Happenings This Week

NWF   |   October 31, 2007

Senator Baucus Supports Lieberman-Warner, Tackling Global Warming Head-On

America’s conservation future looks much brighter, thanks to Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) who endorsed Senator John Warner’s (R-VA) and Senator Lieberman’s (ID-CT) comprehensive global warming legislation: America’s Climate Security Act of 2007.

Of critical importance, this bill will reduce U.S. global warming pollution by approximately two percent every year from major emitters in the coming decades. It provides significant funding to implement federal, state and tribal strategies that help wildlife survive climate changes that can no longer be avoided. It also provides needed protections for low- and moderate-income families dealing with our changing climate.

I know that Senator Baucus has long been deeply concerned about global warming, but he has also been concerned that the wrong legislative approach could hurt rather than help efforts to combat climate change, said Tom France, Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Northern Rockies Resource Center His endorsement of the Lieberman-Warner legislation reflects his careful, thoughtful approach to climate legislation, his years of experience on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and his confidence that this bill is the right vehicle to address global warming.

“I believe it is a moral imperative to deal with climate change,” said Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. "This bill strikes a good balance."

National Wildlife Federation expects other Senators to follow Senator Baucus’ leadership and support this bipartisan legislation. Report after scientific report has made clear that we have run out of time to take action to address global warming and we are on the verge of a critical tipping point.

The defining issue of the 21st century now is whether we will muster the political will to confront global warming before the worst effects of climate change become irreversible.

Senator Baucus’ support for America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 is further evidence of that political will, demonstrating that confronting global warming is a moral responsibility to protect our children’s future.

"We are all used to talking about these impacts coming in the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren. Now we know that it’s us." — Martin Perry, co-chair of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Questions Arise as Cities Run Dry

The Southeastern U.S. is experiencing a persistent, severe drought that began in 2006 and has significantly worsened with sweltering temperatures and a drier-than-anticipated hurricane season so far. Almost one-third of the Southeast has been declared "exceptional," the most severe drought category.

Water sources that sustain large cities are shrinking and residents are concerned about future water supplies.Lake Lanier supplies more than 3 million Georgia residents with water; the Army Corps of Engineers also releases Lake Lanier water to supply a coal-fired power plant and protect endangered wildlife species downstream in Florida.

There is no question that we will continue to experience extreme weather events – such as severe drought – with continued global warming.

"If we want to change the forecast for wildlife and people in our region, we need a long-term water use plan for Georgia," said F.G. Courtney, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Southeast office.

Tuesday, Oct. 30:

House Foreign Affairs Committee, Global Environment and Renewable Energy Asia, the Pacific, and the Global Environment Subcommittee hearing: "Renewable Energy and the Global Environment." 2:00 PM

2172 Rayburn

Wednesday Oct. 31:

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, full committee hearing: "Oil and Gas Development: Exemptions from Health and Environmental Protections." 10:00 AM
2154 Rayburn.

Thursday, Nov. 1

: House Select Energy Independence and Global Warming Committee, Full committee hearing on "Wildfires and the Climate Crisis."

2172 Rayburn.

Thursday, Nov. 1:

House Budget Committee, Full committee hearing on "Counting the Change: Accounting for the Fiscal Impacts of Controlling Carbon Emissions."

210 Cannon.

Friday Nov. 2-Monday Nov. 5:

Powershift 2007.

Youth conference on global warming, University of Maryland.

White House’ Cold Shoulder on Public Health Effects of Warming

The Bush Administration dramatically altered sections of congressional testimony by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the public health impacts of global warming. The censored testimony included detailed effects global warming could have on the spread of disease. A new report released by the American Academy of Pediatricians also warns of the negative impacts of global warming on children’s health.

"The Bush Administration is afraid of the plain truth on global warming because they have done so little for so long," said Larry Schweiger, President & CEO, National Wildlife Federation "They need to stop putting politics ahead of science when the health of our kids hangs in the balance."

Carrying Capacity and Climate Change

In its fourth Global Environmental Outlook, the U.N. Environment Program asserts that global warming, the rate of extinction of species, and the challenge of feeding an expanding global population are putting humanity at risk.

Published: October 31, 2007