A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The climate ‘action’ we could use now

Written January 13th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

This is as far out of the garage as this old bike got today, Jan. 13, 2024.

With 22 degrees showing on the thermometer and freezing rain falling from the sky, today was not a good day to get on the bike. So instead I stood there in the cold and rambled a bit about our energy sources for staying warm.

To keep up with the Oregon state government’s campaign to change the way we live, it’s good to get on the email list of the Department of Environmental Quality, and to check out the department’s page on climate change here.

The agency is running several programs in line with then-Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order 20-04. The order remains in effect and demands that state agencies do whatever they can to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, methane and other so-called greenhouse gases.

Among other things, the DEQ hopes to discourage the use of natural gas. This ought to worry Oregon voters who rely on natural gas to keep from freezing on winter days.

The policies being promoted by the DEQ staff and adopted by the Environmental Quality Commission involve a lot of so-called “rulemaking.” The rules that result affect most aspects of life in Oregon, from transportation to homehuilding, land use and energy production.

In each case, the department puts out proposed rules for public comment. But just try to understand what the rules say or what they imply. Technical terms and bureaucratic language in the rules make it impossible for most citizens to take part.

But everybody has to live with the results. Among these are higher costs for fuel and other forms of energy including, in the latest example, the price of electricity.

Oregon’s Global Warming Commission has been renamed by the legislature. Now it’s called the Oregon Climate Action Commission.

If it were possible for a group of state appointees to affect the Oregon climate, on a day like today it would be nice if the commission took action to make the winter cold less severe. (hh)

11 responses to “The climate ‘action’ we could use now”

  1. thomas earl cordier says:

    I notice solar panels on a near neighbor roof are covered white.

  2. Doon says:

    Come on sport

  3. Hartman says:

    The only natural gas problem here is the hissing sound of misguided thinking rapidly escaping from Hering’s thought processes.

  4. Richard Vannice says:

    Reduce carbon emissions! How many State owned buildings use natural gas for heating? If EV’s are so great why does the State still operate gas operated vehicles.
    What ever happened to “Lead by example”?

  5. MK says:

    Let’s make this simple – A sky thing is happening because the arctic ice is going bye bye since the 1970s. That affects weather patterns and ocean circulation. It’s making it unusually cold right now. I suggest googling “arctic ice” and go from there. Y’all need science.

    • Cap B. says:

      Thank you, MK, for representing the side of science and common sense. (Hasso won’t print what I had to say, because I bought up Hasso’s politics.)

  6. Scott Bruslind says:

    It’s important to distinguish weather and climate, and we’ve had this discussion before. I’m nostalgic for the Carter Administration’s visionary work on energy independence and where conservation fit in that effort: Conservation was first. In 1977 there was talk of pivoting to a coal and nuclear, America-first, energy independence. Then, natural gas was to be expanded, followed by renewables.
    As you dig out your cardigan, remember this from the April 18,1977 Address to the Nation on Energy:
    “We must not be selfish or timid if we hope to have a decent world for our children and our grandchildren. We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us.”

  7. Dala Rouse says:

    What I would like to see is a filter that cleans the exhaust from the Natural gas heater etc instead of getting rid of natural gas. I recently looked at information on my electric bill and they are proposing in the future to only use solar and wind. Apparently they don’t remember the problem Texas had a few years ago with their wind not working because of ice. They also don’t want to use our dams for electricity to save the fish. We don’t just use dams for electricity but for flood control, farming and recreation. Do they propose the dams be removed? Why not build fish ladders and keep the dams for many other uses. They are removing several dams elsewhere and may live to regret it when we have lots of rain The best way to make electricity is to use several sources not put all our eggs in one basket so to speak The industries cleaned up their exhaust and natural gas can too I would gladly put a filter of some kind on my natural gas furnace if they had one


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