In Naomi Klein’s latest book, Doppelganger, she shares what historian Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor said about this moment: “Movements change the people who participate in them.” When we organize towards a goal together we discover our shared interests and a new sense of our power. It’s about what we can make together. Our movement is on the rise, and progressive leaders are asking the Grassroots to make them do the right thing. As we change and grow stronger, individually and collectively, let’s build power that can demand a radical transformation.
Building more gas stations when we need to drastically lower carbon pollution makes no sense! (Plus: there is already one within 5 minutes of every Eugenian.)
SPEAK OUT TO EUGENE CITY COUNCIL TODAY: Monday, Nov. 13th - Community members will be testifying in support of a moratorium on new gas stations in Eugene during public comment at 7:30 pm. Sign up to speak in person or online here. For talking points, read Beyond Toxics' informative blog. Come in person to 101 W 10th Avenue, Suite 114 in the LCC Downtown Building.
The Sustainability Commission will present its work plan at 5:30 pm (virtual only). Watch the work session online here.
ACTION: Sign on to Beyond Toxics Community letter to the Eugene City Council to ban new gas stations in Eugene. Thank you!
The climate movement is throwing down to protect our climate-saving forests. We’re working hard with our forest conservation allies to learn the ropes. The national organization, Environment America, spotlights climate groups who are doing this intersectional work, and 350 Eugene’s president, Patty Hine, is featured on a recent field-checking excursion in the Elliott State Forest in their latest blog here.
The Divest Oregon team was out in force at the October 25th Oregon Investment Council (OIC) meeting along with powerful testimony by American Federation of Teachers Oregon President Jacob and 350 Eugene President Patty Hine!
Topics that were presented:
Staying balanced while working for climate-sanity isn’t easy. But it is doable if you connect with allies in your community. Dr. Jenny Gordon, PhD, Jungian Analyst, and longtime 350 Eugene supporter, offers opportunities in connection with our Resilience work group. If you didn’t get a chance to attend the inspiring Celebration of Life on Earth As We Knew It event on Friday, Nov. 2nd, you can watch the video here. Bottomline: we need each other.
Don’t you love the semi-regular “It Must Be the Climate” column in the Eugene Weekly? Thank the “Creatives Team” at 350 Eugene who’ve been researching informational pieces to help educate the public on the City of Eugene’s electrification work, the problems with EWEB’s Integrated Resource Plan, Factory Farms, hardening our communities against climate-driven fires & healthy forests, the health hazards of burning fossil gas in homes and more! You can find an archive of our articles on the Fossil Free Eugene website here.
SAVE THE DATE
Join the creators of the new documentary Covenant of the Salmon People on Tuesday, November 16th from 6-8pm at the University of Oregon in Straub Hall room 145 for a free showing with light refreshments and Q&A with the director. RSVP here.
Join Electrify Now as they dive into the serious problems of gas leaks. They’ll start by exploring gas leaks at a high level and what they mean for safety and climate change and how we can quantify the extent of this leakage. They’ll then zero in on one community, Richmond, Virginia, that is looking to understand just how bad the gas leak situation is in their city, and how they can hold their local utility accountable for fixing it. They’ll finally explore the financials of gas infrastructure where companies are building new gas lines to prop up old, aging infrastructure in an unsustainable system where bills are coming due.
Join them November 16th at noon PDT. RSVP here.
Tues. Nov. 21, 2023, at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene at 1685W. 13th at 6:00 pm.
A Jan Haaken Production - As political pressure mounts in the US to meet net zero carbon goals, the nuclear power industry makes its case for a nuclear “renaissance.” This documentary by NECESSITY Director Jan Haaken follows activists as they expose the true costs of the new small nuclear reactor designs.
Our cosmos has no edges. It is vast and we are insignificant in comparison. Sometimes we get discouraged. But we have a part to play at this moment, in this place.
You are deciding right now where to put your resources, giving to causes that can make the biggest difference in the short time we have. Whatever you do, demand no less than transformative change: the phase out of fossil fuels, massive public and private investments in clean renewable energy in all sectors, and regulate and hold polluters and their financiers accountable for their misdeeds.
“Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi.
Let’s come together to do what needs to be done. Let’s be fierce.
Community Grief Ritual
Friday, November 3, 2023
7:00 p.m. FREE
First United Methodist Church
1376 Olive St., Eugene, OR
Join us in A Celebration of Life for the Earth as We Knew It as we acknowledge the mounting death toll and staggering losses associated with the collapse of our planetary eco-system.
May this offering of music, image and words of reflection, nourish our deep need to grieve what we hold dear - in community.
Eulogy offered by Patty Hine, President, 350 Eugene, a local climate justice organization.
Music offered by Dave Himber (flute), Agnes Vojtko (alto), Caleb Saunders (organ, piano), Kathryn Brunhaver (cello).
Facilitators: Jenny Gordon, PhD & Rev. Dr. Karen Love Baisinger
A reception with light refreshments will follow.
DEEP LISTENING CIRCLE: Climate Emotions
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Suggested donation: $20-$60
Emotion is the chief source of consciousness. There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion.
C. G. Jung, CW 9i, para. 179
In this workshop, we will engage a variety of methods to express our climate emotions and share them with each other. Whether you are feeling sadness, anxiety, guilt and anger OR wonder, joy, gratitude and love, each emotional response illuminates meaning and holds value. Listening deeply to what you are feeling cultivates connection to your heart's wisdom. How might listening to what you feel guide your response to existential crisis of our time?
Facilitators: Jenny Gordon, PhD, Psychologist, and Karen Love Baisinger, D.Min., Pastoral Counselor
Both Programs are Sponsored by The Health Ministry Team of the FUMC and 350 Eugene.
FORESTS OVER PROFITS!
The Forests over Profits mobilization held at the World Forestry Center in Portland Sept. 26-28 was a huge success! While capitalist investors and false solutions peddlers (we’re talking about you, biomass energy & carbon off-set speculators!) plotted how to make more money from forests at their "Who Will Own the Forest?" conference, hundreds of people gathered over three days to protest and also hold our own "Forests Over Profits" conference. Together, we shone the spotlight on financialized forestry and began a new era of anti-capitalist, decolonial forest defense. We’re just getting started!
