We think about climate change a lot here at Indow. (Follow us on Twitter and you’ll see what I’m talking about!) Our CEO constantly worries about it and has for a long time – ever since he finished his masters in international affairs and worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he carpooled to work with climate scientists and learned CO2 emissions were out of control. Fast forward a dozen years: living in a drafty Portland house he invented the thermal window inserts Indow makes to block drafts and save energy. Making the built environment more energy efficient is one of our key missions.
Sam supports the Healthy Climate Bill (SB 1574)
Today, Sam spoke at a rally outside the Oregon State Capitol in support of the Healthy Climate Act, a “cap and invest” program similar to one California is using. The gist: the Department of Environmental Quality would auction off emissions allowances to utility and industrial sector companies. If you emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, you’re going to have to buy allowances to cover each metric ton. Oregon actually has a lot of exciting climate action legislation before lawmakers right now, which you can read about in this nice Climate Solutions summary.
His speech was two minutes long and his mission was to speak for the business community alongside labor, faith, environmental, political, and cultural leaders. Here’s what Sam said on the steps of the capitol where several hundred people had gathered:
We must support the Healthy Climate Act for our children’s sake. If we do not make the hard choices today, we will be handing them the most dreadful decisions to make in their days.
After my generation is gone, but within the lifetimes of the youngest alive now, the world may be hard to recognize. The intensified floods, droughts, blizzards and rising seas that we are already experiencing, today, are the mildest prelude of what may come if we do not act, and act now.
Will we ask our children to do what we cannot?
Fortunately, there is reason to hope. Incredible progress is being made in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Solar prices have dropped 80% in 5 years! In time, the amazing creativity of the human mind will overturn the centuries old dominance of carbon-based fuels. A cleantech revolution is underway, spurred on by innovators such as Tesla, Nest, Sungevity and many others.
But we cleantech revolutionaries are in a difficult struggle. Collapsing fossil fuel prices are slowing our growth, just when we need it most. The Healthy Climate Act should be passed now, while energy prices are low, because the negative economic impacts will be minimal. Yet, it will help drive the growth of Oregon’s cleantech economy.
With the Healthy Climate Act we can accelerate that tipping point where the Big Oil and Big Coal lobbyists lose their sway and the cleantech revolutionaries grow stronger, bringing more jobs and cleaner skies and a brighter future to all Oregonians.
By the end of my generation’s lifetime, the growing impacts of climate chaos will be indisputable and possibly frightful. We will then look back upon our lives with pride or with the greatest sorrow at how we responded when the truth was right before our eyes.