A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

There’s hope in climate change, maybe

Written February 26th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

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Under another winter storm warning and with snow coming down on Tuesday night, I’m thinking back to a hopeful report about climate change that OPB broadcast on Feb. 13.

Hopeful? You think I’m kidding, but no, at least where winter is concerned.

The OPB story reported on a new analysis of climate projections in North America. And this study found that in the Willamette Valley, at the currently predicted pace of climate change, conditions in 60 years are likely to be warmer and drier during parts of the year.

For western Oregon cities from Portland to Grants Pass, presumably including Albany and Corvallis, the report said “the future feels a lot like Sacramento.” If you missed it, you can read the whole OPB report here.

So what about Sacramento now? Well, the Weather Service forecast heavy rain for Wednesday and the next few days, with lows around 50 and highs nearing 60. There was a warning there too, but it was about high winds and potential flooding. Compared to icy roads and several inches of snow, that sounded pretty good.

The study reported on by OPB mentioned conditions becoming warmer and drier, so presumably it was mostly about summer. But considering the kind of late winter we are having now, even at this time of year future residents of Albany might appreciate the milder temperatures of a place like Sacramento. Milder temps and, of course, no ice or snow. (hh)

18 responses to “There’s hope in climate change, maybe”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    I consulted with my life coach (Oprah) and she told me to speak my truth.

    So after listening to the 29 year old ex-bartender who has evidence that the world will end in 12 years if we don’t convert to renewable energy in 10 years, I’m woke to the Green New Deal.

    I’ve joined the movement. My small contribution will be to, henceforth, eat bugs instead of beef.

    No more cheese, milk, Whoopers, or Ben & Jerry’s for me.

    Ants, beetles, and crickets are now my food staples.

    There, I’ve done my part to save the planet. I feel better about myself, although I am a little queasy at the moment.

  2. Jim Engel says:

    Just to keep in mind. Our “Mother Nature” deals in 100 thousand year or million year cycles. It’s our insurance bean counters that keep us in this 50 – 100 year cycles for sake of pay outs. As we’ve only kept accurate records for the last 100 years so to speak I’d pause a bit before leaping into a conclusion!

  3. Ms J says:

    There is so much more depth to climate change than what is observed locally (i.e., weather). Due to climate change, many local weather patterns will change radically, some areas for the better, other areas for the worse.

    Climate change is not about local weather effects, but global effects, global being the key word. Global means worldwide, planetwide and man-made climate change has already irreversibly altered Earth.

    A few days ago, it was announced by reputable climate scientists that climate change as caused by humans has reached a 5-sigma level of certainty, which means the scientists are at least 99% sure. This also translates to “1-in-a-million” odds against humans not causing climate change. That sounds pretty definite to me.

    Another interesting stat is that in 2013, 47% of Americans believe that climate change is caused, in part, by humans — in 2018 that number increased to 62%.

    The evidence is becoming overwhelming, regardless of special interest groups (think big oil, big coal) using staggering amounts of money trying to convince people otherwise.

    The tobacco industry also spent tens of millions of dollars and tried for decades to convince their consumers/general public that lung cancer was not linked to the use of their products, but history has proved otherwise.

    I hope this history is not repeated in regards to climate change, because the lives of individuals are not at stake, but an entire planet.

    • David Ballard says:

      Human activity affecting the climate is no doubt proven science. The scope of that change ringing in the Death Knell of the planet is still an open question despite what the alarmists would have us believe. We should be mindful of our behavior and work on the margins to lessen the impact. What we should not do is ruin the global economy out of fear of change.

  4. John A Hartman says:

    Like Mr. Shadle, I too am a little queasy.

    Queasy over his light-hearted brush-off of climate change and what it means. Like Mr. Hering, I suspect Mr. Shadle’s never spent much time in Sacramento during that city’s lengthy hot summer season. Like Mr. Shadle, Mr. Hering fails to acknowledge that, unlike Sacramento, the Oregon landscape is covered with forest. Once we’ve had a few Sacramento Summers, those forests will have dried-up or burnt to a crisp, taking the precious Oregon Lifestyle into the Co2-laden atmosphere. If Mr. Shadle and Mr. Hering are still around, we’ll see how pleased these two forward-thinkers are then.

  5. thomas cordier says:

    my NW Natural gas bill showed the Jan 2019 was 5deg F colder than same period in 2018. all the hysteria is man made based on flawed computer modelling.

  6. Ken Walter says:

    One only needs to look at historical places like the Grand Canyon to see how climate change has occurred through history. Do we really think we can keep fertile land from becoming desert, history says otherwise.

  7. Lundy says:

    Individually, not many climate-change deniers are or will become well known, but collectively, they’ll all eventually occupy a special place in history alongside the anti-vaccination folks, the flat-earth people, the eugenicists, etc.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Denying? On the contrary, I wish it would get here a little faster.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Labels simply polarize the debate into opposing factions. Not helpful.

      If you insist on labeling, tag me a “lukewarmer.”

      No denying that climate change is happening, some denying that it’s as bad as some folks believe.

      This gives me plenty of room for “light hearted brush offs”, as Hartman would say.

    • Bill Kapaun says:

      Add “main stream” news reporters

      • H. R. Richner says:

        When science becomes a promotion we should all ask questions. How much have we seen of the good side of climate change? Nothing. Instead we’re to believe the “union of concerned scientists” and all their threats. In my opinion, when they become concerned, they really are no longer scientists.
        One such “measurement” of climate change are the increasing dollar amounts for ever worse weather damages. What we never see are the statistics for the number of casualties as they have been getting much lower over the years of “rising” climate change.

        • HowlingCicada says:

          “””statistics for the number of casualties as they have been getting much lower over the years of “rising” climate change.”””

          Better weather forecasting (computer modeling) and emergency preparedness. People can get out of the way. Buildings can’t. Also, better building codes (“onerous government regulation”).

          But, on the other hand, some of the dollar increase is caused by ever more people living in hazard-prone places like coastal Florida and Paradise, Calif.

          Science can work this out. Populist politics and rhetoric can’t.


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