Thanks to the folks who traveled to Portland and put in tons of time to make the event a success. (Thanks to our generous PDX home-stay hosts too!)
A special thanks to our Artivist team led by Joanie Kleban and to the Fireflies affinity group for showing up to engage, inform and disrupt.
For an inspiring one-stop-shop recap of the Who Will Own the Forest? Conference counter-protest and alternate conference, here’s the Coast Range Radio podcast that tells the tale.
Who’s Eugene’s Biggest Polluter?
According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s GHG inventory, the University of Oregon’s gas boiler system is now the single largest source of non-industrial climate-polluting emissions in the City of Eugene. Transitioning this outdated system to run efficiently on clean, renewable electricity will slash emissions, help the UO meet its climate goals, protect the health and safety of students and community members, and show the UO to be the innovative, forward-looking institution it claims to be.
UO students have been hounding the administration for 13 years to Get Off the Gas! Let’s support UO’s student-led Climate Justice League this fall to apply max pressure.
Turn out for the student demonstration at the EMU Green, at 13th & University on Tuesday, Oct. 24th at 5:15 pm
Meanwhile… the UO has created a Thermal Systems Transition Task Force, which has launched a survey to collect information and provide an opportunity for feedback on its climate action plan. Perfect!
Please take a minute to urge the UO to take strong action on climate & dramatically reduce emissions through a conversion of its gas system to an electric one. Take the survey here. (Here are some suggestions for your survey answers too!) Thank you!
Stay tuned for more info on Task Force hearings scheduled for Tue., Oct. 24th 6-7:30 and Thur., Nov. 2nd, 12-1:30 pm.
Over 100 organizations call on the current Oregon State Treasurer, Oregon Investment Council members, and candidates for Oregon Treasurer to create and support an effective climate risk action plan that includes these components:
-Ends NEW investments in fossil fuel
-Phases out all CURRENT fossil fuel investments while protecting returns
-Uses a JUST TRANSITION framework to reduce climate risk to frontline communities
-Requires annual release of a public list of ALL portfolio holdings
This campaign is heating up! Please sign the petition to the Oregon Treasurer & Oregon Investment Council and demand action!
FRACKED GAS RESISTANCE - GTNXP
House and Senate Republicans recently penned a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the nation's top energy regulator, calling for the immediate approval of the Gas Transmission Northwest XPress Project (GTNXP). The project would upgrade three existing compressor stations, increasing capacity on an existing system that has transported natural gas in decades old pipes.
This group was led by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, R-Ore., and joined by fellow Oregon GOP Rep. Cliff Bentz, with four other House Republicans in Idaho.
While these “leaders” say that gas is better / cleaner than coal powered electrical plants, they are not listening to the latest science. Fracked gas is as bad or worse for the planet's carbon pollution problem than coal.
We must stop burning fossils if we are to have a liveable planet!
FERC, which is chaired by Willie Phillips, a President Biden appointee and Democrat, has delayed granting final approval for TC Energy to move ahead with construction in the project.
In July, FERC removed the project from its open meeting agenda and one day before that meeting, Democratic Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden wrote to the regulator, imploring it to reject the project. The commission again opted against discussing it during its following meeting on Sept. 21.
Send an appreciation email to Senators Merkley and Wyden for their stand against more dirty gas in Oregon!
Deb McGee - Fracked Gas Resistance Team Lead
SAVE THE DATE
Biomass pretends to be a clean way to generate electricity and dispose of “woody wastes” from our forests - it is anything but…
Webinar: Forest Biomass, Oregon and Beyond
Thursday, October 19th 5:00-6:15 pm
The biomass industry is looking to expand into the Pacific Northwest. Wait. What? More and more money is being allocated for thinning and logging in the name of wildfire safety. How are these related, and what does this mean for our wildlands, timberlands and rural communities?
As part of the Global Day of Action on Big Biomass on October 19th, the Sierra Club's Oregon Chapter Forest Team invites you to attend: Forest Biomass: Oregon and Beyond, a free webinar with Rita Vaughan Frost and Dr. Dominick DellaSala (from Phoenix, OR). REGISTER HERE.
Eugene has its own biomass business at Sierra Pacific Industries on Highway 99. Read about it here. Not a climate solution. Not good for the forest. Not good for our air.
How do we take care of ourselves so we can sustain effective action?
Here are two opportunities.
Fri., Nov. 3rd at 7:00 pm - A Celebration of Life for the Earth As We Knew It - A Community Grief Ritual - at First United Methodist Church (FUMC), 1376 Olive St., Eugene.
Music, images, words of reflection. Facilitated by Jenny Gordon, PhD & Rev. Dr. Karen Love Baisinger. Light refreshments to follow. Free and open to the public.
Sat., Nov. 4th - 9:00-12:00 pm - Deep Listening Circle: Climate Emotions - at FUMC.
“How might listening to what you feel guide your response to the existential crisis of our time?”
Programs sponsored by the FUMC Health Ministry Team and 350 Eugene. Suggested donation: $20-$60.
Eugene's first Beam Bright Parade was a big hit last Saturday night! 350 Eugene was there with our beautiful forest-themed salmon flags & lanterns, singing and chanting for our climate-saving forests! Thanks to everybody who turned out! Forest defense is climate defense!
Post-pandemic, things are picking up at 350.org. We have a new energetic national director, Jeff Ordower. There’s a new campaign emerging to make monopolistic utilities accountable to their ratepayers and not finance public relations campaigns that hinder a just & rapid clean energy transition. (Perfect for our Northwest Natural work!) There’s momentum and cohesion building across our movements. How are you plugging in? To change everything, we need everybody. See you in the streets!
Surveys and Comments
Save the Forests!
Right now policymakers are asking for the public's opinions on the future of Oregon's forests. ALL FORESTS - not just state parks. All Oregonians are asked for input to help direct policy for the next several decades.
Right now the comments are being flooded by a few special interest groups who plan to take advantage of our forests just to make a profit. This is why we need YOUR VOICE!
