global warming information
birds & climate change
1. state of the birds: 2010 report on climate change
- For the National report and Montana perspective, click HERE
2. Audubon studies, fact sheets & more
- Feb. 2009. Birds & Climate: Ecological Disruption in Motion. HERE
- More stories about Montana birds and global warming -- especially about breeding and migratory birds. Information HERE
- Montana Audubon's brochure on breeding birds and climate change is HERE
- The National Audubon Society has information on the effects of global warming on birds and other wildlife and how you can be part of the solution. More
3. other scientific studies and collaborative work about birds
- September, 2010. Migratory birds and “ecological mismatch” -- Fifty years of migration data from BirdLife International revealed that long-distance migrants were more vulnerable to shifts in the climate than birds moving shorter distances. The cause? The increasingly early arrival of spring at breeding sites is making it more difficult for the birds to find food and attract mates. In a nutshell, spring is arriving earlier than birds can track, and they are increasingly missing the best food. The authors comment that "[p]eaks in food abundance, such as insects, are very narrow in northern latitudes; so if you arrive too late and miss the peak, then you miss the best opportunity to raise your offspring.” Read the BBC article.
- Prairie potholes and the birds that depend on them under threat. Read the News Release or download the latest article from Bioscience.
- Boreal Songbird Initiative. Protecting forests is a great way to curtail carbon emissions. And we protect songbirds along the way. Learn more about the Carbon the World Forgot.
- Sept. 2009. Sierra Nevada's -- Birds Moving in Response to Climate.
- Read a December 2007 article detailing new research about climate change and landbird extinctions. Not very uplifting but worth the read. More >>
- A Birdwatcher's Guide to Global Warming, developed by the American Bird Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation is available at ABC's Climate Change and Birds web page. In addition to the main report, there is a supplement for each of the lower 48 U.S. States. More >>
- The National Partner's in Flight group is keeping an on-line and updated bibliography of articles related to climate change and birds. Visit their web site >>
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cLIMATE CHANGE -- effects and adaptation
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Agriculture and climate change
Sustainable farming and ranching in Montana our integral to bird conservation, and Montana Audubon works with folks on the ground preserving agricultural systems that work for birds and wildlife. We also collaborate with other organizations on agriculture, climate and energy issues -- groups like the Alternative Energy Resources Organization - AERO.
Oct 2010. Gary Naghan weighs in on "global weirding"
May 2010. Farmers and ranchers are lending their voice to concerns about climate change and functioning natural systems. Recently, with leadership from AERO and Montana Audubon, they teamed up to sign a letter asking for actions to solve global warming. The letter begins:
As Montana farmers and ranchers we are used to unpredictable weather. We have learned from generations of experience how to track precipitation and temperature closely to optimize yields and to avoid crop damage or livestock loss. But the day-to-day, season-to-season fluctuations we are used to are nothing compared to changes in the global climate we are starting to see around the world and right here in Montana.
As agricultural producers and supporters of sustainable agriculture, we are well aware that global climate change presents a serious threat to our state’s economy, our livelihoods in agriculture, and the world we leave for our children. The climate in our region is clearly trending toward declining winter snowfall and extreme fluctuations in temperature, which will jeopardize our livelihoods and compromise the ecosystems that support us.
There are now over 65 farmers, ranchers and organizations signed on. Email Amy if you'd like to add your voice. Read the entire LETTER and see who has signed.
Rancher Wade Sikorski from Baker Montana has written an excellent article on this issue: Harbingers of the Next Century.
For a synopsis of the effects of climate change on agriculture and how strong policy can benefit farmers and ranchers see the latest posting from Climate Progress.
Original Woodblock Prints by Claire Emery
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August 2010. Scientists have determined that human-caused global warming is happening now. It is settled science. The preponderance of evidence is towering. Here are just a few good articles, books and links to help explain this statement and keep the debate about our changing climate honest.
The Science Behind Climate Science. Politico July 13, 2010
Heat Waves are coming sooner than we thought. July 8 Stanford Study
Meet climate scientists brought to you by the Union of Concerned Scientists: Benjamin & fingerprints, Camille &butterflies, David & Wildlflowers and more....
Check out RealClimate.org for the definitive source. Climate science from climate scientists
Who are the climate deniers? Check out Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, reviewed at Climate Progress
Pictures tell a thousand words. Check out this Illustrated Guide to the latest climate science.
More coming soon...
