100% Clean Energy for All: In support of Oregon HB 2021

Every bill with real solutions to climate change is important right now. Among the most hopeful for this Legislative Session in Oregon is HB 2021, sponsored by Southern Oregon Representative, Pam Marsh.

HB 2021 A is moving through committees and support of the bill with comments and testimony couldn’t be more important. The bill accelerates electrification of the Oregon power grid, and offers jobs for Oregonians in communities across the state in a transition focused on community-based projects, affordability, and disaster resilience.

One key opportunity for southwestern and coastal Oregon is the excitement around Offshore Wind energy. Bill Bradbury, a long time advocate of offshore wind and former Oregon State Senator and Oregon Secretary of State joined the meeting to offer testimony in support of the bill.

To learn more about the 100% Clean Energy For All bill, link to this Fact Sheet (pdf) and read more about the campaign. You can also link directly to the 2021 A Oregon Legislative Information page that provides complete information about the bill, its sponsors, and its next steps.

You can also offer your support for this bill by submitting written comments. To submit a comment, link directly to the 2021 A Legislative Information page, select an upcoming hearing date, and click to leave a comment. If there is no immediate hearing date available, email Pam Marsh, or Khanh Pham–and your own Oregon House Representative–or their staff to let them know of your support.

100% Clean Energy!

Senator Jeff Merkley and the work of the Climate Crisis

Oregon wide follow up meeting for climate legislation THIS Thursday, December 17, at noon. Register here, more information below.

On December 9th, Senator Jeff Merkley addressed an unprecedented gathering of climate leaders, organizations and citizens, attendees of A Climate Convergence, a symposium that brought together Executive Directors, legislators, and grassroots organizers from across the country to talk about climate change. Specifically, to gather together and listen for the express purpose of passing climate change legislation nationally.

Senator Jeff Merkley speaking at Session One of the Climate Convergence symposium on December 9, 2020.

This national effort touches every state and every legislative district. Which means that in Oregon, we are an vital part of the effort.

A number of climate leaders in Oregon have engaged the Climate Crisis Policy effort. Last month climate leaders in Oregon met together to learn more about the Climate Crisis Policy initiative. Then December 9 and 10 folks tuned in to two days of panels which included Oregon’s own Senator Jeff Merkley and Climate Reality Project’s President and CEO, Ken Berlin.

On Thursday, December 17th at noon, the Oregon-wide effort resumes with a meeting to listen again to Senator Merkley’s address and discussion, and talk about what national climate legislation might look life through this initiative from an Oregon perspective.

Register here for the meeting, and please share and invite others you think will be interested. At our first meeting we had a terrific and hope-filled discussion. After the success of the symposium, there is even more to think about and to celebrate.

A big thank you to Senator Jeff Merkley for responding to the requests of Oregon organizers from across the state to speak at the symposium!

A big thank you, also, to the many chapters of the Climate Reality Project across the country who are involved with the Climate Crisis Policy initiative and the climate action effort. Things are moving! And we need everybody.

Questions? Additions? email our chapter.

A Ballad for Climate

Katherine Fredricks
photo by Maria Marsh, used by permission.

Thank you to writer Katherine Fredricks for sharing her story!

In the summer of 1964, 3 civil rights workers were murdered while registering voters in Mississippi.  Civil rights organizers begged singer/activist Harry Belafonte (a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr.) to raise funds to keep their volunteers in the field.

Belafonte organized several benefits and hand delivered more than $70,000 in cash to Mississippi.  The KKK shadowed him from the airport, trying to run the car off the road, and firing guns into the air.  When Belafonte suggested the driver outrun the Klan, the response was, “No, that’s exactly what they want us to do. They got a state trooper up there waiting in his car with the headlights off, ready to arrest us for speeding.  He takes us to the station, lets us out in an hour, and even more of the Klan be waiting for us.  That’s how they work.  That’s how those boys got killed.” 

Belafonte delivered the cash, and led the volunteers in a riotous anthem: “Freedom, freedom.  Freedom come and it won’t be long!” (Read the full story in Belafonte’s biography, “My Song.”)

Whether it’s “We Shall Overcome”, or Billie Holiday’s famous “Strange Fruit,”  music and activism have a long shared history.  But in the decades following the 1960s, activism has been conspicuously absent from the music world.  As Peter, Paul and Mary sang, “But if I really say it, the radio won’t play it.”

Stephen Bennett
Photo by Vanessa Van Burek, used by permission.

Recently, that trend has changed.  Whether it’s parodies of Donald Trump by Randy Rainbow, or “March, March” by the Chicks, protest songs are back!

Composer Stephen Bennett & I had never met before we were partnered in a writing group.  I had just finished temping for a chiropractor whose office got evacuated during the Oregon wildfires.  Stephen has family who were indirectly impacted by the California wildfires.  I have attended several Climate rallies and Stephen saw Greta Thunberg speak in New York last summer.

We started talking about how climate is often represented as a choice between having a life or making a living.  Stephen suggested we write a song about someone who is not a climate “believer,” having an epiphany moment.  So I started wondering, who is having this epiphany? 

Then I remembered seeing a coal miner on TV, saying that his son is a solar installer.  As I researched coal mining, I discovered that cases of black lung disease were up in the last decade.  Which created a problem for this song, because a coal miner suffering from black lung disease cannot sing.  He can barely breathe.

After losing a lot of sleep, I wrote the lyric “I Remember Dad.”  Stephen wrote the awesome music! (Listen on Soundcloud.)  And hey, listen up, renewables are cheaper!  Having a life vs making a living is a false choice!

Katherine Brann Fredricks has had 6 shows in NYC festivals in the last 8 years, winning or nominated for 28 Awards. 

Stephen Wagener Bennett is a writer, composer, director, and dramaturg based in Brooklyn. He has written for new and experimental theatre for the last decade, and holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. 

You and I Have Solutions to Our Climate Crisis

Drawdown the CO2 Emissions: Reverse Global Warming by 2050

We don’t have to feel the pain of seeing temperatures rise, ice and snow packs melt, or migrants having to flee coastal or equatorial regions because of climate damage. The big news that each of us needs to know is that comprehensive, real solutions–ones that we can implement locally–already exist or are on the current drawing board. If we take part in implementing these changes in our communities, it is possible to “roll back global warming by 2050.”

Join fellow Oregonians and others for a five-session online course that presents 100 current, specific, substantive solutions. Two hundred scientists and researchers from 22 countries identify and model answers that each of us can put into practice into our own local places of living and community.

Put the following dates on your calendar: November 8, 15, 22 and December 6, 13, 2020. Click here to register or learn more.