climate change

Minding the (climate change) gap

Catie Gould (Contributor) by on December 2nd, 2019 at 1:07 pm

Contributor Catie Gould is co-chair of Bike Loud PDX and is sort of obsessed with tracking climate change news.

I had plenty to digest over the Thanksgiving holiday, including an important new progress report on the global battle against climate change.

Last Tuesday the United Nations released its annual Emissions Gap Report. This annual report tracks country-level progress on Paris Climate Agreement goals, and outlines not just our failings (which there are many) but also potential pathways to decarbonization in which urban policy is a major player.

In hopes of spicing up my Thanksgiving table conversations, I read all 108 pages of the report. What I found was both interesting and depressing (of course).

First, some context about where we are.[Read more…]

Photos and thoughts from a powerful Climate Strike

Avatar by on September 20th, 2019 at 4:03 pm

Young activists have staked their claim as climate activism leaders.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Young people are literally fighting for their lives when it comes to climate change. And in downtown Portland today, they inspired tens of thousands of people to show up and fight with them. [Read more…]

Editorial: Accounting for our commitment to climate action

Catie Gould (Contributor) by on September 19th, 2019 at 10:50 am

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday Portland released an update on local carbon emissions. The results are troubling. With demonstrations planned tomorrow as part of the Global Climate Strike, I anticipate City Hall will put out a statement supporting the event and use the occasion to reaffirm Portland’s “commitment to climate change”.

But just how committed are we? I’d say not very if you look at how little priority we’ve given to tracking our progress thus far.
[Read more…]

Report: Portland transportation emissions ‘increasing dramatically’

Avatar by on September 18th, 2019 at 4:57 pm

(Chart: City of Portland)

A 21-page white paper released today by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability says carbon emissions from the transportation sector are “increasing dramatically” and are currently 8% over 1990 levels.[Read more…]

A big week for climate change

Avatar by on September 16th, 2019 at 4:41 pm

In case you haven’t heard, this Friday (9/20) is the big Climate Strike in Portland and around the world. Inspired by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg and other youth organizers, the event aims to get people to stop talking about climate change and start taking action.

Friday’s event will kickoff with a rally at City Hall followed by a festival on the east side of the river in a lot just south of OMSI. We expect a huge turnout with many cycling activists taking part as there’s (not surprisingly) a ton of overlap between people who fight for transportation reform and those who fight for the environment.
[Read more…]

Mayor Wheeler touts need for better bikeways, transit at ‘Climate Crisis’ panel in DC

Avatar by on July 17th, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Mayor Wheeler speaking on Capitol Hill today.

Senate Democrats learned what mayors are doing to combat climate change during the first meeting of their Special Committee on the Climate Crisis held today on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was one of the five mayors invited to offer testimony and answer the Senators’ questions.

Prior to his appearance, Mayor Wheeler tweeted that leaders like him are on the “frontlines of the climate crisis” and, “on the frontlines of climate action.”
[Read more…]

Climate rally shuts down SW 4th Avenue, includes call to end I-5 freeway expansion project

Avatar by on June 21st, 2019 at 5:41 pm

(Photos by: Amit Zinman)

Hundreds of concerned Portlanders shut down SW 4th Avenue outside City Hall today to raise awareness of climate change.

Led by Extinction Rebellion PDX and 350PDX, activists called on Mayor Ted Wheeler to declare a citywide climate emergency. In addition to a creative and colorful rally that took over the street, activists from Sunrise Movement staged a sit-in in Wheeler’s office.
[Read more…]

Thank you #ClimateStrike marchers!

Avatar by on March 15th, 2019 at 12:35 pm

Students from schools throughout Portland have massed downtown today for the #ClimateStrike event. Reports are that it’s a big success with crowds much larger than folks anticipated.
[Read more…]

Oregon Global Warming Commission releases draft report to legislature

Catie Gould (Contributor) by on October 19th, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Cover of the report.
(View PDF here)

The Oregon Global Warming Commission met this week to review the draft of their 2018 Biennial Report to the Legislature. The Commission, created in 2007 to provide oversight on Oregon’s greenhouse gas reduction strategy, detailed that despite our current efforts, Oregon is struggling to make progress, and has actually seen an increase in emissions in recent years – the majority of it coming from the transportation sector (making it all the more notable that the transportation seat on the commission is currently vacant).

I took a look at the report and here’s what I learned…

The report begins with a powerful letter from Commissioner Chair Angus Duncan that begins with a quote from Winston Churchill about WWII: “Owing to past neglect,” Churchill said to the House of Commons in 1936, “In the face of the plainest warnings, we have now entered upon a period of danger…”
[Read more…]

Mayor courts businesses as part of climate change push

Avatar by on October 5th, 2015 at 11:17 am

bizclimatething

Screengrab of City website.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales is appealing to local businesses in an effort to address climate change. As part of “Climate Week” which ran from September 21-25, he launched an effort to get at least 50 companies to “join the city in committing to reduce carbon emissions.”

This is an important initiative to watch for a few reasons. First, if Hales (and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) succeeds at creating a new coalition of businesses who care about climate change, it could morph into something that gives city council a counterbalance to the Portland Business Alliance — an organization that has tended to fight for the status quo of auto-dependence when it comes to transportation issues.

“There’s this notion that the City of Portland is green, but that the business community is opposed,” Hales said in an official statement. “That might have been true once, but not today. Today, members of our business community share our city’s values of equity and livability.”
[Read more…]