Scroll down and you'll find photos I took at a Climate Rally on the steps of the Oregon capitol, along with some commentary. First, a brief introduction.
Yesterday here in Salem, June 25, 2019, there was a rally in support of HB 2020, a bill in the Oregon legislature that would make our state a model of how to reduce carbon pollution while creating clean energy jobs.
The rally was inspiring. The political machinations earlier in the day, not so much.
Senate President Peter Courtney announced that HB 2020 didn't have the votes to pass the Senate, even though the House passed the bill handily. It remains to be seen whether Courtney is correct, since it appears that HB 2020 has to be put to a Senate vote, having had its second reading.
I found the political news distressing. So much so, I went home and wrote a blog post about my ire at Oregon Democrats who aren't able to pass much-needed climate change legislation despite having super-majorities in both the state House and Senate.
I even said that I didn't want to share the photos and video I took at the rally, since this would remind me of how HB 2020 has been declared dead, and I loved the enthusiasm of the many people at the rally, who now must be as disappointed as I am. But this is the next day, and I've changed my mind.
Maybe the eleven Senate Republicans who have left the state to deny a quorum needed to vote on HB 2020 and other legislation that needs attention before the end of the legislative session on June 30 will do the same thing: change their minds and return to do their jobs.
Ditto for the three Democratic Senators who reportedly are the No votes that have doomed HB 2020 for now: Betsy Johnson, Arnie Roblan, and Laurie Monnes Anderson. You can change your minds also.
Now, on to the photos.
I just wish Senate Republicans cared about clean energy jobs.
Sign is hard to read. It says: "Democracy YES! Terrorism? NO." This might be a reference to a tweet about the Republican walkout by Rep. Paul Evans which I'll share. The tweet was written after Courtney announced HB 2020 was dead.
Rising sea levels caused by global warming are indeed a threat to many nations and coastal communities.
So many committed people. So many great signs.
Absolutely true. Nature has given us plenty of clean energy. We just need the will to make use of it.
"Cowards come back and do your jobs that you were elected to do. Some bills being ignored are directly associated with rural communities." Message to the Senate Republicans who wrongly say Democrats don't care about rural Oregon.
Salem city councilor Tom Andersen, who made a successful motion to have the City of Salem spend $50,000 to begin work on a climate action plan.
The Earth needs our support. Not because the planet will suffer because of dangerous global warming, since the Earth isn't conscious. But we humans will suffer if carbon pollution isn't markedly reduced as soon as possible.
A Green New Deal is cheap at any price.
There were a few Trump supporters at the climate rally. While being interviewed, this guy got into a heated discussion with an environmentally-minded person.
I couldn't resist joining in after the Trump guy said reducing Oregon's carbon emissions would have essentially zero impact on overall global warming. I told him, "Every country has a comparatively small impact, as does every state in our country, and every city in our state. Carbon pollution has to be reduced at every level. Everybody has to do their share."
Simple messages. Which need to be said.
"Farm workers need climate protection." I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I have no doubt that it's true.
Kim Thatcher has said that she's SO offended by Rep. Evans implying that she's a terrorist in the tweet I shared above, she's going to continue her temper tantrum and not come back to her legislative job.
Especially since Senate Republicans promised in writing not to walkout again after a May temper tantrum where they failed to come to work. But they lied and are hiding out in Idaho now, reportedly.
Good to see folks from our local chapter of 350.org at the rally.
Since the climate rally was only announced a few days ahead of time, there was an impressive turnout.
Another great message: "We are losing the planet. People are dying because of climate change. Our families, our communities and our planet are all threatened by it."
By going on their walkout, Senate Republicans are endangering over 100 bills that need a Senate vote by June 30, when this legislative session ends.
This woman was one of several constituents of Senator Brian Boquist who spoke at the rally. Boquist has threatened to shoot the Oregon State Police troopers asked by Governor Brown to find the Senate Republicans. She said that she'd moved to Oregon from Florida and expected to find enlightened progressive politicians here, but now realizes that where she lives is an exception.
Are you listening, Senate Republicans?
Photo from behind the speakers podium.
Yes, get back to work, Senate Republicans. They need to find the courage to vote on HB 2020, especially since Democratic leaders have told them that the Dems don't have the votes for this bill to pass in the Senate. Why are they acting so irresponsibly?
Lastly, here's a video I made of Governor Kate Brown's remarks at the rally. Her call for patience was particularly poignant, given the news earlier in the day that HB 2020 supposedly won't pass in the Senate.