Global warming is real. We humans are causing it. Urgent steps need to be taken to reduce carbon emissions.
These three facts are borne out by some photos I took a few days ago of how vegetation is leafing out much earlier than usual on our ten acres in rural south Salem, Oregon.
We've lived here for 28 years. This is really unusual plant behavior for February 4. The green shoots screamed to me, Global warming is making us do this!
Now, I'm old enough (69) and have lived in Oregon long enough (47 years) to run the risk of sounding like the proverbial geezer talking about the Blizzard of Ought-Eight, when the snow reached as high as grandma's chin.
But I sure do remember when December, January, and February here in the Willamette Valley typically were filled with weeks of solid rain, ice storms, freezing temperatures, and other weather nastiness.
Such is much less common now. Temperatures are warmer. More precipitation is falling as rain in the mountains rather than snow. We've only had a few days of freezing temperatures. Our daffodils are getting ready to bloom.
Yes, I understand the difference between weather and climate. But I've got almost a half century of experience with western Oregon weather, and there's been changes over those years that certainly are due to global warming.
Which, of course, is caused by carbon pollution.
Environmentalists, business people, and many others concerned about reducing Oregon's carbon footprint have been working on a cap-and-trade bill that is desperately needed.
An Oregonian story briefly summarizes what the bill would do:
In addition to creating a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, the plan would require many of Oregon's largest polluters to pay for their emissions by purchasing allowances at an auction. The state would spend the proceeds from the auctions to reduce the financial impact to households, support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help areas disproportionately impacted by climate change.
What's aggravating, though, is that the same story says that Democrats in the state Senate claim there isn't time in the shorter 2018 legislative session to pass the cap-and-trade bill -- even though Dems control both houses of the legislature and the governor is a Democrat.
So how long is it going to take? And another question: how much time does the world have to reduce carbon emissions? My answers: too long, and no time to waste.
Disturbingly, Governor Kate Brown didn't mention cap-and-trade in her recent State of the State address. Yet pleasingly, Nike has joined the Oregon Business Alliance for Climate, a group supporting the cap-and-trade bill.
Every day I get an email from Brown's re-election campaign asking for a donation.
Earth to Brown, via me: When you start pushing legislators to pass the cap-and-trade bill this year. and promise to sign the bill if it reaches your desk, that's when I'll start to consider contributing additional money to your campaign.