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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Repower Oregon! (Healthy Climate Partnership)

You may have seen a flyer around with that headline -- if you didn't go, you missed the meeting on January 21. The website (where I found the quoted text below) is only half done -- with luck there will soon be a lot more activity and organizing.

Here's what they're selling. In a nutshell, it's: Good Jobs. Clean Energy. A Better Future.
In expanded form, it's:

The pitch

Two big challenges – a major recession and creating a clean energy future – share a common set of solutions with enormous opportunities for Oregon families and communities:

  • A cap on global warming pollution to transition to a clean energy economy and protect our children’s legacy.

  • Renewable energy to reduce our dependence on dirty coal and foreign oil.

  • Energy efficiency for homes and businesses to jumpstart the economy and cut energy bills.

  • Smart transportation choices to reduce congestion and gas bills and make healthier communities.

With the right investments and policies, we can put Oregon’s economy back on track. We can create thousands of good jobs while protecting existing industries and vulnerable communities. And we can position Oregon to be a global leader in the transition to a clean energy future.

And here's who "they" are:

Partners

For over 40 years, the Oregon Environmental Council staff and volunteers have worked across the state to advocate on behalf of all Oregonians. Their notable results have made Oregon a healthier, cleaner place for all of us, and for the generations to come.

The CUB mission is simple: to represent you, the residential utility customer. The Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon is the only group in the state funded by Oregon ratepayers to challenge rate increases and other matters brought before the Public Utility Commission and State Legislature by the private utility companies.

1000 Friends of Oregon was founded in 1975 by Governor Tom McCall and Henry Richmond as the citizens’ voice for sound land use planning. Their goal was to protect Oregon’s quality of life from the effects of uncontrolled growth, using the tools of Senate Bill 100, passed in 1973.

Climate Solutions' mission is to accelerate practical and profitable solutions to global warming by galvanizing leadership, growing investment and bridging divides.

Environment Oregon, the new home of OSPIRG's environmental work, is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Their professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for Oregon's environment. Environment Oregon draws on 30 years of success in tackling our state's top environmental problems.

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: educate voters about how their legislators vote on the environment and to hold these legislators accountable. OLCV has more than 3,000 members across the state and is recognized as a strong leader and effective watchdog for the environment.

In 1994, a broad coalition of public-interest organizations and energy companies created the Renewable Northwest Project (RNP) to actively promote development of the region's untapped renewable resources. RNP has proven to be a forceful advocate for expanding solar, wind and geothermal energy in the Northwest.

That's a fairly predictable grouping and a deep base of experience in working on environmental issues through the usual paradigm of trading needed reforms off against "being reasonable." The question is whether this group can catalyze a reaction that is either fast or radical enough to keep up with the fast-changing climate science and the ever-worsening situation in the physical world. That's the problem: climate change is a wicked problem, because our actions today and in the next few years are going to cast the dice for 40s, 50s and even into the 80s (2080s, that is) -- and we're not even fully aware of the reality now. We're watching the polar ice set records nearly every month now -- it melts faster, re-forms thinner, and reduces its overall extent inexorably, year by year, reducing earth's heat-reflecting ice cover and warming the oceans --- and threatening to unleash a massive positive-feedback loop at some unknown temperature that we may conceivably hit soon . . . or be approaching.

We're the blind men driving the Cadillac at high speed in the elementary school zone, that's for sure . . . even if we don't kill ourselves, we're going to put a serious hurt on the future generations.

So if you want to help answer President Obama's call to arms in his inaugural, working with this group might be just the ticket.

If you want more information sooner, you can reach Courtney at 408-505-2764 or courtney@hcporegon.org.

Bike Helmets, People!

Yikes!

Yikes again!