Fill out this survey by Oregon's Kitchen Table, a Portland-based non-profit by Monday 10/09. I know the deadline is approaching fast but with this quick survey you can tell our state government why the forests are important to you and urge them to protect our trees.
EWEB is considering adopting the changes to PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act) which would make EV charging more readily available and provide consumers with more affordable rates, and they want to know what you think.
Currently, EWEB does not have any demand response programs in place. The updated PURPA standards require that EWEB "...shall promote the use of demand response and flexible demand" and "a utility may establish rate mechanisms to recover costs of demand response practices". This would lower energy consumption during times when there is unusually high demand. The demands are expected to increase with more EV charging, smart thermostats and other 'DR capable' technologies that become available.
EWEB promotes EV use but does not currently have any specific incentives to push for electrification. PURPA requires that EWEB should promote transportation electrification, promote equitable and affordable charging options, reduce charging times and promote third party charging infrastructure, and appropriately recover costs of delivering this electricity to EVs.
Urge EWEB to go through with the updated PURPA standards by emailing your comments to email@example.com by October 14.
350 is lighting up in the BEAM BRiGHT Parade on October 14. If you would like to join us in celebrating and sharing out love for mature and old growth forests meet us at 5th Ave and Oak St at 6:15pm day of to get ready and learn the chants!
If you would like to participate email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
More info in the flyer below:
We have a new Facebook page! For updates on 350 Eugene's events and events we are sponsoring/promoting check us out here.
Climate Protection Plan
We celebrated the successful passage of our Building Resilience Climate policy package this past legislative session (SB 868, 869,870, 871) and the passage of our Climate Protection Plan (CPP). The Climate Protection Plan is crucial to making us all healthier and safer; we're doing our part to ensure a more stable climate future. However, now the Climate Protection Plan is in rulemaking and industry is trying very hard to weaken it.
Our statewide coalition, Oregon Climate and Equity Network, is working to keep this program strong. Here is the comment submitted by 350 Eugene:
"The passage of the Climate Protection Plan (CPP) is an important step towards reaching our climate safety goals. As with any legislation, the success of the outcome is due to the specifics in the rule-making process.
We are very disturbed to see the make-up of the rule-making advisory committee. (RAC).
We note that of 14 members, only two are public interest groups. How can such a heavy reliance on the regulated industries’ input serve the public interest? We in Eugene are acutely aware of how the gas industry can manipulate public opinion through large expensive campaigns to derail safer electrification regulations.
The current concessions to regulated industries allow out-of-state RNG bio-methane investments and could enable the expansion of new large industrial emitters, defeating the goals of the Climate Protection Plan (CPP). The current proposed rule amendments will compromise the program’s intended public health, economic, and employment goals, and hinder benefits for Oregon consumers, workers, local economies, and environmental justice communities across the state.
We are also concerned that this type of out of state investment would divert money from the Community Climate Investment fund, created specifically to focus on benefits to Oregonians.
We see Northwest Natural Gas is already seeking to comply with the CPP by purchasing Renewable Thermal Certificates associated with RNG outside of Oregon. Please strengthen requirements by restricting bio-methane used for CPP compliance to that which would produce direct benefits to Oregonians.
Finally, we ask you to strengthen the emissions reduction requirements for new or expanded stationary source facilities in Oregon under the BAER Act. These large emitters must pivot to use their economic base to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
This rule-making is vital to ensure this program stays on track to achieve its stated climate, public health, and economic goals. You are in a crucial role to make sure this actually happens." -350 Eugene
Your comments can be short and simple. It is just important that DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) hears from as many people as possible, telling them that they need to stay strong in the face of industry push back to weaken this program.
Hearing from us in Eugene is important because we have already seen what Northwest “Natural” Gas has done, pouring almost $1 million into trying to defeat our city’s electrification ordinance.
PLEASE SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS TO DEQ! NUMBERS COUNT!
Submit written public comments to DEQ by October 13, 2023, at 4:00 p.m.
Email comments to: Climate.email@example.com with “2023 Climate Rulemaking” in the subject line.
Our partners at Beyond Toxics have also put together talking points on their website. Visit our website for sample testimonies and talking points.
Aside from the effort to weaken the plan in rulemaking, industry is now suing the state to disallow the plan altogether! Our statewide coalition attended the State Court of Appeals hearing where industry and Beyond Toxics as intervenor made their arguments. We can’t let industry dictate our climate future. We had a strong showing with Senator Golden and Rep Marsh joining us.
The time to act is NOW! Your voice can help protect the CPP and secure a resilient climate future for Oregon. Together, we can make a difference!
"The university [of Oregon] recognizes that as a public institution of research and education, its leadership and example are an important contribution to a global effort that reaches across all sectors of society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, transition away from fossil fuels, and plan for resiliency as we face effects from climate change." (UO Climate Action Plan)
Despite this recognition that UO is seen as a leader for a sustainable climate, the university is the largest pollutor of carbon emissions in Eugene. The UO Thermal Systems Task Force has released a survey for the public to input their opinions. We ask that you fill out the survey and tell the task force to switch their gas boiler system to electric.
Take the survey to tell UO to electrify its gas boiler system and dramatically reduce emissions. Fill out this survey and urge them to do better.
For ideas on how to respond:
Q: In 2022, the State of Oregon launched an enforceable plan to reduce statewide emissions from fossil fuels by 90% by 2050. Should the University of Oregon rely primarily on that plan or spend money on additional actions that reduce campus heating emissions that may be more costly?
A: Take additional action to reduce campus emissions
Q: Why is it important for the University of Oregon to take action above and beyond planned state level emissions reduction plans? Because:
A: Any of these answers make sense - alternatively you can choose “Other” and write “all of the above”
Q: Of the potential impacts related to the project, which of the following are you most concerned about?
A: Use the sliders to indicate that you’re not concerned about any of the impacts
Q: What would you need to feel more informed and engaged about the university’s efforts to transform the university’s heating system?
A: Greater transparency about the decision-making process of the Thermal Task Force and more opportunities for public comment ahead of the Task Force’s recommendation to the Board.
Send additional input to the Thermal Task Force at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a new Facebook page! For updates on 350 Eugene's events and events we are sponsoring/promoting check us out here!
