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.