56 results for tag: climate change


NW Natural Wants to Raise Rates (Again). This is What You Need to Know.

NW Natural, a utility company that sells fossil “natural” gas (e.g. methane), wants to raise prices for Oregon customers for a second year in a row. What they are planning to do with the money is, quite frankly, jaw-dropping, which is why OEC and a group of environmental and community-based organizations, represented by the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School and Earthjustice, are pushing back as formal intervenors in an ongoing public “rate case” proceeding. To get to the bottom of it, I sat down with Nora Apter, OEC’s Climate Program Director, to learn more about what NW Natural is doing and why their customers–or ...

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” are referring to the steady well-documented increases in Earth’s temperature ...

No time to burn: let’s keep the future of gas short in Oregon 

By: Nora Apter, the Climate Program Director for Oregon Environmental Council. Greer Ryan, Oregon Clean Buildings Policy Manager with Climate Solutions. When it comes to global warming pollution, we’ve heard a lot about the dangers of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. But did you know that methane, the primary ingredient in so-called “natural” gas, is approximately 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 20 year timeframe? Fossil “natural” gas is far from being the safe, clean product that gas utilities and fossil fuel companies claim. In reality, gas is not good for you or the ...

Climate Change is Impacting Youth Mental Health

Do you find yourself or the youth in your life feeling anxious or depressed over the idea of climate change? A new study shows this is a problem sweeping Oregon and beyond. The Oregon Health Authority just released a report, Climate Change and Youth Mental Health in Oregon, documenting the impacts of climate change on the mental health of youth (ages 15-25). This study was completed under the direction of Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, also known as the Oregon Climate Action Plan. The study, one of the largest in the nation to date, documents a growing youth mental health crisis in Oregon. Climate stressors, including climate anxiety, ...

Building for a Better Future

Right now, there is an important conversation happening in Oregon, and around the country, about buildings. The buildings in which we live and work are a critical piece of the climate puzzle. They are both vital to reducing climate change causing fossil fuels and our first line of defense against climate harms like extreme heat, wildfire smoke, and air pollution.  Buildings are the second largest–and growing–source of climate pollution in Oregon, responsible for 34 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the fossil fuels used for electricity to power our homes and buildings, and the fossil gas piped in for heating ...

Traveling This Summer: Try these climate-smart travel ideas

With summer just around the corner, many people are stir-crazy, willing to tolerate a seemingly less risky variant of Covid, and ready for a vacation. Whether it’s a family reunion, catching up with old friends in faraway places, or just seeing a bit more of the world, lots of us are looking to travel this year.   Given what we’ve all been through, it’s long overdue. The pent-up demand for travel is so strong that it almost makes it easy to forget that traveling can be a big contributor to climate change, the world’s most important “inconvenient truth.”  Of course, if you’re reading this, you’re likely someone who cares deeply ...

Oregon adopts permanent worker protections for heat and smoke just in time for this summer’s extreme weather events

Victory! OEC and our coalition of environmental, health and science, small business, and labor partners have spent the last year and a half staunchly advocating for the most protective workplace regulations possible in Oregon. We’re happy to announce that the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) responded with new, permanent rules that will hopefully set the tone for a new national standard. The heat and smoke rulemakings are a response to Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, which mandated Oregon OSHA to develop these standards in order to protect workers on the job from excessive heat and smoke.  It is no ...

Reflections on the Recent IPCC Reports

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released two reports in the past eight months, both with dire warnings about the future of our planet and the need for immediate global action. If you are a concerned citizen who follows these headlines, you can probably relate that each time a flurry of articles swarms your feed there is a gut-punch feeling that may consume the rest of your day – or leave you feeling numb. You are not alone.  We have reached a point where scientific reports and collective emotional wellbeing are reciprocal. The most recent IPCC report defines what is at stake. The answer is, “a liveable and sustainable ...

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 Commission to work in concert with our state natural resource agencies to develop and ...

Oregon Climate Action Plan: 2021 Progress Report

One year after the signing of Executive Order 20-04, our coalition released a robust report assessing the state’s progress on implementation.