Now is the time to take action. Fill out the UO survey and send your comments to the DEQ to help fight for a healthier planet and better future for all!
The greatest threat to the planet is the belief that someone else will save it. ~Robert Swan
The heat and weather events this summer were beyond belief! We no longer chill out in relatively moderate temperatures from June through August… Nevertheless we are rested and ready for fall action!
Nationwide Climate Strikes
Fridays For Future and Sunrise youth are organizing Climate Strikes across the country this Friday in solidarity with the NYC March to End the Era of Fossil Fuels on September 17th and the UN’s Climate Ambition Summit in advance of COP 28.
In Eugene, we’re turning out to demand immediate climate action at the local, state and national levels! Hear specific demands from student organizers and Support The Wave with a mighty public outcry for real climate solutions! CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?
We’re gathering at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza on 8th & Oak at 12:30 to welcome students arriving from Eugene schools and mingle with climate leaders. Wear red, bring your signs, and let your voice ring out for a sane, clean energy future for our children! See you there!
RSVP at bit.ly/EugeneClimateStrike.
Elsewhere in Oregon, youth are leading strikes in Portland, Salem and Bend. Lots of places to jump in. Be loud!
MARCH TO END THE ERA OF FOSSIL FUELS - SUNDAY, SEPT. 17TH - NEW YORK CITY
"It's never been more clear than now–a summer of record heat, deadly fires, and devastating floods–that we need to unite to put an end to fossil fuels," Oil Change International U.S. program manager Allie Rosenbluth said in a statement. "Every new fossil fuel project is incompatible with a livable future."
The New York march is part of a larger international escalation against fossil fuels launched in June and timed for the weekend before Guterress' September 20 summit, which asks nations for the first time to present plans for phasing out fossil fuels and ceasing production of the climate-warming energy sources.
"We demand President Biden wield his power, to usher in the end of fossil fuels so our planet and people can thrive," Rosenbluth said. "We join together for the March to End Fossil Fuels, not just to ask for change, but for a reckoning."
Note: Our buddy Allie Rosenbluth hails from Rogue Climate in Southern Oregon and is the lead organizer for the massive March in NYC. You rule, Allie!
Fill out this form to RSVP for the march and get involved. For more information, visit endfossilfuels.us.
Show Up for Our Forest
“WHO WILL OWN THE FOREST” CONFERENCE COUNTER-PROTEST IN PORTLAND
On September 26-28, climate polluters, corporate forest profiteers, and false climate solutions peddlers will come together to talk about “timberland investments" at a conference called “Who Will Own the Forest?" at the World Forestry Center (location) in SW Portland. Some of their worrying workshop titles include:
The conference runs from Tuesday evening through lunch on Thursday. Activists are showing up throughout. We are organizing transportation and housing. Email us at email@example.com with WWOtF in the subject line if you are planning to come and need a ride and / or place to stay.
Our protest has two distinct parts: Wednesday’s Rally and Thursday’s Alternative Conference.
Wed., Sept. 27th from 8 am to 2 pm: Conference Mobilization / Protest / Rally
That said, some of us may gather for scouting and other fun Tuesday evening. Stay tuned.
For more information, go to the new Forests Over Profits website here.
To get fired up for the conference, just listen to Coast Range Radio’s recent podcast on “Fighting the Biomass Delusion” with Rita Frost and Peter Riggs, available on their website.
Save The Date
Oregon is a Climate Leader!
Go Clean Energy Conference: Get a Jackpot of incentives for Your
Electrification Projects - October 4th 8:30-4:30 in Bend
Whether you rent, own a home, or commercial building, cash and tax credits are coming your way from government incentives that will help you electrify. Learn from 25+ experts how to put your project together.
Don’t be left out of the funding stream to electrify for cost savings and health. Solar, efficiency, Electric vehicle Charging, home heating and/or cooling are among your many options. Oct 4th, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at Bend Central Oregon Community College. Only $75. More info and the registration link here.
Nuclear Power is Not a Climate Solution
WHAT: "Atomic Bamboozle: the False Promises of a Nuclear Renaissance." Followed by a Q&A with panel speakers Lloyd Marbet, Cathy Sampson-Kruse, and Jan Haaken.
Directed by Jan Haaken. Screening with "Portrait 2: Trojan," a short film directed by Vanessa Renwick, a Portland-based artist and filmmaker. This meditative five-minute film documents the emotional moment the Trojan tower was finally imploded.
WHEN: Monday, October 9, 7 PM.
WHERE: Art House, 492 E. 13th Ave., Eugene, OR 97401. Tickets can be purchased on the Art House website in advance or at the door. https://www.eugenearthouse.com/movie/atomic-bamboozle/ COST: $15 general admission, $10 seniors and students.
FROM THE DIRECTOR: “I share the deep sense of urgency many of us feel around the climate crisis – an urgency taken up in campaigns to revive nuclear power. But this same state of anxiety can make us vulnerable to sales pitches and false solutions. The film tells the story of nuclear propaganda with a deeper look at what we are being sold and it's long-term costs.” - Jan Haaken, Director
Our Parade Message: Forest Defense is Climate Defense! Come join in and animate one of our forest-themed hanging lantern luminaries and other beautiful protest art.
It seems like each fall we say is THE YEAR to act on climate, yet local and world emissions continue to rise. Still a lot of progress and investments are being made in renewable energy and strong policies are being developed (and defended) everywhere. But political will remains pitifully lacking. The race is on. And it’s in our hands. Each one of us can play a part to protect what’s left. Let’s be fierce.
This is the Time to Increase Pressure!
The clean energy revolution is underway. The Inflation Reduction Act is the biggest climate change policy since the Paris Climate Accords and is driving international ambitions and massive projects at home. This is the time to increase pressure. Signing petitions, attending events, donating, writing letters and shouting it to the rooftops: We Have the Solutions! We need the political will to move the dial, and fast! Elected officials need to lead, follow or get out of the way!
