05-23-2024  4:33 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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AP Decision Notes: What to Expect in Oregon's Primaries

Oregon has multiple hotly contested primaries upcoming, as well as some that will set the stage for high-profile races in November. Oregon's 5th Congressional District is home to one of the top Democratic primaries in the country.

Iconic Skanner Building Will Become Healing Space as The Skanner Continues Online

New owner strives to keep spirit of business intact during renovations.

No Criminal Charges in Rare Liquor Probe at OLCC, State Report Says

The investigation examined whether employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission improperly used their positions to obtain bottles of top-shelf bourbon for personal use.

Portland OKs New Homeless Camping Rules That Threaten Fines or Jail in Some Cases

The mayor's office says it seeks to comply with a state law requiring cities to have “objectively reasonable” restrictions on camping.


Election Day Information in Multnomah County: Ballots Must Be Returned by 8 p.m. May 21

Today, May 21, 2024, is the last day to vote in the primary election. ...

PCC and Partners Break Ground on Affordable Housing

The new development, set to be a vibrant community hub, will feature 84 income-based apartments ...

Metro Bond Funding, Major Maintenance Dollars Complete Trail Project

Vibrant Communities Commissioner Dan Ryan’s allocation of 0,000 in Park System Development Charge funds will further enhance...

Rose Festival Announces Starlight Parade Grand Marshal

The Portland Rose Festival announced today the 2024 CareOregon Starlight Parade Grand Marshal is Jenny Nguyen, founder and CEO of The...

Oregon Community Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

Oregon Community Foundation’s Board of Directors has elected two new members who bring extensive experience in community engagement...

Centrist challenger ousts progressive prosecutor in DA race in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Centrist district attorney candidate Nathan Vasquez has ousted the incumbent progressive prosecutor in Oregon’s Multnomah County, home to Portland, after running a campaign in which he vowed to be tough on crime. One of District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s...

Centrist challenger Nathan Vasquez ousts progressive prosecutor in district attorney race in Portland, Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Centrist challenger Nathan Vasquez ousts progressive prosecutor in district attorney race in Portland, Oregon....

Defending national champion LSU boosts its postseason hopes with series win against Texas A&M

With two weeks left in the regular season, LSU is scrambling to avoid becoming the third straight defending national champion to miss the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers (31-18, 9-15) won two of three against then-No. 1 Texas A&M to take a giant step over the weekend, but they...

The Bo Nix era begins in Denver, and the Broncos also drafted his top target at Oregon

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — For the first time in his 17 seasons as a coach, Sean Payton has a rookie quarterback to nurture. Payton's Denver Broncos took Bo Nix in the first round of the NFL draft. The coach then helped out both himself and Nix by moving up to draft his new QB's top...


The Skanner News May 2024 Primary Endorsements

Read The Skanner News endorsements and vote today. Candidates for mayor and city council will appear on the November general election ballot. ...

Nation’s Growing Racial and Gender Wealth Gaps Need Policy Reform

Never-married Black women have 8 cents in wealth for every dollar held by while males. ...

New White House Plan Could Reduce or Eliminate Accumulated Interest for 30 Million Student Loan Borrowers

Multiple recent announcements from the Biden administration offer new hope for the 43.2 million borrowers hoping to get relief from the onerous burden of a collective

Op-Ed: Why MAGA Policies Are Detrimental to Black Communities

NNPA NEWSWIRE – MAGA proponents peddle baseless claims of widespread voter fraud to justify voter suppression tactics that disproportionately target Black voters. From restrictive voter ID laws to purging voter rolls to limiting early voting hours, these...


Diversity jobs at North Carolina public universities may be at risk with upcoming board vote

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s public university system could soon join other major universities in drastically cutting existing diversity programs and jobs if its governing board votes to repeal a nearly five-year-old diversity, equity and inclusion policy on Thursday. The...

Ex-top prosecutor for Baltimore to be sentenced for mortgage fraud and perjury convictions

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A former top prosecutor for the city of Baltimore is to be sentenced this week for lying about her personal finances so she could improperly access retirement funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sentencing for former Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby is...

