Oregon Business Leaders Call for Action on Climate Change

By Kelley Meck of Portland, Oregon. Kelley is a campaign professional turned law student at Lewis & Clark Law School. Previously, Kelley contributed "A Democratic wave year? In the State Senate, don't rule it out!"

Add this to the list of organizations and individuals clamoring for action on climate change: the Oregon Business Community. Over 200 familiar Oregon businesses, from behemoths Nike and Intel, to household names like the Portland Timbers and the Portland Trailblazers, have joined together to urge Oregon to lead on climate change, saying there is a "clear and present need for action on climate change."

These companies represent a diverse cross-section of Oregon's business community. Signing companies include coffee companies big and small, such as Dutch Bros., Caravan Coffee, and Stumptown, who are watching coffee prices soar in anticipation of climate change's affects on coffee crops. Ski resorts are signed on too, including Mt. Ashland, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Timberline Ski Lodge, and it's no surprise why. But the list also includes businesses, small and large, that just want to see Oregon seize an opportunity to invest in a bright future for Oregon, and do the right thing at the same time.

The business community, of course, are late to the party: All the other professionals you'd expect to have opinions have already figured this out.

Academic economists, for example, basically love the idea of a carbon tax.

For another example, a doctor or nurse or any other member of the medical professional community will recognize that their profession has unequivocally found that climate change is harming people. The American Medical Association has been saying so at least since 2008 and says so again in strident terms just yesterday. The American Lung Association likewise.

And judges and lawyers and legal professionals can all look to the Supreme Court, which found in 2007 that "The harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized." Although hopefully lawyers and legal professionals have the good sense to look to scientists and other experts, not other lawyers, for this kind of question.

And of course, since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists ceased claiming otherwise, there has not been a reputable scientific organization disputing the reality and urgency of addressing climate change. (You read that right. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists.)

So maybe the question is, who is left seriously saying that no action is necessary on climate change? Are we down to just the Oregonian editorial page and Art Robinson and the rest of his crazy party?

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