A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Thinking about the future on a hot day

Written July 27th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The temperature in Albany just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26.

If you go by the motto of the Oregon Global Warming Commission, “Keep Oregon Cool,” you might say the commission has already failed, at least this week.

In July and August, Oregon is not usually cool and never has been. Heat waves with days near 100 degrees are common. But this commission is not concerned with warm or cool. It professes to be concerned with “climate change,” not in Oregon but around the world.

The legislature created this commission in 2007. The mission of its appointed members is “to develop long-term policy recommendations to prepare for, adapt to, and combat climate change.”

The commission held a meeting this month and then issued a press release. The first sentence was this: “Thanks to Oregon’s recent bold energy and climate change policy advances, the state is projected to meet its 2035 greenhouse gas reduction goal, according to a recent analysis for the … commission.”

That goal, the statement reminds us, is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions at least 45 percent below the level of 1990 by 2035.

Apparently they are counting on widespread adoption of electric vehicles, which create a lot of their emissions before they are bought — inthe manufacturing process and the production of resources to build them.

But counting on electricity is risky, as Germany is finding out in a different context. The country faces the loss of natural gas from Russia, which used to supply most of Germany’s energy needs. A Frankfurt paper reports on a worrying trend, the rush to buy electric heaters as people try to keep from freezing next winter. The utilities worry all those heaters are going to knock out the grid.

This week in Oregon, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power seem to be concerned too. They worry about too much load on their systems as all available air conditioners are switched on for long periods of time. Pacific Power asked people to do their laundry at night.

If the utilities are concerned even now with their ability to meet the demand for energy, what about 20 years from now when Oregon has outlawed all fuel-generated power, and all we have are renewables that don’t always work, like solar and wind?

Whether Oregon meets its carbon-reduction goal in 2035 or not is not going to make a difference to the world’s many different climates.

But the steps the commission envisions might have unfortunate consequences for the people living in Oregon. What will Oregonians do when their reliable energy sources are gone and new ones are not yet in place to get them to and from work, or to keep them warm in winter or cool during all the summer heat waves to come? (hh)

7 responses to “Thinking about the future on a hot day”

  1. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Goals are worthless. Real action must happen immediately:

    1. A world government must be installed to impose actions that have global impact. Such as:

    a. Americans will only be allowed to live in 300 square foot climate friendly apartments. Families will be allowed 500 square feet. No single houses. No private ownership.

    b. Hasso will probably love this one – Individuals around the globe must only be allowed to ride bicycles or public transportation.

    c. Air transportation only allowed for government personnel.

    d. A government approved and enforced “no-obesity” diet will be imposed. No beef. No chicken. Some fish. Unlimited consumption of ground-up bugs allowed. Monthly weigh-ins mandated.

    2. And if the climate continues to change in ways not acceptable to the one-world government…and it probably will…then further measures like reducing the number of parasitic humans will be implemented.

    There you have it. The future: Carbon footprint reduced. No more climate change.

  2. James Engel says:

    Did the caveman have this dilemma way back when our world went thru weather cycles??? Human ingenuity will prevail regardless of political persuasions. ‘Tis the will to survive in us.

  3. Richard Vannice says:

    Cap and Trade will reduce emissions in Oregon!
    I don’t understand how this is really going to accomplish anything since there is nothing to stop pollution from crossing rivers and state lines.
    Have I missed something. It is going to take more that political mandates and regulations to solve this problem.

  4. Ray Kopczynski says:

    “Whether Oregon meets its carbon-reduction goal in 2035 or not is not going to make a difference to the world’s many different climates.”

    Which is patently irrelevant to the topic IMO. I’d much rather have folks try and fail vs. simply throwing up our hands and buryi8ng our heads in the sand as it seems we’ve been wont to do for the last generation plus… But hey! Big oil and energy companies have no problem with it. Yet — Even when mandated, they seemingly are able to achieve the new goals. Funny that…

    • Abe Cee says:

      The fallacy is that Oregon will make any noticeable difference.

      Compared to the entire US, China is far and away a worse polluter and India is gaining quickly. The US is nearly back to 1990 emission levels.


      But keep throwing tens of billions of dollars to combat a problem that may have no little impact globally. Think if those billions were spent on “affordable” housing instead.

    • Birdieken says:

      This is just mismanagement. We are sitting on record amounts of energy and all the king’s men can’t figure a way to mix in the new energy sources with the old ones. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water, we need to elect those who can walk and chew gum.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Ray, thanks for highlighting Hasso’s quote.

      The climate doesn’t have borders. The cause of the climate crisis is global. The crisis is the effect of a global inability to address the crisis. This problem can’t be solved within borders. Oregon is a dot on the global scale.

      But few people are going to support a global, collective action because they don’t trust government in general.

      And like Hasso also said, the only thing Oregon’s “solution” will do is make life more miserable for Oregonians.

      Does anybody anywhere trust that all the world’s governments will relinquish their power to one, global government to solve this problem? Would Albany?

      Of course not. I’m keeping the AC on full blast.


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