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climate videos of all sorts
Here are links to some great videos about global warming effects:
Glacier National Park
Discovery News - lots of good videos here (one you get passed the commercials)
Fly fishing and Climate. Trout and Drought. More videos from Climate Central
The Tipping Point
And this for INSPIRATION - a new lake below Mt Everest and what it means...
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clean energy and climate legislation
August 2010. Stunned outrage and sadness. That's our reaction to the news that the Senate will not address global warming and will not even debate a more narrowly focused oil spill bill this summer. It's heartbreaking that greed and cowardice win. We remain committed and this is not the time to sit back.
Right now, big oil, gas and coal companies, joined by Montana’s electrical co-ops, want to limit the EPA’s authority to protect public health by enforcing the Clean Air Act which regulates dirty emissions. They say they would rather Congress enact a law to regulate greenhouse gases. The truth is they have not only failed to support any meaningful Congressional regulation of such pollutants, they have fought against them. They cannot have it both ways – no laws and no regulations – while we continue to pour polluting greenhouse gases into our environment.
A few good articles on the failure to bring climate legislation forward:
Who Cooked the Planet?
We're Gonna Be Sorry (though I don't entirely agree that it was the public's fault...)
Why did the climate bill fail?
This statement from our coalition partners sums it all up well. The Senate' s job is not done!
Giving up is not an option. If you are outraged, write a Letter to the Editor and call our Senators.
June 20, 2010. Montana Audubon, together with 11 other conservation groups, recently wrote a widely-published opinion piece about why we need to act now:
As oil washes ashore on our magnificent wildlife refuges in one of our most productive fisheries, unemployed workers across the country look for scarce jobs, and the science of global warming becomes more compelling by the day, polls show a majority of Americans want climate change addressed and for polluters to pay their fair share.
We, the undersigned conservation groups, representing thousands of members throughout Montana, are part of this majority who want action now. We are united in our belief that there remains a window of opportunity to reduce the emissions that cause global warming before the costs of doing nothing overwhelm us. We call for the Senate to pass—and President Obama to sign—strong climate and clean energy legislation this year. The longer Congress waits, the more difficult it will be to reduce the “overflow” of CO2 in the atmosphere and then the job will become more abrupt, more painful, and more expensive.
Read the rest of the piece from the Montana Standard or via pdf.
Senators are deciding now whether to meld the very best ideas in proposed legislation and craft a bill that will, hopefully, avoid future oil spills, enhance national security, create jobs and begin to seriously address global warming. Our Senators need to lead. This is the time to tell them to get the job done.
May 22, 2010. Updated commentary on why we need to strengthen and pass the American Power Act Now. Here is a compelling argument Why the APA is worth fighting for.
May 12, 2010. Senators Kerry and Lieberman released draft legislation: The American Power Act. Here's what Sen Kerry has to say directly to you and me: On Strategy and Substance.
Audubon has commented and has issued a statement along with 20 other leading conservation groups.
Climate Progress is keeping tabs HERE >>
NOTE: This is not a perfect bill. It is one that could -- if we demand it loud enough -- be strengthened, and pass the Senate. One long-time advocate sums it up this way:
While this draft falls far short of what science and justice demand, I will be doing everything I can, as a citizen, to push passage. The architecture is sound enough that once this bill is in place, and the circumstances and politics allow, we can make it work for the future. The planet simply will not wait on our delay. We have to turn this chance into reality.
Lend your voice!
Read Tom Friedman's No Fooling Mother Nature - a very compelling piece linking oil spill disaster and our need for legislation now.
Al Gore has a good article in the New Republic: the Crisis Comes Ashore. His opinion piece in the Feb 27 New York Times is still mighty good.
Read some strong statements from Republican Senator Graham HERE >>
Check out NRDC's -- This is Our Moment >>
The L A Times recently editorialized on this URGENCY!
The Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act (also known as the Kerry-Boxer Bill) was voted out of committee November 5.
Although Senator Baucus
was the lone Democrat in the EPW committee to vote "no" on the bill, he made arguably his strongest comments yet on his commitment to passing workable legislation. Read his statement re this vote HERE and his statement in the finance committee HERE >>
National Audubon Fact Sheet is HERE >>
Official summaries & details of the legislation are HERE >>
NWF has a 2 page overview HERE >>
October. A very good "Climate Progress" blog opinion piece on why we should act TODAY >>
October. Amy Cilimburg weighs in on Montana Public Radio
September. Kathy Hadley weighs in with an op-ed published across Montana
Congress needs to deliver a strong national climate and clean energy commitment this fall - the rest of the world is waiting for our leadership. This Senate bill has many great provisions -- including a mechanism to crack down on old, dirty coal technology, and carbon cuts that bring us closer to what scientists say is necessary. This Act is a positive first step to kick off the climate debate in the Senate, but we'll have to make our voices heard to defend the good provisions and strengthen the weaker ones.
