Talk to others about climate and decarbonization

Climate is a big deal

The fossil fuel industry wants everyone to forget that we have a worsening climate emergency, that their products are primarily responsible, and that clean energy options for the large majority of their products will save consumers and businesses lots of money. So don’t be shy about advocating clean energy, electrifying everything, cleaning up our major source of air and water pollution, or creating many more jobs than the fossil-fuel industry will lose–after all, it will massively save us all money on operating costs, local and immediate healthcare costs, as well as long-term climate impacts.

Write letters to the editor (LTEs)

Writing a letter to the editor of your local paper is not difficult and you’ll be surprised how many neighbors thank you for it. Here’s a list of newspapers in or near the Gorge in or near the Gorge and their requirements.

Commenting on Environmental Impact Statements (EISs)

How to submit a scoping comment for environmental impact statements (EISs)

Fossil-fuel disinformation

The global fossil fuel is a multi-trillion-dollar sector that is existentially threatened by the need to decarbonize as much as possible. Over the past decade the industry’s messaging has shifted from denying that climate change is happening, to even if it’s happening it’s not their fault. Then in 2018 five oil majors admitted in court that climate change is happening and it’s primarily due to burning fossil fuels.

Now their main messaging is that clean energy is far too expensive to adopt and therefore we have no choice but to continue using fossil fuels. Never mind that all the largest US coal companies went bankrupt because they couldn’t compete with the falling costs of wind and solar power. And never mind that the equivalent fuel cost for electric vehicles is around $1 per gallon in the northwest. And never mind that electric heat pumps are 3-4 times as energy-efficient as natural gas (methane) furnaces. And never mind that all the clean-energy technologies are getting cheaper as we build more of them.

Merchants of Doubt
 is a great book By Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, also made into an eye-opening movie, that exposes the companies and their tactics for sowing climate change denial.

Oreskes and Conway recently published another book, The Big Myth, which unfolds the truth about another disastrous dogma: the “magic of the marketplace.” In the early 20th century, business elites, trade associations, wealthy powerbrokers, and media allies set out to build a new American orthodoxy: down with “big government” and up with unfettered markets.