National Climate Assessment.

The report shows the effects of climate change reaching to every one of the 50 states. 

Earth Day Observed By "Walk For The Planet"

Apr 18, 2014
NASA/Public Domain

44 years after the first Earth Day, a few things are different. 

We no longer fear blowing up the planet with nuclear weapons. 

Slow cooking it, though... there's plenty of concern about that. 

New Society Books

Just how hot will it get as climate change continues? 

Even if we don't notice the heat, what will rising sea levels do to coastal communities?  These are the questions Giles Slade considers in his book  American Exodus: Climate Change and the Coming Flight for Survival.