We don’t want to see the deep injustice at the heart of the accelerating climate crisis. Those of us in the global north, who are responsible for the vast majority of planet-heating pollution, are not doing nearly enough to relieve its crushing effects on frontline and fence-line communities. We can and must end our reliance on fossil fuels.
That means change. We need to conserve finite resources (that’s almost everything) so those least economically and politically prepared to deal with droughts, famine and destructive weather, here and abroad, have a chance.
Here at home, Oregonians are worried about the loss of biodiversity, low reservoirs, scorched landscapes, smoky skies and heat domes. We can take personal and collective action to demand that decision-makers direct resources to mitigate the worst effects (every 1/10 of a degree of heating we prevent makes a difference) and help communities adapt where rising homelessness, the legacy of white supremacy and rural poverty are heavy burdens.
The technology is here, and clean energy has never been more affordable. Investors are abandoning risky fossil fuel investments. The emerging norm is for rich countries and their relatively rich people to take the lead, because we can. We have a chance to do our part in Eugene, to put concrete policies in place to electrify our new buildings. Gas is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions and has significant health impacts. Stop the injustice. We can live more sustainably. That’s the real choice.