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Field Of Solar

Common Energy has made a generous investment in ADK’s mission to protect New York State’s public lands and waters

Here's an example of a partnership—and messaging about lean energy and conservation. You can help people understand that renewables are critical to the future of conservation. Too often land trusts support renewables but the challenge is to find support in their backyards; to change that land trusts will need to help ramp up renewables in a way that is beneficial to conservation, communities, and climate change... soon.

While the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) isn’t often considered a land trust it has a long-standing conservation ethic and is respected by many. ADK is dedicated to the conservation, preservation, and responsible recreational use of the New York State Forest Preserve and other parks, wild lands, and waters vital to their members and chapters.

This week they announced a partnership as follows:

We are excited to tell you about our new partnership with Common Energy!

With a shared interest in the environment, Common Energy has made a generous investment in ADK’s mission to protect New York State’s public lands and waters.

Common Energy enables virtually anyone to connect their existing utility account to a local, clean energy project. Energy from the project replaces fossil fuel-based generation, lowering emissions and pollution. Each month, participants receive clean energy credits from the project, lowering their energy cost. Enrollment is free and can be completed in a matter of minutes. Common Energy’s program has been made possible through New York’s Shared Renewables Program, which was established by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2015. 

We look forward to working with Common Energy in the months ahead to publicly promote steps that individuals can take to reduce their carbon footprint, decrease the community’s dependence on fossil fuels, and lower emissions and pollution across New York State.

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We Must Act Now
Martyn Aim/Getty Images

The terrible truth of climate change

“In June, I delivered a keynote presentation on Australia’s vulnerability to climate change and our policy challenges at the annual meeting of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the main conference for those working in the climate science community. I saw it as an opportunity to summarise the post-election political and scientific reality we now face…”

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Estimated % Of Adults Who Think Global Warming Is Happening 2018

Yale Climate Opinion Maps 2018

These maps show how Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and policy support vary at the state, congressional district, metro area, and county levels. Please see the most recent version of these maps here.

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A petrochemical refinery in Port Arthur Texas
Brandon Thibodeaux for The New York Times

Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

Carbon dioxide (CO2): Fossil fuel use is the primary source of CO2.  CO2 can also be emitted from direct human-induced impacts on forestry and other land use, such as through deforestation, land clearing for agriculture, and degradation of soils. Likewise, land can also remove CO2 from the atmosphere through reforestation, improvement of soils, and other activities.

Methane (CH4): Agricultural activities, waste management, energy use, and biomass burning all contribute to CH4 emissions…

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Katharine Hayhoe

If I just explain the facts, they’ll get it, right? Maybe not…

Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s most respected climate scientists and climate communicators, has created a video explaining why just providing facts on the impact, and importance, of climate change may not work with some audiences.

Check out her short video. This might be something you could play for a local committee, your land trust’s working groups or board, or at a land trust staff meeting.

The concept is true for all communications. (So it’s worth watching for a variety of reasons.)

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Bacteria Close Up

Global warming pushes microbes into damaging climate feedback loops

Research is raising serious concerns about climate change's impact on the world's tiniest organisms, and scientists say much more attention is needed. As conservationists, this is important; it impacts the landscapes you care about.

“[G]lobal warming is supercharging some microbial cycles on a scale big enough to trigger damaging climate feedback loops, research is showing. Bacteria are feasting on more organic material and producing extra carbon dioxide as the planet warms. In the Arctic, a spreading carpet of algae is soaking up more of the sun’s summer rays, speeding melting of the ice.

Deadly pathogenic microbes are also spreading poleward and upward in elevation, killing people, cattle, and crops…

Research has shown that accelerated microbial activity in soils will significantly increase carbon emissions by 2050. In another study, global warming favors fungi that quickly break down dead wood and leaves and release CO2 to the atmosphere.

Other warning signs from the microbial world include spreading crop diseases that threaten food security, microbial parasites that threaten freshwater fish, as well as the fungal epidemic wiping out amphibians world wide…

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High Def Grasslands
David Mark, Pixabay

So what? Who cares?

