Pages tagged "Stories"
It is still difficult for many congregations to accept the fossil fuel industry and its economic plan as a threat to life on the planet as we know it. It’s like tobacco: when I was a young boy, the tobacco industry was perceived as a large, well-funded, untouchable industry. Most people felt like there was no way you could go up against them. But then people woke up and realized that their grandmother, uncle, mom, etc. were all dying of lung cancer. It was as if something ‘just clicked for people. They realized that this business agenda was a killer. It was wrong, and they decided to take a stand against a powerful industry.
Today of course, smoking still exists, but it’s highly stigmatized. Warnings are there and we educate our youth about the blatant dangers of smoking. That’s what we’re starting to see with how people perceive the fossil fuel industry. Big oil and coal are not untouchable anymore. Enough people have been affected by climate impacts and they’re ready to take a stand.Read more
As an Alaskan Athabascan native in Oregon, I am touched by both the effects of climate change in Oregon and in my native Alaska. Climate change has greatly impacted Native communities’ infrastructure, subsistence resources, and livelihoods, and the effects are happening more quickly than we can track them. Rising temperatures are changing the seasons in Alaska; the Athabascan caribou no longer return to the same places they used to each spring, affecting my people’s ability to hunt and prepare food stores for winter. The temperatures in the mountains are in the 80’s in early April, melting the permafrost, which drains our precious mountain lakes. Once these lakes are gone, they are not easily replenished.
Alaska and Oregon have both seen mass fish die-offs due to climate change, and for Native peoples these die-offs impact whether we eat, if we can work, where we live, and threaten a key part of our entire culture.
Climate change is a top priority for us. In Oregon and Washington, some of our native coastal communities are being forced to relocate to higher ground due to rising sea levels and extreme storm surges. Flooding along the shoreline and ocean acidification threaten our way of life and impact our food. Oysters, shellfish and crab are part of our “first foods” that have great cultural significance, and to lose them would be to lose a part of who we are. We have many important ceremonies that we cannot continue if climate change kills off certain species of plants or animals.Read more
For many years, I have felt a calling to protect our environment and our communities through my personal and professional pursuits. My Catholic faith has been a key element of this for me. I am called to care for God’s creation so that all living creatures can thrive together. Climate change is a threat to life as we know it.
This place we call home – our planet – is the only planet we have. We share this place on Earth with other living creatures, and our descendants will inherit whatever we leave behind.Read more
East of the Cascade Mountains the land can be harsh and conditions tough. It takes grit to thrive in the high desert terrain. For nearly 4 decades, Dan Carver and his wife Jeanne -- both of them born and raised in rural Oregon -- have made a living in ranching. Since 1988, they’ve owned and operated the Imperial Stock Ranch near Maupin.
“Like Will Rogers once said, Buy land. They ain’t making any more of it.’ I got into ranching for the business but mostly for the challenge,” said Dan Carver. “Anyone can climb the corporate ladder, but not everybody can make it in farming and ranching.”
Operations at the nationally recognized ranch (it’s the only privately held ranch in Oregon designated a National Historic District) are a mix of traditional and new. The Carvers work to create sustainability in their business, on the land and in the community.Read more
Our goal is to make renewable energy a point of pride for the Pacific Northwest. That’s why I’m excited to work at eWind Solutions in Beaverton, a young company developing and testing prototypes of “smart” kites that create electricity by capturing the energy of their motion.
Remember the first time you flew a kite and could feel the enormous pull on the kite string? That pull was created energy. Our “kite tether” is attached to a drum on a generator that turns with the motion of the wind -- creating electricity! The kite is computer controlled to help it stay aloft and find the optimal height for power generation. Our early adopters are small to mid size farms in rural communities. The technology doesn’t require a lot of ground space but does need air space to effectively operate.Read more
I’ve worked on wildfires all across Oregon and the west. My work has included being a crew member on district engines, small modules focused on a fire’s initial attack, and on an Interagency Hotshot Crews, a specialized crew trained to respond to the most remote and potentially difficult fires. Throughout my career I’ve worked on small fires that started by lightning, and large fires with several thousand people involved that take weeks or months to manage as part of a long-term plan. Many wildland firefighters only work for a summer or two, but I’ve been doing this for nearly a decade.Read more
As a proud union member, I have spent more than 25 years promoting UFCW Local 555’s values in our community: promoting good jobs, fair pay, health and retirement benefits and the right to work with pride and dignity on the job. By representing workers and making sure that jobs in grocery, healthcare, and retail work provide family-sustaining, livable wages, UFCW strengthens and builds communities across Oregon. Our responsibility to Oregonians expands beyond just our members and their families.
At UFCW Local 555, we understand that part of our role also involves protecting the environment for future generations, and helping aide the transition to a sustainable, clean-energy economy that will create new work opportunities across the state.Read more
Picture a coal-burning power plant, the acrid black smoke pouring from the smokestack. Just the thought makes it hard to breathe. We can all agree this kind of power is outdated, hazardous and bad for our families and our communities.
In Oregon, we’re served a lot more electricity from burning coal than most people realize -- about one third of our power, and in some parts of the state more than twice that much comes from coal.
As a nurse working with children, I am acutely aware of a child’s complex needs and environmental impacts on health. Children are rapidly growing, beautifully intricate beings -- vulnerable to the world around them. There is a direct link between our physical health, mental well being and the environment our families live in. We all bear the brunt of climate impacts caused by these power plants pumping climate pollution into our air. From the noxious wildfire smoke we breathed this summer to high heat days, we’re seeing climate impacts now in Oregon.Read more
Wanting to leave things better for our progeny is not just a value of the church, but a human value. We think of our children, and theirs, and also generations from now. Climate change is not the only issue humanity faces, but it’s a big one. Faith demands that we deal with it. We must ask , ‘How do humans exercise our responsibility to care for creation; this gift given to us by God?’
We, in the church, need to be clear about what we have to offer, the spiritual and moral aspect of this global emergency, and be part of the conversation, in the public forum. The only way this kind of change happens is if we’re all working together.Read more
My Oregon heritage is a big part of who I am, and my family’s identity. I’m a third generation native Oregonian from Astoria. My mother’s family brought the Catholic missionaries across the Oregon Trail. My job both as a Columbia River fisherman and Alaska fisherman are part of my family history. I learned how to do this job from my dad, and I take pride in the fact that I harvest salmon to feed the Pacific Northwest. It’s like Christmas every day, filling the net and knowing the fish I gather will feed families all over our state and beyond.
The weather greatly impacts my industry. It impacts our catch, and when extreme weather hits we can’t do our jobs. My industry depends on the health of the natural environment. As someone who has been doing this for many years, I see how our climate is changing, and how those changes impact the weather. I see the effects of a changing climate in Oregon, and in Alaska where I often work in the summers.