Author: CPREP President Steve Robinson
We know that the earth is warming. This is causing many problems here in America, with excessive heat, superstorms and the like. Low-lying and tropical regions worldwide are at greater risk of flooding and historic heat waves.
We also know that the Pacific Northwest is susceptible to monster earthquake and tsunami events that have occurred at random intervals for as far back as geological evidence is available. The vast majority of Oregon’s liquid fuel reserves are stored in a giant facility in Portland, consisting of fuel tanks – some a century old – built on liquefiable soil along the Willamette River. When the Cascadia quake hits, this entire facility is at risk of total destruction, causing an environmental catastrophe that exacerbates the physical damage to the built environment from the quake. It will be many months before FEMA is able to supply liquid fuel to meet the needs of the 10 million people living in the earthquake-prone zone.
One approach that deals with both problems is to move as quickly as possible away from fossil fuel as an energy source and toward solar, biomass and wind. Reducing carbon emissions will help mitigate climate change. And reducing our reliance on fossil fuel will increase our earthquake resilience by allowing for energy to be generated locally, not dependent on quake-vulnerable fuel pipelines.