Climate Migration? Why Am I Drawn to Oregon?
May 30, 2022
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Good morning dear readers! I’m back from an epic few days up in Oregon. I don’t fly lightly but it was a combined brief vacation and working trip to try to figure out our Oregon farm. Stay tuned as try to figure out what I’m labeling CPR Cow’s Creek Professional Rescue. I’m forming a board of directors, and working with a friend on curriculum right now. It’s a fun dream and we are making this dream a reality. Mowed a few acres of pastureland. Roamed around the forested lots on the Polaris, and saw how much nature is in these timber forests. Family of deer, temporary wetlands with water fowl. We know there are bears and cougars and foxes. That large predators are on this land is to me heart-warming. So I’m trying to preserve this land but make it cashflow in our capitalistic society. I believe in responsible capitalism and democracy, and I think I can make this work.
But this morning I’m trying to not neglect our readership. Thank you for following Dr. Plastic Picker on this circuitous journey of mine. We are buying another property in an unknown location in coastal oregon. It made sense for us economically for various reasons and it brings me joy. Let me show you why.
This is the actual beach across from the house where we put in an offer and was accepted. How is this possible? Dr. Plastic Picker isn’t the most well-traveled person but I’ve seen the most beautiful coastlines in Vietnam, Austalia and both East and West Coast of the United States. I can say I found this beach with my family members the most beautiful I have seen in maybe my lifetime. Nature isn’t a competition, so let’s just say I heard mother nature’s heartbeat here. I have no doubt that the property and the empty parcel behind where I’m going to build a custom made house will go up in value. No matter what I’m still working, and just continuing to be a pedatirician in my current position enables our family to make these investments and take these risks.
But I’m drawn to Oregon. I’m drawn to the farm and this coastal property. And the reason I’m drawn to it is actually really sad. I’m hedging my bets. I’ve had my climate awakening. I’ve had my climate grief. Like many physicians now active in climate and health work, I’m finding hope through action. I’m doing everything I can to avert this absolute disaster. During this Oregon trip, in between touring the oyster beds in Coos Bay and giving my opinion where the tree house platform will go on the farm – I was advocating. I take my position as the AAP California State Government Affairs Chair of the Environmental Health and Climate Change committee seriously. We advocated for SB 1173, which is the Public Retirement Systems Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill. I wrote emails and called. I did this alongside many colleagues. It passed the california state senate and now will move onto the assembly. The other bills that passed that the San Diego group advocated for included SB 1203 Zero net emissions of greenhouse gasses: state agency operations. SB 1010 Air pollution: state vehicles fleet: zero emissions vehicles. SB 1482 Building standards: electric vehicle charigng infrastructure. AB 2639 Natural Carbon Sequestration and Resilience Act of 2022. AB 2026 Recyclings plastic packaging and carryout bags. AB 1738 Building Standards: installation of electric vehicle charging stations: existing buildings. Some of these I advocated personally for as an invidiual pediatrician and others under the San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air banner, as we had decided as a group that more electric vehicle charging infrastructure alligned with our values.
And I called again into the San Diego City Council Environmental Commitee after SDGE made a presentation that sought to push back zero net emissions 5 years later. SDGE in the end is a fossil fuel company, and I was one of only five citizens that made comments. This was a committee meeting that was hidden and will not get a lot of news coverage, but the city council folks needed to be reminded that the climate and health voices are here and active. I reminded them that pediatricians taking care of asthmatics, worsening allergies and children suffering displacement from wildfires – that we are watching.
So I was up in Oregon buying property that was breathtaking. But it’s also because there is water in Oregon. The coastline is safe from sea-level rise. There might be tsanamis and there might be wildfires, but there is water and it’s going to be cooler there. I’m getting ready for climate migration and that should scare the beejers out of anyone who is reading. We have time. We can still do this. I’d rather stay home in southern califronia. Please vote for those that you think will be good stewards of this earth. Please compost. Please conserve water. Please do something.
And with that, I drove an ATV for the first time around our pastureland. I also drove it around the 100 acres of timber forest we own. I saw a beautiful forest that is being naturally rewilded. And I’m trying to sell it back to some conservationists. I don’t need the forest, but I do need it to be preserved to maintain my view from the farmhouse but also so that we all have some oxygen to breathe.
And that is what runs through the mind of a pediatrician who is aware of what is happening to our planet while I was out of town in Oregon.