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Our View: Climate summit approaches

If you're concerned about climate change, or just curious about it and would like to learn more, a local group has organized a two-day summit featuring speakers ranging from the director of the Oregon Climate Change Research Station at Oregon State University to Harry & David's manager of orchard operations. The summit happens next month, but the registration deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Nearly all climate scientists agree that human activity is affecting the world's climate, although opinions vary on what can or should be done about it. Next month's summit will focus on this region, narrowing the scope to our immediate surroundings rather than the globe as a whole.

Organizers from the group Southern Oregon Climate Action Now say they want to convince Southern Oregon residents that climate change is happening and that political leaders in Washington, D.C. are unlikely to take meaningful action. SOCAN's answer is to take steps at the local and state level. The idea is that if those actions are replicated in many places, it can have an effect.

SOCAN leaders say local effects of climate change will affect every aspect of the environment. Declining forest health is one consequence; diminishing snowpack affecting irrigation for agrlculture and snow for winter recreation is another. Dwindling water supplies have the potential to affect residents where they live as well as at the grocery store when they shop for food.

The summit takes place Oct. 13 and 14 at Inn at the Commons in Medford. Register at http://socanclimatesummit.info.