While some campaigns are taking a break, others are just getting rolling, like our plan to meet with the Eugene Airport Director to discuss how the airport can use IRA funds to build out solar and serve as a community energy hub during emergencies. AND building a campaign to interrupt EWEB’s plans to include small nuclear modular reactors and biomass in its Integrated Resource Plan. Those are not climate-neutral solutions! We insist geothermal and renewable wind & solar are the path forward! Stay tuned.
Events - Time to Show Up!
Support Fridays for Future & the Student Climate Strike Coalition on Friday, September 15th! Social movements are strongest when leadership comes from young people! Across the U.S., a coalition of Fridays for Future, Sunrise and other youth-led groups has organized a powerful day of action two days ahead of the HUGE March to End the Era of Fossil Fuels in NYC on September 17th.
On Friday, September 15 at 1:15pm Sunrise Eugene has organized a community school strike and rally at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza to demand urgent climate action from our federal, state, and local governments. There will be speakers, testimonials, food and more! The demands are:
Join communities across the country in solidarity with our youth partners to demand action on the climate crisis! This is our moment to show our resolve. That we are not giving up, and that we support youth climate leadership.
Friday, Sept. 15th - Plans are evolving for a Statewide Rally in Salem in support of the March to End the Era Fossil Fuels on Friday, September 17th. Organizers are planning an event near the capitol and encourage people to join in to show support. We will publish more event details as they become available.
Tue.-Thur. Sept. 26-28 - Who Will Own the Forest Conference in Portland at the World Forestry Center.
Organizers are planning a full Rally Day at the conference entrance on Wednesday (9/27), with family-friendly activities for everyone: music, speakers, dances, singing, food, street theater, marching bands and more. On Thursday (9/28), a half-day alternative conference will be held nearby with “real sustainable forestry” experts. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Break out your costumes, skits and musical instruments and join in.
WE NEED FOREST CLIMATE DEFENDERS AT THE RALLY AND THE CONFERENCE (BOTH DAYS)!
Transportation and solidarity housing are being planned for folks coming from Eugene. If you’re interested, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with WWOtF in the subject line, and we’ll get in touch with details. It’s going to be big!
Oregonians deserve homes and buildings that are healthy, affordable, and safe against the effects of extreme weather: Organizations are popping up across the state to help solidify support for strong climate policy in the next Oregon legislative session. Some are working to divest, resist fossil fuel infrastructure and transition our buildings and transportation to clean energy. The Building Resilience Coalition is a strong policy advocate and they are building their power this summer with this petition. Please support by signing on!
On Thursday, September 7th the Board of Forestry plans to make changes to the State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to allow thousands of acres of state forests to be sold to timber companies. The damage caused by the clear cutting that would result from this means a death sentence for many fish and wildlife that call Oregon home. Send an email to the Board of Forestry and elected leaders today and mark your calendar for the September 7th Board meeting. Cascadia Wildlands staff and volunteers will be attending the meeting to testify in person from 8-10am. If you are unable to attend in person there is an option to testify virtually. Deadline to register to testify is 5pm on Friday, September 1st. Click here for instructions on registering to testify. Email email@example.com if you would like help with writing testimony or are interested in carpooling from Eugene to testify in person. You can also send a written testimony to the Board of Forestry at BoardofForestry@oregon.gov. Tell the Board why the forests are important to you to help save them and the wonderful creatures who call these places home.
Victory for the Black Ram project in Montana! Read the story here. Just like the Flat Country timber sale, Forest Defenders and Climate Activists are racking up wins to keep mature & old growth trees in the ground!
Divest Oregon - ramping up the pressure on Oregon’s Treasurer
Eighteen Divest Oregon Coalition leaders met last week with Treasurer Tobias Read in Tigard at the Oregon Department of Treasury office. He promised a “Decarbonization Plan” but still doesn’t understand that methane gas is as bad or worse than coal. That’s because the Treasury takes its advice from economists who don’t talk to Climate Scientists! In fact, this report in CleanTechnica explains how economists are ignoring the climate crisis.
The article summarizes an in depth Carbon Tracker Report, which notes that the following tipping points were considered by senior economists but dismissed as having a low impact on global economic activity and thus not included in their modeling. Wait. What?
1. Loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic;
2. Slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC);
3. Increased variability of the Indian summer monsoon;
4. Release of carbon from permafrost;
5. Release of carbon from ocean methane hydrates;
6. Dieback of the Amazon rainforest;
7. Disintegration of the Greenland Ice Sheet; and
8. Disintegration of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Pretty sure they’re missing the mark by a long shot. The Carbon Tracker report is available here.
To find out the latest on our Treasury's risky investments in fossil fuels, read this short August 21st article from the Portland Tribune: State legislators: Oregon treasury’s investment choices create risk to us all. State treasury department is investing public funds in some questionable areas, by State Sen. Jeff Golden and state Reps. Khanh Pham and Mark Gamba.
Announcement: September 21st Virtual Congressional Briefing on the Landmark Bi-Partisan "Community mental Wellness and Resilience Act of 2023"
Go to the ITRC Website to Register:
With toxic stresses, emergencies, and weather disasters now happening everywhere Community is Medicine!
Opportunities - Pass the Word
Cool & Clear Resource Fair: Free air conditioners and air purifiers to eligible community members
When: Tuesday, September 12, 2023
What time: Stop by between 5:30 and 7:00 PM (Garage parking is FREE after 6)
Where: Tykeson Room, Eugene Public Library Downtown, 100 W. 10th Ave. Eugene, OR 97401
Fossil Free Eugene and Beyond Toxics work tirelessly for common sense climate policy, but we know people are already suffering the consequences of hotter, smokier summers. Working with the Oregon Health Authority, the allies will be distributing air conditioners and purifiers, but numbers are limited, so sign up ahead.
Fill out our Air Conditioner Interest Form here
Fill out our Air Purifier Interest Form here
Photo: Mountain Rose Herbs helping FFE and Beyond Toxics distribute air conditioners and purifiers.
Introducing our new Communications Coordinator: Cecilia Luzi!
Cecilia (they/them) moved to Eugene from San Diego with their girlfriend, two dogs, and cat in May '22. Since being here they've been trying to do more to connect to the natural world and do what they can to help protect it. Cecilia is also a member of Sunrise Eugene and is taking every chance to learn the ins and outs of climate action.