It’ll take every one of us and every ounce of our determination to win against the vested interests who would keep us mired in fossil fuel dependence. Strong climate and energy policy is a powerful catalyst for a robust clean energy economy, wildlife adaptation and protection, family wage jobs, and enhanced national security. For our kids -- and the birds -- to have a bright future, the Senate must get this done.
July 2009. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 - also known as ACES or the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill - PASSED the US House! Here's a great opinion piece on the VOTE >>
The House of Representatives has taken an historic step toward America's clean energy future -- this bill will create jobs, cut our dependence on oil, and reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming.
National Audubon Society just released a 2 page FACT SHEET for the Senate HERE >>
NRDC -- Top 10 reasons the Senate should strengthen and pass ACES HERE >>
Climate Solutions has a short recap from KC Golden HERE >>
The Committee on Energy and Commerce has a wealth of documents HERE >>
We continue to post information and links to explain what this bill does and does not do:
- Sightline Institute: Things I love and Hate about Waxman-Markey. They also consider this bill in their latest version of Cap & trade 101: A Climate Policy.
- National Wildlife Federation's Climate Action Toolbox - released June 15 - is a wealth of information and assessment. Download HERE >> They also provide a nice 2 page summary HERE.
- Climate Progress has been tracking and commenting on the ACES bill HERE.
- GRIST is keeping close tabs on what ACES means for solving global warming HERE.
- The official summary of the >1300 page bill in 6 pages can be read HERE.
What are the COSTS of this legislation? Dire warnings and misinformation abound. Luckily, the EPA and non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) have now weighed in, and the economic picture is quite favorable. Read the original reports linked below or skip down to the compilation put together by the Environmental Defense Fund or Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
- According to the EPA: With the energy efficiency measures, consumer spending on utility bills would be roughly 7% lower in 2020 as a result of the legislation. The overall impact on the average household, including the benefit of many of the energy efficiency provisions, would be 22 - 30 cents per day ($80 - $111 per year). The full report can be downloaded HERE>>. The EPA report is a little dense. Read a summary from Climate Progress HERE >>
- According to the CBO: This independent analysis determined “that the net annual economy-wide cost of the legislation in 2020 would be $22 billion—or about $175 per household,” 48 cents per day - a bit more than a postage stamp! Download the report HERE >>
- The Environmental Defense Fund summarizes the EPA, the CBO and EIA (Energy Information Administration) reports and the clarifies the muddy waters HERE >>.
- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has prepared 3 new analyses on critical consumer relief provision of ACES. Read more HERE >>
In brief, from Environmental Defense this bill:
- Sets a declining cap on greenhouse gas emissions at 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% by 2050
- Establishes a cap-and-trade program to spur investment in clean energy technologies and new manufacturing jobs
- Promotes clean energy by requiring that 20% of electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar, certain types of biofuels, and energy efficiency by 2020
- Protects the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries (like steel and concrete) by giving them free permits, or allowances, to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases in the early years; this helps solve the problem of international competition from uncapped countries
- Keeps utility rates low for consumers by giving 30% of allowances to local electricity and natural gas companies, and requiring the utilities to pass the benefits on to their customers
- Protects low- and moderate-income households by allocating 15% of allowances to minimize impacts on these households
- Provides an incentive for uncapped countries to limit their emissions by allowing the President to impose fees on carbon-intensive imports from nations that haven’t adopted their own greenhouse gas cap (starting in 2025).
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Cap and Trade - what does this really mean????
There is a great deal of confusion around what it means to first cap the amount of carbon we produce and then second establish a trading system around permits to pollute.
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The economics of addressing global warming
There is a great deal of concern (and fear-mongering) around the economics of addressing climate change. We at Montana Audubon recognize the opportunities for new clean energy jobs, for the benefits associated with renewable energy, and we are also deeply concerned about the cost of inaction. These costs are hard even for economists to quantify: fighting fires, water shortages, loss of forests to extreme beetle infestations, crop loss due to higher temperatures and associated drought, health impacts, the list goes on....
