HEARINGS IN CONGRESS FOR NREPA!

Freedom to move has always been important to wild life, and barriers to movement always dangerous for the wild.

With climate change, the freedom to move has become more important than ever. James Hansen, for example, has said that animals have no choice but to move, because it is essential to their very survival.

Americans now have opportunity to protect freedom of movement in one of the nation’s last remaining hotspots for the wild — the region from Yellowstone northward to Glacier National Park. This opportunity has been endorsed by former President Jimmy Carter, Native American religious leaders, famed biologists including grizzly expert John Craighead, conservative political columnist James Kilpatrick, local county commissioners, and many others.

Lance Olsen
PS – Australia and Scotland have been considering policy like that pioneered for the Northern US Rockies

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“The Northern Rockies is the only place in the lower 48 states where native species and wildlife are protected on lands that are virtually unchanged since Lewis and Clark saw them.”

“The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act: Connects natural, biological corridors, ensuring the continued existence of native plants and animals and mitigating the effects of global warming.”

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OPED: CLIMATE CHANGE-PROTEST OR BUST!

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“Here’s the thing: We can all go see Mr. Gore give his slideshow a million times and it’s not going to do a damn bit of good unless it leads to action. Driving our SUVs to hear him speak and then going home and putting out the recycling to make ourselves feel good isn’t going to get it done. Not even close.

“Changing the type of light bulbs we use and turning our computers off at night helps. But it’s only going to make a small, small dent in the problem. Only political will is going to change the tide of global warming. Right now, I don’t see that political will anywhere…”
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The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
October 2, 2007

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20071002.BCMASON02/TPStory/?query=gary+mason

Time to grab a placard and slow climate change

By GARY MASON

Tuesday, October 2, 2007 – Page A8

VANCOUVER — As people arrived at the Bayshore Hotel Saturday night to hear Al Gore speak, they had to pass a small group of placard-toting protesters trying to be heard above the din of a driving rain.

Those strolling through the hotel’s front doors didn’t pay much attention to the group. It was such a hellish night, nobody was wandering over to see what all the fuss was about. As it turned out, the group was protesting against B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell’s Gateway project, which includes plans to widen highways and twin bridges – initiatives the protesters said accommodated carbon dioxide emissions, not diminished them.

Inside, Mr. Gore was introduced by Mr. Campbell, who a day earlier had announced he would bring in legislation requiring the province to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by a third by 2020. While much of what he said in a wrap-up speech to a convention of B.C. municipalities wasn’t new, there were enough fresh plans to set the Premier apart from his counterparts across the country.

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CLIMATE CHANGE, WEATHER, AND WILDFIRES

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“The level of very hot weather being experienced
now, in which fierce fires can break out, has
already surpassed what had been projected for
2050 …”
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Sydney Morning Herald
September 27, 2007

New species of fire monster heading our way
Wendy Frew Environment Reporter

BUSHFIRES that burn so hot they cannot be
controlled are likely to occur much more
frequently in Sydney in the years to come, razing
bushland, leaving property more susceptible to
flooding and threatening water supplies, new
research indicates.

The level of very hot weather being experienced
now, in which fierce fires can break out, has
already surpassed what had been projected for
2050, the report on bushfire weather in
south-east Australia by the Australian Bureau of
Meteorology and the CSIRO says.

“Whether it is caused by climate change or not,
the pattern of the past few years gives us a
model for the future,” said Dr Chris Lucas of the
bureau’s Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre.
“How are we going to manage this level of fire
risk? What are we going to do to manage these
fires?”

Of most concern to fire fighters are days
classified as having very high or extreme fire
danger. The report projected that in NSW those
days would increase in four scenarios examined.

For example, at present inner Sydney experiences
one day a year of extreme fire danger. If the
rate of global warming is low (a rise of 0.4
degrees above 1990 temperatures), the number of
extreme fire days increases by between 11 and 21
per cent by 2020 and from 13 to 34 per cent by
2050 (with a rise of 0.7 degrees).

If the rate of global warming is high the number
of extreme days rises by between 26 per cent and
50 per cent by 2020 and by as much as 200 per
cent by 2050 when temperatures are expected to
have risen by 2.9 degrees.

Richmond, on Sydney’s western outskirts, does not
currently experience what is defined as a
catastrophic fire weather day but with high
levels of warming they may occur every four years
by 2050. The same is true for inner Sydney.

The more extreme the hot weather, the more
damaging any fire that breaks out, Dr Lucas said.
In the case of catastrophic hot weather, fires
become uncontrollable, with only a change in the
weather likely to help bring them under control.
“Anything above the ‘extreme’ category is
uncontrollable,” Dr Lucas said. “Even fires that
break out on very high-danger days would need a
lot of work to put out.”

He said with fires burning hotter and longer,
they not only posed a threat to bushland and
property but degraded the land, eroded soil and
changed water run-off patterns.

“Some research has found that after a big fire
you are more susceptible to floods because there
is nothing to hold the water back.”

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OP-ED: THIS WEEK’S CLIMATE SUMMITS

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” … governments need to get real about
the consequences of climate change.”
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The Guardian (London)
September 26, 2007

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2176984,00.html

For all this talk, still we head steadfastly for catastrophe

This week’s summit on climate change will achieve
nothing if rich countries don’t finally show some
leadership

By Kevin Watkins

If talking could cut greenhouse gas emissions,
then this would be a good week for international
action on climate change. It opened with more
than 80 speeches from governments at a special
session on the issue at the UN, and will close
with a two-day “summit” in the White House
bringing together all the world’s major emitters.
The bad news is that we are still heading
steadfastly in the direction of an avoidable
climate catastrophe.

The special session was a bold effort by the
secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, to instill
urgency into climate negotiations. His aim: to
prepare the ground for an international treaty
with real, enforceable limits on greenhouse gas
emissions. That means a more ambitious, and
inclusive, successor to the Kyoto protocol, which
expires in 2012. Negotiations begin in earnest in
December at a summit in Bali – or they might if
governments can bring themselves to stop
dithering and start acting.

It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of Bali.
There is still a window of opportunity for
avoiding the worst effects of climate change –
but that window is closing. Most governments
broadly accept the need to restrict average
temperature increases to less than 2C above
pre-industrial levels. Business-as-usual will
take us over twice that level by the end of the
century, so every year of delay will make it more
difficult to achieve the target.

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