Cece graduated from Cal Poly Pomona May '21 with a B.S. in Biology/Microbiology. It was during college that they began to learn about the dire situation that is climate change. Since then, their interests have shifted from human/medical microbiology to microbes and fungi that work in the soil/environment. They love taking leisurely "hikes" through the woods to practice and expand their plant identification skills. Gardening is a newfound hobby and they are happy to have successfully kept their plants alive through the summer heat and are so close to meeting their goal of having at least one pumpkin to harvest!
Summer is for celebrating our wins and resting up for the actions coming this fall!
The scientists know that the clean energy revolution is possible. It’s already well underway. The only thing holding us back is the lack of political will. That’s where we come in. We continue to throw down with our allies to demand the transformative change we need. Simply put: no more business as usual!
The effects of climate breakdown are in the news everyday and it’s changing how Americans think about our personal and collective lives. As people recognize the gravity of our situation, efforts are coalescing to build the capacity for massive pressure on our decision-makers.
It’s time to jump in! You can challenge climate-harming timber sales by learning how to “double-check” (aka field-check) official plans, you can be part of the team that shows up at city council to demonstrate public support for strong climate policy, you can join in road trips to the capitol and local carbon-rich forests, and you can help get out the vote for climate champions and advocate for strong climate leadership. To name a few. Read on to find out more.
Electrify Eugene / Fossil Free Eugene
The City of Eugene is in a great position to make progress on climate. We have strong leadership in our mayor and a city council majority who are committed to do the hard work of decarbonizing (if we keep pushing them). We have excellent staff in the Sustainability Office who are free now to blaze ahead with well thought-out plans, which include tons of input from the community. Advocates are meeting with staff to get on the same page for bold fall climate action. Stay tuned.
From Mayor Vinis: “We need to do two things: reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of existing buildings in our community and stem the flow of new fossil fuel emissions in new construction. Addressing existing buildings is the biggest piece, and we will focus our attention on that work, while simultaneously pursuing the development of a policy to tackle new construction that complies with the Ninth Circuit ruling. We are committed to regulating the use of fossil fuels in new construction, as it is an essential step to meeting our climate action plan goals, and transitioning our community off of fossil fuels.” This is our local work in 2023-24.
Check out the City of Eugene’s new webpages helping residents access the myriad new subsidies, incentives and rebates to electrify homes and businesses and outlining the city’s decarbonization efforts.
Take Action: Gas Companies can diversify and become leaders in the clean energy revolution! Here’s what Sightline Institute has to say about it, and what Northwest Natural needs to understand and adopt. (Send the article link to the new NWN Community and Government Affairs Manager today!)
GTN XPress: A Victory... For Now!
Last week fossil fuel resistors across the region celebrated a great victory. Expecting an approval of the project by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) at its July meeting, at the last minute they removed GTN XPress from their agenda, pushing the decision back at least another two months. As we always say, “A Delay IS a Win!” (Maybe the TC Energy gas pipeline explosion in Virginia and Senators Merkley and Wyden re-issuing a joint statement calling on FERC to reject the application had something to do with it!)
Here’s the Corvallis Advocate’s (June 28) feature article: Vote to Expand Gas Pipeline Though Oregon Scuttled by Public Pressure, for Now. We are the Thin Green Line!
Federal Forest Protection - this is what kickass grassroots organizing looks like!
On July 20th, over half a million people called on the Forest Service to protect mature and old-growth trees and forests across the U.S. from logging & other threats. Activists delivered a symbolic box of comments to our federal delegation at the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse with media and fans in attendance.
The final number of comments submitted was over 530,000! We thought a goal of half a million was pretty ambitious, but we did it, with a lot of hard work by organizers across the country, including our buddies at Oregon Wild, Victoria Wingell and at Cascadia Wildlands, Madeline Cowen. Thanks for lending your voice. As the world experiences record-shattering heat & widespread climate disasters, protecting these forests is critical. As long as there are public comment periods, let’s just plan to BLOW THEM AWAY with huge numbers!
Our movement to protect Pacific Northwest forests from climate-harming logging is exploding! And not a moment too soon…
Have you heard about this timber industry focused event called “Who will Own the Forest?” planned for Wall Street shareholders? It’s happening in Portland at the World Forestry Center September 26th-28th. Local forest & climate organizations are planning counter protests, including an alternative conference. SAVE THE DATE. 350 Eugene plans to bring a contingent.
Looking for a way to plug into Forest Climate defense? Consider joining Cascadia Wildlands WildCAT to learn how field-checking can prevent logging in old and mature forests. Field-checking is a method for double-checking federal land managers’ logging plans. Last month over 40 Basecamp volunteers examined stands proposed for logging in the large Calloway Project east of Eugene in the Willamette Forest. The result of this intensive field-checking found that while many proposed stands contain young, single-aged plantation-style stands of forests, suitable for logging, others are rich in diversity, complex with many old-growth and mature trees, and teeming with wildlife and should be dropped from the project. That’s what the amazing legal experts & our friends at Cascadia Wildlands do for our climate. They fight to keep mature & old trees in the ground! Contact Madeline for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIVEST OREGON, a coalition of individuals and organizations including 350Eugene, continues its work to divest the State of Oregon from its multibillion dollar fossil fuel investments (mainly in the PERS fund). Private equities are more opaque than traditional public investments (think “stock market”) and include a substantial portion in fossil fuels. Oregon has invested 27% of its PERS investments in private equities, far exceeding the level of investment by other state funds. These are risky. See the August 3, 2023 New York Times article, “The Risks Hidden in Public Pension Funds”, about how private equity investment understates its risk.
Interested in learning more about Oregon’s investments in fossil fuels and private equities? Go to the divestoregon.org and join the coalition.
September is Going to be Busy!
In the lead up to this year’s UN Conference of the Parties (COP28) in the UAE in November, the UN Secretary General has called a Climate Ambition Summit in NYC in September. As you have heard, a number of national organizations and / or coalitions are planning events around this time to draw attention to the inexcusable lack of progress on climate. Distributed events are being encouraged across the country.
