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Biodiversity and Climate Change

Biodiversity and Climate Change

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Published by Document Library
By Jay Burney and Joseph Schmidbauer with contributions from Larry Beahan and Art “Happy” Klein.
By Jay Burney and Joseph Schmidbauer with contributions from Larry Beahan and Art “Happy” Klein.

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Published by: Document Library on Sep 17, 2012
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Biodiversity and Climate ChangeSpecial Report- Biodiversity and Climate Change-A Biocentric View
 
 
The Learning Sustainability Campaign
and
GreenWatch
have teamed up with the
Habiitat and NaturalResources Working Group
of the
Western New York Environmental Alliance
, a Great Lakes basedenvironmental organization, to publish the final draft of the Working Group's white paper.The document is written and produced by the Western New York Environmental Alliance Habitat and NaturalResources Working Group-By Jay Burney and Joseph Schmidbauer with contributions from Larry Beahan and Art “Happy” Klein.
Table of Contents
 
I. Introduction and OverviewII. The Role of BiodiversityIII. Human Dominion Over Nature-Holocene ExtinctionIV. It’s the Economy, Stupid
-Externalities v. Value
 
-Why the Energy Equation is Not Enough
 
-The Kaya Identity
 
V. WNY Primacy
 
-Preserve, Protect, and Defend, -biodiversity
 
-We Can!
 
-The Sweetwater Seas
 -Buffalo Sewer Authority and CSO’s
-Hydrofracking
 
-
Methane and C02 Issues-Habitat Destruction Through Infrastructure Development
-Land Use
 
-Buffalo Waterfront
 
-Urban Greenscaping
 
VI. Conclusion-A Biocentric Viewpoint is Needed Now
 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:
It is the intention of the WNYEA Habitat and Natural Resources Group to use this white paper as an evolving document. We hope to use the issues and scenarios discussed in this document as an outline for a long term work  plan focusing on issues, solutions, partnerships, and strategies to address fundamental climate change issues.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I. Introduction and Overview
 Last May,
David Suzuki
the eminent Canadian scientist, environmentalist, climate change activist, filmmaker andwriter, quit his own organization’s board so that he could more freely speak out on issues that his organizationsfunders found too controversial or objectionable. His very first piece of writing after his resignation was called:
“ABiocentric Viewpoint is Needed Now”
 
 
 In it he wrote,
“Environmentalism has failed. Over the past 50 years, environmentalists have succeeded in raising awareness, changing logging practices, stopping mega-dams and offshore drilling, and reducing greenhouse gasemissions. But we were so focused on battling opponents and seeking public support that we failed to realize thesebattles reflect fundamentally different ways of seeing our place in the world. And it is our deep underlying worldview that determines the way we treat our surroundings. We have not, as a species, come to grips with the explosiveevents that have changed our relationship with the planet. For most of human existence, we lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers whose impact on nature could be absorbed by the resilience of the biosphere. Even after the Agricultural Revolution 10,000 years ago, farming continued to dominate our lives. We cared for nature. People who live close tothe land understand that seasons, climate, weather, pollinating insects and plants are critical to our well-being 
.”-To read the entire piece:http://ecowatch.org/2012/the-fundamental-failure-of-environmentalism/ 
 
When David Suzuki came to Buffalo in 2001 as a speaker at the Learning Sustainability Conference this was also hisunderlying message. “Humans have to think of themselves as a part of the earth and not just a consumer of theearth.” “ We are the earth, we are interconnected and interdependent and if we do not realize this and act accordinglywe will destroy our opportunities to survive as a species,” he said in an interview at that time.It is time for us now to take up this challenge in Western New York. It is time for us to take a “biocentric point of view”. This is essentially what this “white paper” is about. Climate change is rampaging our planet, our region, andour communities like an unstoppable freight train that has gone off the tracks. We are no longer looking at a“predicted” future of possible highly variable extreme weather conditions and catastrophic events. That future is herenow.Climate instability has impacts that do and will continue to effect each one of us. Our pocketbooks, food supply,environment and ecology, human health and our social structures will bear the increasingly undisguised and festeringscars of this careening train.Climate change is challenging our very ability to survive as a species.
-Co2 in the atmosphere continues to increase dramatically on a global scale.
 The changes in atmospheric gasses which now include nearly 400 ppm of CO2 is increasing about 2ppm per year.These increasing emissions are due to human activity. This activity is causing a rapid escalation of atmosphericinstability. Climate scientists estimate that a healthy and stable atmosphere needs to be reduced to 275 ppm.Currently we are not even slowing down global emissions although according to a new report issued by the USEnergy Information Administration, in 2011 due to factors such as a poor economy and a glut of cheap natural gasUS energy related carbon emissions declined by 2.4%. This report may not give a full picture, but it does suggest thateffective alternative strategies can have an impact on at least US emissions. This may be inconsequential on a globalscaleIn early August, NASA released a study co authored by Jim Hansen, the Director of the Goddard Institute for SpaceStudies. Instead of modeling, which had been done in previous NASA studies, this study used statistical analysis of recent heat and drought events and extreme weather patterns. It concludes unequivocally that climate change hasarrived, is here on a disastrous global scale, and is much worse that we thought.http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here--and-worse-th%20an-we-
 
thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html 
 
http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/warming-links.html 
 
Climate change science has been clear for over a decade. What is changing is that now we have statistical evidenceof things such as climate instability and extreme weather events, which have lead to draughts, ecological devastation,heat waves, and a rise in ocean levels.-In 1994 Peter Sousounis of the University of Michigan came to Buffalo to release a report of which he was leadresearcher and author. The report was the first White House sponsored draft of the first US Climate ChangeResearch Programs National Assessment Regional Report. The draft was titled:
“Preparing for a Changing Climate-The Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, Great LakesOverview.” 
 

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