By Mark Gamba, Mayor City of Milwaukee
The last time carbon in our atmosphere routinely exceeded 400 ppm was three million years ago. At that time temperatures were 3.6 to 5.4 degrees warmer, and the ocean levels were 15 to 25 meters higher. Imagine if, instead of being above 80 degrees the last week in July, we were well above 90 degrees, and in August if we exceeded 100 degrees for weeks on end. With summers that hot in the Northwest, the probability of wildfires and forest fires increases. Energy usage would skyrocket as more air conditioners were installed, and our air pollution would rival or exceed Los Angeles.
These are not predictions; they are all already happening. Climate change isn’t something happening in some distant future; it is already here.
Can we keep hope alive? Is it reasonable to hope for a better, more just economy in which the 1% control a lot less than 50 percent of the wealth and income of our county? Is it reasonable to hope for policies that mitigate rather than contribute to climate change? Can we hope that future generations will participate in civic life and revitalize a democracy now on life support? What must we do today to keep hope alive?
The percentage of annual income collected by the top one percent in Oregon is greater today than it was in 1929. This is also true for Clackamas County. The average annual income for the top one percent in Clackamas County is $1,338,000. The rest of us, the 99%, have an average annual income of $61,062. Continue reading
By Peter Nordbye, Chair Democratic Party of Clackamas County
The existential crisis of our time, nuclear war, has a new partner: climate change. We have lived under the threat of nuclear extermination since 1945. We have gone from “duck and cover” to bomb shelters to a belief that our institutions have in place safeguards so that no one crazy enough to invoke mutually assured destruction ever could. We have stopped above-ground testing and, with few exceptions, nuclear proliferation. We have even reduced the number of nuclear warheads. We have stared into the abyss of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and said “never again.” Continue reading
Democratic Party of Oregon’s annual Platform Convention in March brought more than 500 active Democrats to Salem. The largest delegation was from Clackamas County, our state’s third largest county.
What happens under the “big tent” when you are in a minority and majority rules governs the outcome?
What happens when there are no structures for the minority to have their voice seriously considered, whether that minority is on the left or the right?
Jobs versus the environment has been a major conflict within our Democratic Party since before the Spotted Owl. This conflict has traditionally divided union workers from urban environmentalists. It has divided rural communities from urban financial centers. Those divides were well represented at the Platform Convention. Continue reading
Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba will lead interested citizens to Salem Wednesday, March 1, for a 1 pm rally on the capitol steps concerning positive steps addressing climate change.
A carbon tax and cap and investment program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions covered in SB 557 and SB 748 will be heard in Hearing Room F at 3 pm.
Gamba said it is time to “demand bold state leadership on climate.” These pieces of legislation are part of that package.
You are encouraged to join the rally. There is no charge to attend the rally and/or to testify in favor of these bills.
Carpooling is recommended.