There is talk among Oregon climate organizers of a potential event in Salem at the Capitol on Friday, September 15th, to demand Governor Kotek declare a climate emergency and halt any new fossil fuel projects. Road trip anyone? It’s been a while! But we’re excited to return! More to come.
Also, the organizing for a national march in NYC on September 17th is in full swing, and they’re encouraging people to come to NYC. We have decided to remain in Eugene and support a local event to End Fossil Fuels and attend the “Who Will Own the Forest?” actions later in Portland.
Stay tuned for details. You won’t want to miss.
Comings and Goings
We want to send Eloise Navarro, our intrepid Communications Coordinator since April 2022, off with our deepest thanks and fondest of farewells, and welcome her replacement Cecilia Luzi. Cece comes to us with fresh enthusiasm and energy for climate activism and they have extensive experience in detailed, administrative work. Welcome to the 350 Eugene team, Cece!
Zero Coalition is a new organization focusing on decarbonizing Oregon's buildings. This month 350 Eugene & Fossil Free Eugene are featured in their newsletter as new members and “Champions of Change."
From Rebecca Solnit: “Hope is not happiness or confidence or inner peace; it’s a commitment to search for possibilities.” Read her latest Guardian article titled “We Can’t Afford to Be Climate Doomers” here.
Electrify Eugene - An Update
Eugene was the first city to galvanize the electrification movement in Oregon when our city council passed the state’s first ordinance to mandate electric-only in new residential construction last February. But during the council meeting on July 10th, council rescinded the ordinance in the face of a recently contested Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling from a fossil-fuel funded lawsuit challenging a similar ordinance passed in Berkeley. That case likely means our ordinance would be illegal if passed at the ballot next November. (The ordinance was referred to the ballot after NWN funded out-of-state signature gatherers to qualify for a ballot referendum to the tune of over $1M.)
To its credit, the council reaffirmed their strong commitment to building electrification and decarbonization by passing two motions the same evening: 1) directing city staff to bring a suite of opportunities to take action on climate and reduce city greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and 2) directing the city manager to return to the council for a discussion on updates in the Berkeley case, and to explore alternative legally feasible ways to reduce fossil fuel use in new construction next year.
Now that the ordinance is off of the November ballot, city staff and advocates can work unconstrained to engage the community and address the necessary clean energy transition that is funded by the Inflation Reduction Act.
"Eugene remains steadfast in its commitment to electrifying new homes and buildings. We will not back down. However, it is disheartening that this misguided court ruling compels our city to allocate additional resources towards crafting a new policy with the same outcome. We eagerly anticipate the reversal of the Ninth Circuit court decision, so that local governments retain all pathways to build smart from the start, cutting pollution and protecting health with climate-ready new construction,” said Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis.
There are always lessons to be learned by those who lead the way. Those who follow will avoid pitfalls, as our movement inexorably builds to electrify the grid with clean energy. We are more committed than ever. This fall we will be pushing for the transformational change we need and we will not take no for an answer. Plan to jump in. Let’s be fierce.
Read the Sierra Club press release on the ordinance withdrawal & commitment to future action here and Breach Collective’s analysis of the Berkeley case and background as it relates to Eugene.
Check out Mayor Vinis’ Guest Viewpoint in last week’s online Eugene Weekly. Stick to your guns, Mayor!
On Saturday, June 24, Oregon Just Transition Alliance, and the major statewide coalition members Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Climate Solutions, Oregon Environmental Council, Unite Oregon and Community Energy Project, and community members came together to witness the passing of historic climate justice legislation in Oregon, the Climate Resilience Package. This bill package has resulted in huge wins for frontline communities across Oregon who are most impacted by climate change, and we couldn’t have done it without your support:
As a result of your action, over 10 important bills passed this legislative session:
2023 Resilience Agenda recap
Primary bill endorsements
Housing Choices (HB 2001) ⇒ PASSED!
Many people in Oregon struggle to find a home they can afford in a neighborhood with the things they need to thrive, like good-paying jobs, green spaces, and walkable neighborhoods. The Affordable, Abundant Housing provisions in the bill will increase the number of affordable homes built in our state and make sure they are built in a way that will most benefit frontline communities, addressing the housing crisis today and for the long term.
Community Resilience Hubs (HB 2990) ⇒ PASSED! (as part of the Climate Resilience Package)
Funds community resilience hubs and networks across the state to provide access to resources for vulnerable populations during disasters.
Healthy Heating & Cooling for All (SB 868) ⇒ PASSED! (as part of the Climate Resilience Package)
Aligns our energy efficiency programs with our state climate goals, accelerates statewide heat pump deployment, and ramps up other energy efficiency efforts like weatherizing and retrofitting existing homes to save money and energy while increasing Oregonians’ resilience.
Build Smart from the Start (SB 869) ⇒ PASSED! (as part of the Climate Resilience Package)
Improves building codes for new construction, codifying Oregon’s base building code so that all new buildings are constructed to be more energy efficient and resilient from the start.
Building Performance Standard (SB 870) ⇒ PASSED! (as part of the Climate Resilience Package)
Improves the energy efficiency of large, energy-intensive commercial buildings across the state through the adoption of a Building Performance Standard and incentives.
Smart State Buildings (SB 871) ⇒ PASSED! (as part of the Climate Resilience Package)
Reduces barriers for state-owned buildings to be made healthier and more energy efficient.
Other bill endorsements
Not all of our endorsed bills made it this session but the work doesn't stop here. These bills will either be coming back in the short session, in the long session in 2025, or are being pursued through other avenues. In the coming months, we'll keep you informed about how they move forward:
We got our message across: Mature and Old Growth Trees are Worth More Standing!
(Photo credit to the Eugene Weekly & the story is here.)
The spirited demonstration on July 5th to Stop Logging Mature & Old Growth Forests at Gate 4 of Sierra Pacific Industries on Highway 99 was part of a series of escalated actions in the Pacific Northwest. There were over 20 events and actions that took place in more than a dozen communities across the PNW, which collectively mobilized more than 300 people to take action to defend our forests & climate! The local action was planned in coalition with seasoned forest defenders. Thanks to all of you who organized a fine event and to those who turned out in support! We’re just getting started.