From schools to the Olympics, how France's staunch secularism affects religion in public life

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Walk around multicultural metropolises like Paris or Marseille, or any small village in the French countryside, and signs of faith are everywhere. Many Muslim women wear headscarves and historical Catholic churches anchor nearly every neighborhood. But...


Cannes kicks off with a Palme d'Or for Meryl Streep and a post-'Barbie' fête of Greta Gerwig

CANNES, France (AP) — Beneath intermittent rainy skies, the Cannes Film Festival opened Tuesday with the presentation of an honorary Palme d'Or for Meryl Streep and the unveiling of Greta Gerwig’s jury, as the French Riviera spectacular kicked off a potentially volatile 77th edition. ...

Alice Munro, Nobel literature winner revered as short story master, dead at 92

Nobel laureate Alice Munro, the Canadian literary giant who became one of the world’s most esteemed contemporary authors and one of history's most honored short story writers, has died at age 92. A spokesperson for publisher Penguin Random House Canada said Munro, winner of the...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 26-June 1

Celebrity birthdays for the week of May 26-June 1: May 26: Sportscaster Brent Musburger is 85. Drummer Garry Peterson of The Guess Who is 79. Singer Stevie Nicks is 76. Actor Pam Grier is 75. Actor Philip Michael Thomas (“Miami Vice”) is 75. Country singer Hank Williams Junior is...


Norway, Ireland and Spain say they will recognize a Palestinian state, deepening Israel's isolation

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Norway, Ireland and Spain said Wednesday they would recognize a Palestinian state, a...

In riot-hit New Caledonia, French President Macron says the priority is a return to calm

French President Emmanuel Macron pushed Thursday on a visit to riot-hit New Caledonia for the removal of...

France is proud of its secularism. But struggles grow in this approach to faith, school, integration

MARSEILLE, France (AP) — Brought into the international spotlight by the ban on hijabs for French athletes at...

She trails the ruling party's candidate to be Mexican leader. Visiting her hometown helps show why

TEPATEPEC, Mexico (AP) — She sold snacks in a small town in central Mexico as a girl and rose to national...

Leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet Monday for their first trilateral talks since 2019

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet next week in Seoul for their first...

Deputy Russian military chief of staff jailed for bribery in latest arrest of high defense official

MOSCOW (AP) — A deputy chief of the Russian military general staff has been arrested on charges of large-scale...

Tim Lister CNN
 Hurricane Sandy is now considered to be the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, killed more than 250 people in seven countries, and caused an estimated tens of billions of dollars in damage.

(CNN) -- On Dec. 11, 1997, the world agreed that climate change needed to be tackled. The grandly named United Nations Framework on Climate Change adopted the Kyoto Protocol on that day, and it was eventually ratified by 191 countries. Now it's about to expire with a whimper.

Of the major industrial powers, only the European Union is prepared to continue adhering to the Kyoto pact's provisions on cutting greenhouse gases into 2013. Canada, Russia and Japan have already said they won't. The United States never ratified the agreement. So attention is turning to devising a "Kyoto 2.0."

This week, nearly 200 delegations have gathered in Qatar to plan for a new international climate pact that would come into effect in 2020. But there are huge disagreements between developed and developing countries over sharing the burden.

The Kyoto agreement envisaged binding cuts in emissions by the industrialized world -- but not by rapidly industrializing countries like China and India. They are now the largest and third-largest generator of carbon emissions, respectively, and developing countries account for more than half the world's emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

The global economic slowdown has helped curb emissions in the developed world. But China and the United States were together responsible for more than 40% of emissions in 2009. U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide have risen by 10.5% since 1990. And China is heavily reliant on coal -- the most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels -- to drive its economic growth.

The stakes for the environmental health of the globe and its citizens have gotten a lot higher in the last 15 years, amid widespread crop failures in the Northern Hemisphere, changing weather patterns, acidifying oceans and a record ice melt in the Arctic Ocean. Right now, a Russian tanker carrying liquefied natural gas is steaming through the Arctic on its way to Japan -- the first such vessel ever to take the route, thanks to thinner ice cover.

The last decade has seen nine of the hottest years on record. And in a new report, the World Bank cites the "nearly unanimous" prediction by scientists that the globe will warm by as much as 4 degrees Celsius this century. It expects the consequences to include "the inundation of coastal cities; increasing risks for food production potentially leading to higher malnutrition rates; many dry regions becoming dryer, wet regions wetter."