Do you find that you, or your local land trust, feels overwhelmed as to how to get the word out about climate change? I know many do. But it's not as hard as you think. Consider the personal, or organizational, values you have. Then start raising the issue centered around what is at risk and relevant solutions. Land trusts are starting to do this, whether it's in their Facebook feeds, posting information in their e-News and on their websites, or hosting podcasts and community meetings. And the business sector is getting the word out, too. There's an opportunity to look at why businesses are stepping up their climate change efforts, even when it might not be as obvious a link as it would be for a land trust. It doesn't have to take a lot of time. Honestly. If you don't have a lot of time, there are things you can do, right now, which will move the needle in slowing down climate change and shifting from "business as usual." That's what the Land Trusts Taking Action emails are all about. What we don't want is for your community to wonder where the heck you and your land trust were when there was still time to do something about it. Being late to the dance won't cut it as this is a situation where the impacts are being, and will be, felt over centuries. We're talking about conserving lands, waters, and the places people cherish for generations to come. Best, Judy Anderson Community Consultants P.S. Let me know what you think about these three examples. I'm curious to hear from you. If you have examples of land trusts and/or conservation groups working to slow down climate change, including communications on why that is important, please email me. I'd love to feature them. You can also share this e-News and people can sign up on my website: community-consultants.com. One of the best ways land trusts can help slow down climate change is by getting people to talk about it and understand how climate change personally impacts their lives and what they love. Climate challenge and solutions Deschutes Land Trust is talking about slowing down climate change The following is from a climate change page on the land trust's website. It's a good example of helping people understand how climate change is a threat to long-term conservation. "Climate change is the conservation challenge of our era. It threatens the Land Trust’s core mission of protecting land for wildlife, scenic views, and local communities for future generations. In that regard, responding to climate change is like an insurance policy for land trusts. "In 2017, the Deschutes Land Trust created a climate change strategy to help guide the Land Trust's work in ways that account for and respond to the impacts of climate change on Central Oregon. Our goal is to implement this strategy as we acquire new land, manage the land we already protect, and engage the community in our work. We also created this page so you can learn about our approach and the effects of climate change in our region..." Read More >> "Most Americans — even in the oil rich state of Texas — say fossil fuel companies should foot the bill for rising temperatures, worsening natural disasters and other damages spurred by climate change, according to new survey by Yale University." — June 20, 2019; Houston Chronicle Taos Land Trust is talking about climate change — every month — in their podcasts. You can emulate them. Your land trust doesn't need to be an expert in climate — nor have all the solutions. Instead, you can help amplify the need for action, including helping attain the goal for 30% natural climate solutions and 70% renewables and energy efficiency. Land trusts of all sizes can make a difference. Here is a land trust leading who has less than five full-time staff.

Why should New Mexicans care about climate change? What will the impacts be on our daily lives and in our communities? How do scientists know that climate change is happening and how do they know what it will impact?

Jim O’Donnell of the Taos Land Trust talks with New Mexico State Climatologist Dave Dubois earlier this spring. They have a whole series of podcasts you might like as well.

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Father Daughter Piggy Back
Judy Anderson

Children Change Their Parents’ Minds about Climate Change

Your land trust can weave climate change—and the need for renewables as well as natural climate solutions—into your community walks, programs, and talks. Working with kids, and partnering with groups that do, is a great way to help inspire families to see how climate change personally impacts their future.

Postulating that pupils might be ideal influencers, researchers decided to test how 10 to 14–year-olds’ exposure to climate change coursework might affect not only the youngsters’ views, but those of their parents. The proposed pass-through effect turned out to be true: teaching a child about the warming climate often raised concerns among parents about the issue.

Fathers and conservative parents showed the biggest changes in attitudes, and daughters were more effective than sons in shifting their parents’ views. The results suggest that conversations between generations may be effective starting points in combating the effects of a warming environment.

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Stock Photo Millennials

Top GOP Pollster Finds Overwhelming Support for Carbon Tax by Millennial Republicans

Looking to connect with the younger generations? They care about slowing down climate change. They want action.

“This is the first time we’ve polled a climate plan that has real positive appeal across Republicans and Democrats.”

A new survey finds Republicans under 40 support a carbon tax 7-to-1. And a remarkable 85% of Republican millennials are concerned that “the current Republican position on climate change is hurting the party with younger voters.”

But what makes this result so striking is that the survey was conducted by Frank Luntz, a top GOP strategist and pollster. Luntz wrote an infamous memo in 2002 detailing the exact words conservatives should use if they want to sound like they care about climate change without actually doing anything about it.

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Lake View Kayaking
Judy Anderson

Yes, It’s Time to Update Our Climate Change Language

I've been using the term "Climate Chaos." Interestingly, the current terms "climate change" and "global warming" were selected during the Bush era to make it sound less urgent and to help seed pushback.

“I think using the appropriate language and images is very important,” says Stephan Lewandowsky, a University of Bristol cognitive psychologist who researches public opinion on climate change.

“Concerning the specific term ‘climate crisis,’ I think it strikes an appropriate balance of conveying urgency without hyperbole.”

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