April 5, 2010. Paul Krugman in the New York Times magazine provides a detailed look at Building a Green Economy
(Oct 5): What do we mean when we talk about the cost of climate legislation?
Environmental Defense Fund has a cost of inaction synopsis HERE. EDF also has a new interactive map of Montana's Green Economy.
A good May 6 Washington Post opinion piece is HERE >>
October 2009. EDF has just updated their helpful publication: Climate Economics Brief. And there's always good economics at Climate Progress and the Sightline Institute.
July 2009. Most of the economic data from these last few months is associated with the US House ACES bill, and we have this information posted in the section
June 2009. NEW REPORT. The Pew Charitable Trust provides an extensive look at the Clean Energy Economy in the US with specific State-by-State rankings and prospects - Montana included! Get it HERE.
Spring 2009. A number of recent reports have been released that are relevant to to Montana and Economics.
Fall 2008. The following report, prepared by economists from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and commissioned by the Center for American Progress, finds that significant public and private investments in transitioning to a green energy economy will create two million jobs nationally over a two year period, while reducing our countries dependence on fossil fuels and cutting global warming pollution. Read what the Missoulian has to say in their Sept 10th article: Report: Investment in 'green' jobs could help Montana.
Green Economic Recovery Program: Impact on Montana. This mini-report includes Montana-specific data including the number and types of jobs that would be created from a clean energy program.
Green Recovery – A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy (full report; 5.5 mb).
The following are informative pieces that address economic and climate change issues:
the Copenhagen accord and what it means
We didn't get to attend these international meetings but friends and colleagues did!
Here's a short, select list of links you'll undoubtedly find informative:
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clIMATE CHANGE At the state and local levels
- Two reports from our Montana Partners:
- Montana Trout Unlimited has a great new publication. Trout in Trouble: The Impacts of Global Warming on Trout in the Interior West.
To download either the 4 page summary or the full report, head to the MTTU web site >>.
- The Clark Fork Coalition also has a fantastic publication: Low Flows Hot Trout. And it's not all about fish. Download from the CFC's website >>.
- Governor Schweitzer appointed the Climate Change Advisory Committee two years ago to determine what Montana could and should do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of global warming. In November, 2007 the report was completed. Montana now has a Climate Action Plan that needs action!
- On Earth Day 2008, The Montana Department of Environmental Quality launched a new web site: Climate Change in Montana.
- Governor Schweitzer has joined the Western Climate Initiative and has announced his 20x10 Initiative -– 20x10 asks state agencies to reduce their energy consumption by 20% by the year 2010. A great step forward.
- Five Planets - a great Montana made and Montana featured movie http://www.janeoholly.com/
- The Missoulian newspaper ran an article on Global Warming and Glacier National Park - Melting into History.
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Global Warming Resources for TEACHERS & KIDS
- EPA's Climate Change, Wildlife, and Wildlands Toolkit: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with the National Park Service and with input from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, developed a kit for use when talking with the public about how climate change is affecting our nation's wildlife and public lands.
- EPA's Climate Change Kids Site: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has lots more resources for kids and teachers here.
- Global Warming Materials for Educators from the Union of Concerned Scientists: A list of Global Warming materials for educators produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists' (UCS) Global Environment Program.
- Teachers' Guide to High Quality Educational Materials on Climate Change and Global Warming: This guide points K-12 educators to the best sites for teaching about climate change: several that offer first rate background material, and others that include detailed lesson plans and experiments.
- Portal Web Site: Dedicated to Global Warming Education, Climate Change Education,
Science, Solutions -- Resources Directory For Students, Teachers, Families, Researchers, Everyone.
- Global Warming Teaching Unit: This unit includes classroom activities to help students understand global warming and its possible effects on human beings.
- The Story of Stuff: A little off-topic, but relevant to reducing our carbon footprint with all our stuff.
- BOOKS for KIDS:
- Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming. Laurie David, Cambria Gordon. 2007.
- Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?: The Dangers of Global Warming (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2). Anne Rockwell. 2006. Great for younger kids.
- This Is My Planet: The Kids' Guide to Global Warming. Jan Thornhill; Upper elementary and middle school, 2007.
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- The following handouts were created by MT Audubon:
- Handouts from the National Audubon Society:
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books For Adults
- Straight Up. Joe Romm who puts out the Climate Progress Blog. 2010.
- Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change. Elizabeth Kolbert. 2006. Still a classic.
- The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth. Tim Flannery. 2005.
- The Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5000 Pounds. David Gershon. 2006.
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