Council Corner: August 2022

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Tualatin is in the first phase of our Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action plan has 3 Parts:

  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory,
  • Community Engagement and Public Involvement
  • City Operations Impacts and Interventions.

Our Climate Action plan was initially passed on Dec. 4, 2020. Our consultants, The Good Company, JLA, and IZO, were selected early in 2021, and Phase I was initiated in February and is currently being developed. Community Engagement is a large part of this process. Community stakeholders like you are being interviewed by city staff at events such as Viva Tualatin, our Summer Concerts in the Parks Series, and the Pumpkin Regatta. Be ready to contribute and ask yourself:  

  1. What about Climate Change concerns me?
  2. What am I curious about when it comes to climate change?

Interviews with community segments – such as students and our business community – are also being targeted as part of the work. And we are learning a lot!

In June of 2022, the Good Company produced the report- ‘Future Physical Conditions and Climate 101-Technical Reader’. This document aims to bring awareness and help the people of Tualatin understand “the local impacts of climate change and the impact that our actions (or inactions) can have.” There is clear information about climate change. It will get hotter with more intense rain events, depending on global climate action that illustrates anticipated differences for 2060 and 2100 in rainfall, heat (i.e., days over 105 degrees Fahrenheit), and extreme fire danger with and without climate action. (graph)

“By the end of the century, without climate action, Tualatin will likely experience a summer climate much like California’s Sacramento Valley. The number of days over 90 degrees every summer is expected to increase dramatically, from a historical average of 6 to nearly 60 by the end of the century. In contrast, if we take strong climate action, we can constrain the number of hot days to under 30.”

An increase in extreme rainfall events – atmospheric rivers, flooding in both frequency and geographical locations, heat, fire, and air pollution are also anticipated in Tualatin, with correlated health problems for us such as an increased risk of respiratory disorders and cardiovascular disease.

Year-round changes also include changes in plant and animal ranges, including expanding malaria and mosquito habitat, reduction of local species of salmon by 60 percent, and increased harmful algae blooms. Without Climate Action, the range for the mosquito that carries malaria is anticipated to shift all the way up to Alaska.

Also, compared to other areas of the world, Oregon is anticipated to be “one of the best places to live in the country.” Severe droughts, hurricanes, and intolerable heat waves are anticipated elsewhere – the increasing population trend will likely continue putting an ongoing strain on housing and resources in our area.

Finally, Health impacts are also a concern. The Oregon Health Authority has put together a comprehensive assessment of how climate change will affect Oregonians’ Health. Increases in heat-related conditions, such as heat exhaustion, and infectious diseases such as West Nile, Lyme, and fungal diseases. Increased violence has also been linked to increased stress response from heat.

Other populations facing increased health risks such as heat stroke and other heat-related conditions are: those who are pregnant, work outside, the elderly, and people without access to air conditioning.

With the Inflation Reduction Act passing the Senate at the time this article was penned, Tualatin is poised to capture funds that will make a substantial difference in our implementation, creating a host of benefits for the people, economy, and all the living things here in Tualatin.

To summarize, people often wonder what difference a Climate Action Plan could make. The hopeful news is that it can make all the difference – making things easier on us financially, and health-wise, and making Tualatin a more resilient place to live with less fires, pollution, and disease. Tualatin continues to move forward.

Figure courtesy of Good Company. Data from climatetoolbox.org.

Upcoming community engagement:

Fri., Aug. 19 Concerts in the Parks Petty Fever @ Tualatin Community Park

Sat., Oct. 15 Pumpkins and Pints Terminator Weigh off @ Stickman Brewery

Sun., Oct. 16 Pumpkin Regatta @ Lake on the Commons

Check out the Tualatin Climate Action Plan: www.tualatincap.com

To read the full report, go to:
tinyurl.com/bras5v46

For more to learn and do: www.TuSn.org
“Bee Environmentally Engaged”

Activities: Earth Wise Crew at the Juanita Pohl Center www.Tualatinoregon.gov/recreation/adult-programs-and-services