July Digest: Climate Change
Hello Fellow Democrats,
The focus for this issue is climate change. As a society, we’ve too often looked at climate change as a problem for the future. There is little doubt that the future has arrived. This is not our kid’s problem to solve. It’s our problem, and it impacts not only our health but the very systems we rely on to survive. The recent heat wave killed over 100 people in the northwest, and scientists are now studying with alarm the humidity and temperature at which humans simply die because they can no longer cool themselves. Heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, drought, pestilence, crop failures, pandemics… welcome to what many scientists warn is becoming the “new normal.”
Scientists, academics and activists have warned us for decades not to get on this roller coaster, while oil companies and conservative talk shows assured us we had nothing to worry about. That’s all in the past now. We can blame ignorance for our inaction, and sue oil companies for hiding the truth, but no matter what we do, we’re on the ride now and there’s no getting off. There’s no point in talking about “preventing” climate change. It’s here. The focus now must be on mitigating the causes and effects of a new emerging reality that will be with us for the rest of our lives.
With this legislative session, Democrats have begun to pass serious climate change legislation, over the opposition of most Republicans. While we have failed to move as quickly as we should have or done as much as we could have, by passing HB 2021, Democrats in Oregon have gone farther than any other states to displace carbon-emitting energy sources. That feels good and is something we can be proud of, but don’t be lulled into thinking that will be enough. There’s still a lot more we need to do.
PS: We’re ramping up for our biannual county platform convention! Please participate to help craft our position on issues for the next two years. Fill out this platform interest form.