Sierra Pacific Industries has plans to double in size and is responsible for poor air quality in the already pollution-burdened West Eugene community. SPI is currently bidding and closing on controversial timber sales in the mature and old growth federal forests west of Eugene.
Thursday-Sunday, July 27-30th - Cascadia Wildlands WildCATs (Cascadia Action Team) are hosting a Field Checking BASECAMP for people interested in learning the important skills to protect special places that are under threat of logging. Sometimes discovering an uncharted stream, a stand of old growth or an endangered species can stop a timber sale in its tracks.
This is a great way to plug in if you are new to forest defense. Get to know our forests, get to know our people! Forest defense is climate defense!
Here’s more information and the registration form. Hope to see you there!
The science says we can meet all our demands for wood products without cutting natural forests and relying instead on industrial monocultures for our needs. The time to stop mature and old growth logging is NOW.
Protect Mature and Old Growth Forests - The federal forest rule-making commenting period is almost over. We're very close to having a record-shattering 450,000 comments! One last push TODAY (last day). Super easy. (If you have already commented that's okay.) Click here to send a strong message demanding permanent protections for mature and old-growth #ClimateForests on federal public lands!
Save the Date
March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC September 17th
President Biden has the power to stop coal, oil & gas corporations from destroying our future. He must put an end to the expansion of fossil fuels to ensure that we all have clean air and water, and better health and safety for our communities. Why hasn’t he kept his promise? Because the PEOPLE haven’t made the pressure unbearable!
On Sunday, September 17th at 1:00 pm, tens of thousands of people are going to hit the streets in New York City, three days in advance of the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit 2023 to make clear our demands. The evidence is clear.
Stay tuned for distributed actions being planned in our area. You can sign up for more information at the national March to End Fossil Fuels website.
You Were There
Our stalwart friends with the Florence Climate Emergency campaign celebrated their 200th climate strike last Friday in front of the Florence Chamber of Commerce. They appreciated 350 Eugene’s gift of four of our stunning sunflowers to add to their weekly demonstrations. That’s a lot of commitment and they’re making progress with their city government, despite all odds. (Pictured here with Deb McGee and Patty Hine are Mike & Pat Allen, co-founders of the group.) Go Team!
What’s new? 350 Eugene has a new street address! Please note for your records:
1711 Willamette St., Suite 301 #474, Eugene, OR 97401
As some of you know, 350 Eugene is undergoing a process of discernment regarding the future direction of our organization. The wonderful news is that a number of solid groups have emerged to join our local climate justice efforts in Eugene since we started ten years ago. Working with coalitions and diverse, younger organizations with paid staff has been a good way to broaden our impact and support emerging leaders with serious skills and energy. This summer and fall will be a period of reflection, study and strategic planning for our next steps. Thanks for being on this journey with us! More to come.
A recommendation from the Resilience Working Group: The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith
Bill McKibben’s New Yorker Magazine comment from July 16, 2023
Big Heat and Big Oil: A rapid end to burning fossil fuel would arrest the heating that has caused extreme damage in recent weeks; and that rapid end is possible.
It’s hotter than ever and fossil fuel companies are doubling down to salvage their profits. It’s not “irresponsible” to wean ourselves off what’s destroying civilization, as Shell’s new CEO says. It’s irresponsible not to.
Let’s do this.
Protecting the Forests in our Own Backyard
In addition to putting massive pressure on our federal land managers to protect mature & old growth forests during their rule-making process going on right now… (There’s still time to send in a quick comment on the Climate Forests website here!)...
Communities across the Pacific Northwest are coming together on the second anniversary of the 2021 Heat Dome for a Week of Action for Forests & Climate to raise awareness about the crucial role our forests can play in mitigating climate change and call for greater protections for our forests.
On Monday, activists dropped 15 banners over major highways in Washington and Oregon, and the Pacific Northwest Forest Climate Alliance published an open letter signed by 30+ orgs to our leaders, including @POTUS, @SecDebHaaland & @SecVilsack to demand durable forest protections. Here are more photos by Robert Scherle of Eugene’s action. Thanks, everyone who turned out. We loved hearing all the honks of support!
On Tuesday, activists occupied Washington’s Department of Natural Resources to demand they stop logging their legacy forests. Here's taste of their action. Nice work!
Take Local Action!
Extractive, industrial logging that maximizes corporate profits is the largest source of climate pollution in Oregon. Our amazing carbon-storing forests are a vital climate solution, but we have to protect them.
That’s why we’re part of this Friday & Saturday’s local mini-Forest Climate Action Camp 40 minutes west of Eugene. Register with the url in this rad poster for more details. Build relationships and organize now to save our forests!
Wednesday, July 5th - Demonstration In Eugene to Stop Logging Mature & Old Growth Forests
The time (probably morning) & location are as yet undisclosed. Email Deb at email@example.com for more information. We need folks to hold signs & banners with our allies for a spirited convivial rally, as we escalate & publicly make our demands known. It’s time to call attention to the biggest climate solution under our noses - our forests. The more, the merrier!
Let’s be fierce!
Save The Dates!
Beat the Heat and Smoke Summer Workshop Has Been Rescheduled!
This event is for renters, BIPOC, and low-income community members and is hosted by Beyond Toxics, NAACP, and Fossil Free Eugene. Participants will be provided with information on air pollution, both from wildfire smoke and indoor air pollution from gas appliances to make sure that folks have the tools they need to stay healthy and cool this summer. The event includes a DIY workshop to create an air purifier to take home thanks to our local partners BRING Recycling. They will also have the latest information to connect eligible people to the Oregon Health Authority's AC Deployment Program to receive a free air conditioner. Woot Woot!
March to End Fossil Fuels in NYC on September 17th - Train Trip, anyone?
National organizers have launched plans for a HUGE MARCH this fall in connection with the UN Climate Talks. We’re going to fill the streets and demand the US take bold action and lead on climate starting NOW. There will likely be a local contingent traveling to NYC and distributed marches in specific locations. Stay tuned for updates.
“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” ― Assata Shakur