Guest blog: Rogue Basin Climate Summit, Oct. 13 & 14

by Alan Journet, Co-facilitator SOCAN
alanjournet@gmail.com | 541-301-4107

Everyone loves where they live, and we in Southern Oregon are no exception. Why is this area so beautiful? The answer is revealed in a trip to Grants Pass—warm summers, mild temperatures, four seasons. It’s the climate. The forests, woodlands, farms, wineries, and rivers we enjoy are here thanks to our unique climate.

But the Rogue Basin has been experiencing four decades of troubling climate trends. Data from Medford reveal the city has warmed nearly 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century. Like much of the country, 2014 was a warm year. Average temperatures for the Medford area were 4 degrees higher than the rising temperature trend line. Additionally, we are experiencing decreasing snowfall, advancing snowmelt, and reduction in late summer stream flow and water availability for domestic and agricultural use.

What is happening to Southern Oregon’s climate, and what can we do about it? To explore trends and seek remedies, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now is organizing a two day fall conference: “Our Critical Climate: Trends, Impacts & Solutions – A Rogue Basin Summit” for October 13 and 14. We’ll explore current climate trends and projections, discuss their consequences, and address what we can do to fix or adapt to these changes in climates.

October 13: Dr. Phil Mote, Director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute at OSU, will discuss Pacific Northwest climate trends and projected consequences. An exploration of local Southern Oregon trends and consequences will follow. That evening, Mary Wood from the University Of Oregon School Of Law will discuss “Our Children’s Trust,” a legal strategy where youth hold governments accountable for protecting natural resources for future generations.

October 14: Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy will discuss what Eugene’s adoption of mandatory climate goals and other city-level solutions to climate change. A discussion of successful current regional efforts will follow.

On the second afternoon of the conference attendees will join small break-out interest groups focusing on one of the following:

  • Water
  • Forest health and fire
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable energy
  • Transportation
  • Building construction
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Human health
  • Individual action

Each group will identify and develop action plans and coordinate next steps to develop them further in the coming months. Our goal is to inspire actions that help communities prepare for inevitable regional climate change consequences and reduce our contribution to the problem.

Attendees will include elected officials, government department staff, professionals, decision-makers, media, students, and the general public. Registration is $55 and includes morning coffee/tea and lunches for two days; final deadline to register is September 30.

For updated information on the conference visit: http://socanclimatesummit.info.

 

Image used under Creative Commons license, by Joseph Novak. Cropped from original.

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