Portland in a Storm: A Case Study of Confronting the Human Impacts of Abrupt Climate Change


The growing homelessness emergency represents a humanitarian crisis and I view it as a moral imperative that we make treating it a top priority. We cannot call ourselves a progressive community while so many people are living – and dying – on our streets…This unfolding crisis is not only catastrophic for people impacted by homelessness, but it also directly impacts our community’s livability, public health and safety, and our economy.”  – Ted Wheeler, mayoral candidate, February 2016 [1]

 “People think that the caste system is only in India, and we have our own caste system. And the lowest, the bottom of the caste system are the people who live on the streets.” – Mimi German, from this week’s interview


Length (59:10)

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According to the Weather Channel, Portland, Oregon, may well be America’s most winter-fatigued city for the 2016-2017 season.[2]

During the period from December 8th to January 17th, five winter storms have buffeted the city resulting in power outages, tree damage, and closed highways. A particularly intense storm starting January 10 dumped 15.5 inches of snow on the metro area, prompting newly installed Mayor Ted Wheeler to declare a State of Emergency the following day.[3][4][5]

Portland, on average, experiences two days each winter with snow cover of 1 inch or more. [6]

Reinforcing the hardship faced by city residents is the unusually cold temperatures. The Weather…

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