Agriculture


Climate Change and Agriculture: How are they connected and what’s to be done?

What is climate change and how does it work? We’ve all heard the phrase “climate change,” but what does that phrase mean? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines climate change as “a long-term (decades to centuries) change in any of a number of environmental conditions for a given place and time—such as temperature, rainfall, humidity, cloudiness, wind, and air circulation patterns.” So any shift in weather patterns lasting for a prolonged period of time can be called climate change. Today most people who say “climate change” ...

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EVs Are Not Just for Urban Commuters

The transition from gas to electric vehicles is now well underway. From electric cars, trucks, and busses, to e-bikes, e-scooters, and personal wheeled devices of all kinds, there are more and more electric options for getting around town. This transition is exciting to see because it’s essential to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and battling climate change.  But what if “town” isn’t where you’re trying to get around? There are more electric vehicle (EV) models introduced all the time, but many people still have questions about whether an EV makes ...

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Oregon Sets New Goals for Carbon Sequestration

Natural and Working Lands Proposal Healthy forests, waters, and agricultural lands are vital to Oregon’s economy, culture, and way of life. These natural and working lands often come to mind as vital resources in need of protection from climate impacts, but they are also an essential part of the climate solution. The science is clear: in order to avoid climate catastrophe, we must radically transform the way we use our land — from how we grow our food to how we manage our forests. Recognizing this need, Governor Brown directed the Oregon Global Warming Commis...

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Road-trips, Representatives and Adventures in Eastern Oregon

Summer is road-trip time, and recently, OEC staff Karen Lewotsky (Water Policy and Rural Partnerships Director) and Morgan Gratz-Weiser (Legislative Director) headed southeast across Oregon to Crane, with stops along the way in Tumalo and Prineville. Why Crane? The gathering in Crane was organized by leading legislators and partner organizations Verde, Willamette Partnership and others, to celebrate recent state investment in water and water infrastructure. The celebration kicked off with a virtual Zoom event the preceding week, and culminated with a tour of Harney ...

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Centering Frontline Voices: Oregon OSHA Enacts Heat & Smoke Rules

silhouette of person in tractor working a field
In a summer already marked by unprecedented temperatures and a devastating wildfire season, OEC and its partners pressed Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to adopt a health-first standard when it comes to protecting vulnerable workers from climate hazards. As part of EO-20-04 (OCAP), Governor Kate Brown directed Oregon OSHA to develop standards in order to protect frontline workers from excessive heat caused by climate change and wildfire smoke exposure. We know that not everyone is equally impacted by climate change. Frontline essential ...

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Using Soil to Slow Climate Change

hands planting a small seedling in soil
The economic demands on farmers and ranchers to maximize production on their land can inadvertently lead to damaging the soil. Unhealthy soil stores less carbon and depends on an increased use of chemicals and fertilizers which in turn can increase pollution and loss of soil to erosion. The good news is that the stewardship and determination of today’s agricultural producers can help solve these problems. And, under the 2020 Oregon Climate Action Plan, there is an opportunity right now to set ambitious new goals to address soil health and combat climate change.   Soil ...

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