OSU Scientists Lead the Charge for Climate Action at State Capitol

Associate Professor Dr. Dominique Bachelet

On Monday, Dr. Beverly Law and Dr. Dominique Bachelet of Oregon State University urged legislators at the state capitol to take action on the climate crisis. Oregon is currently behind in its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 51 million metric tons by 2020. An attempt at regulation earlier this year was foiled when Republican lawmakers staged a walkout.   

Dr. Law is a professor of Global Change Biology and Terrestrial Systems Science at OSU. “Forty years ago, climate change trends were recognized as needing urgent action, yet we haven’t done enough to alter the greenhouse gas emissions trajectory that we are on,” she said to the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It is even more urgent now.”  

Her colleague, Dr. Bachelet, is an expert on wildfire and climate change impacts.  

Dr. Beverly Law: Professor – Global Change Biology and Terrestrial Systems Science, Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society

My work has shown significant stress to Oregon’s forests as hotter, drier conditions allow pests and diseases to spread, as well as lengthen the fire season,” she said. “Extreme climate events are becoming more frequent with heat waves and floods endangering communities across our state. Oregon’s iconic Douglas fir trees are in danger from pest outbreaks, drought and fire which threaten the communities that depend on timber production, clean water and tourism. But research alone has not resulted in the actions we need.”  

Their signatures were among the 11,000 on the paper “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency,” which they handed to legislators.  

Accompanying the two scientists were Angelique Prater, a student at South Salem High School, and Tera Hurst, executive director of Renew Oregon.   

Large polluters and their allies should be clear on one thing,” Hurst said to OPB. “Climate action is coming one way or another in 2020, and Oregonians are hungry for it.”  

By Brandon Urey