"Recent extreme heat waves such as in Russia in 2010 are likely to become the new normal. ... Tropical South America, central Africa, and all tropical islands in the Pacific are likely to regularly experience heat waves of unprecedented magnitude and duration," according to the World Bank study.

The World Meteorological Organization, a U.N. agency, reported last week that global carbon dioxide emissions had risen by 50% since 1990. There's fresh evidence that they are still rising, and an overwhelming majority of climate scientists say the warming of the planet is accelerating, with consequences we can't predict. Scientists describe this as the "cascade of uncertainties."

The WMO calculates that the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has now reached 390.9 parts per million, roughly 40% higher than the level before the Industrial Revolution. 375 billion tons of carbon have been released into the atmosphere since 1750.

About half has been absorbed by the oceans and the Earth's biosphere; the rest will remain in the atmosphere for centuries, gradually cooking the planet.

The latest data from the WMO also shows that emissions of nitrous oxide are 20% higher than in the preindustrial era, and are accelerating. That's a cause for concern because nitrous oxide is much more "toxic" that carbon dioxide; its impact on the climate is about 300 times greater. About 40% of the nitrous oxide emitted is from human activity, according to WMO estimates.

There are glimmers of renewed interest in climate change. President Barack Obama, in his victory speech on the night of the election, said he wanted to "pass on a country that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."

The European Union has already cut in its emissions by one-fifth, compared with 1990, and is considering extending that to 30% by 2020.

A U.N. program is encouraging small-scale projects that address warming at the local level. One such project is in the sprawling Indian city of Ahmedabad, where a fleet of buses running on compressed natural gas is reducing air pollution. In a city of 7 million, one-fifth of commuters have jumped off their motorcycles and scooters and onto the buses.

But there is already widespread doubt that at the global level, aspirations will be matched by deeds.

Three years ago, at the abortive climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, rich countries promised the poor they would raise $100 billion by 2020 to help them cope with climate change. Budget pressures in developed countries make that target look very distant now. Nongovernmental organizations like Oxfam are lobbying for new taxes on the aviation and shipping industries to help raise the money. They contrast the rapid recovery in the U.S. from the effects of Hurricane Sandy with the disastrous consequences from the same storm for Haiti, where up to 2 million people may face malnutrition after crops were washed away.

The notion of shared sacrifice is not one familiar to climate talks. China never tires of pointing out that while it is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, its emissions per capita are still far lower than those of the U.S. But that may not be for long: Last year alone, they rose 9%.

The danger, according to multiple scientific studies, is that without a redoubling of efforts to curb emissions, the goal enshrined in Kyoto, Japan, of restraining warming to 2 degrees Celsius this century, compared with the preindustrial era, will soon be unattainable.

Right now, the goal of limiting warming to 2 degrees by 2100 seems like a pipe dream. If emissions continue their current path, the target will be breached within two decades.

The European Environment Agency says the average temperature on the continent in the last decade was already 1.3 degrees Celsius above the preindustrial level. The vast majority of glaciers in Europe are retreating; river flows are decreasing throughout Southern and Eastern Europe.

"By the late 21st century, European plant species are projected to shift several hundred kilometers to the north, forests are likely to contract in the south and expand in the north, and about half of the mountain plant species may face extinction," the EEA says.

Farmers in the U.S. Midwest have just endured the worst drought in 50 years; the bread baskets of Ukraine and Russia have similarly shriveled in the face of intense heat.

Technologies exist that will allow humanity to make a rapid dent on emissions. Renewable energy accounts for double the amount of power it did just six years ago. Carbon sinks deep underground can capture and store emissions from gas flaring. Better vehicle emissions standards, reforestation and a developed carbon trading market would all help.

There are all sorts of green gestures at the 18th meeting of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change in Qatar, one of the world's highest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita. Examples are "paperless" documentation and buses run on natural gas to ferry delegates to the conference center, which is partly powered by solar panels. But the political will required of 194 delegations to bring the world closer to a new climate pact is yet to be tested.

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The Skanner Foundation's 38th Annual MLK Breakfast