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Climate Change & Conservation eNews


Wind And Coal

Greens: Divided on ‘clean’ energy? Or closer than they appear?

The issue in contention is whether certain technologies, like fossil fuels that capture their carbon emissions, nuclear, and biomass power should be considered sufficiently “clean,” — or whether they should be eliminated from the American power generation mix for the sake of environmental justice. Conservation solutions are seen as part of the mix, too.

Solar, wind, and geothermal sources currently account for just 11% of U.S. electricity, with another 7% from hydroelectric dams, 20% from nuclear, 19% from coal, and 40% from gas. A host of energy modeling studies have concluded that renewable energy could be scaled up to supply 80-90% of U.S. electricity demand, but meeting the final 10-20% is exceedingly challenging.

The 2035 report by the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy estimated that the U.S. could achieve 90% emissions-free electricity by 2035, including 70% from wind and solar with batteries, 20% from nuclear, and 10% from gas…

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Glasgow Calling: In a crucial year for climate, The Nature Conservancy appoints renowned climate scientist and communicator Professor Katharine Hayhoe

Hayhoe brings rigor, awareness, and advocacy to Conservancy’s proud record of applying science for a sustainable future

Riding a wave of optimism about renewed global climate action, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Professor Katharine Hayhoe as its new Chief Scientist…

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Girls Digging
Walton LaVonda, USFWS

Report: Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful

“A preliminary report to the National Climate Task Force recommending a ten-year, locally led campaign to conserve and protect the lands and waters upon which we all depend, and that bind us together as Americans.”

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Planting Trees
Getty Images

Using urban forestry to fight for environmental justice

Land conservation around climate work needs to include urban areas, villages, and those places that often aren't seen as "valuable" for conservation efforts. If your local conservation group doesn't conserve land in these areas, it might be time to at least elevate the need by spreading the word and supporting partnerships that do.

Trees—and urban trees in particular—provide enormous benefits. For starters, they’re responsible for producing oxygen and removing CO2 and other pollutants from the air. Urban forests in the U.S. remove an estimated 75,000 tons of air pollution per year. They reduce the impact of falling rain and encourage that water to soak into the ground, reducing flooding and erosion as well as preventing pollution from entering waterways

The U.S. Forest Service estimates that trees reduce the energy consumption needed to cool homes in the U.S. by more than seven percent…

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Dusk Conservation

Six ways to stay balanced during the climate crisis

Facing reality is critical. Inspiring change locally, statewide, and beyond is a priority. But it can be overwhelming and for many, the tendency is to keep doing what we are doing. Yet that's not going to work. Perhaps you can share this article with those you know...

Know anyone stressed out about a warming planet? A surgeon and a psychotherapist offer advice on how to grow more resilient.

Research suggests that although there may be a genetic component, resilience is a function of a potpourri of factors, not a must-have gene, trait, or cultural determinant. Resilience also appears to cut right through social classifications of culture, race, class, gender identity, religion, and political affiliation. This knowledge that resilience is widely distributed is encouraging, as is the fact that it can be developed and nurtured…

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Sheep Farm
Civil Eats

Maine farmers struggle with new, harsher climate reality

Helping people understand the impacts of climate change on agriculture is important if we are going to prioritize solutions, including soil health, agricultural viability, and renewable energy that is compatible with agriculture. The Northeast is warming faster than any other region in the contiguous U.S., which means longer, drier summers—punctuated by more intense bouts of precipitation.

Tom Drew thought he’d seen it all. A dairy farmer of 30 years in Woodland, Maine, Drew has weathered an awful lot of change. On an overcast, chilly day last fall, he rested in his milking parlor.

As he leaned his large frame on the metal table, he recounted the history of the farm, his family’s attachment to the old jack pines out front. Like many small and medium-scale dairy farmers, remaining profitable is a challenge for Drew, and every day feels uncertain…

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Karen Pickering

Reflections from Judy, March 2021

There’s some very encouraging climate change action these days. More and more, I’m seeing an integrated approach to how climate change can, and needs to be, addressed.

The same goes for the urgency.

The 30 x 30 initiative is (not surprisingly) strongly supported by land trusts and conservation organizations. Protecting land is what they/we do. The timing is important as there is increasing evidence that many of the lands and waters we are collectively working to conserve are near, or already at, a tipping point.

This will mean different land management practices that prioritize slowing down climate change as well as bolstering climate resilience. It will also mean conservation-oriented folks supporting community resilience and engagement, reducing the need for energy (energy conservation), and identifying how renewable energy is compatible with land and water. It’s not one or the other; it’s going to take an integrated approach that will entail conservation organizations stretching their perspectives to help pick up the pace and expand their partnerships.

Yet that won’t happen without you.  Conservation organizations need to feel supported as they venture into new partnerships, try out new ideas, and tackle new approaches for both slowing down climate change and adapting to changing circumstances. Let them (or organizations you belong to) know you care and that you support an integrated approach. Help to lead.

When you share the challenges and solutions around climate change in a manner that connects with people’s shared values and with their communities you too are part of that change. That’s part of why I include the variety of articles below. Feel free to share them with people and organizations you know. Help them connect the dots. Frame the ideas as part of a solution-based approach.

As people who care, we need to continue to face the reality of climate change—and encourage solutions that will authentically reduce the use of fossil fuels and build healthy, and vibrant, communities.



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Climate Justice Seminar

Climate justice: the intersection of climate science, environmental and social justice

Climate change is impacting those around you. Yet it is often those who have the least economic mobility who bear the greatest impact. Considering climate justice to go hand-in-hand with social justice is an important part of your role in the solutions.

The Earth System Science Center has announced the lineup for its spring 2021 Climate Dynamics seminar series. The series will focus on the cutting-edge climate research being conducted in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and the Climate Science dual-title graduate program in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State. The seminars, which are free and open to the public, take place from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays via Zoom.

You may appreciate listening to the webinar about climate change, environmental and social justice.

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Juneau’s climate change solutionists: preserving wetlands and peatlands with Koren Bosworth

If you're looking for ways to weave climate change solutions into conversations, this is a good example. Notice the conversational tone. You want to avoid jargon (technical terms) as much as possible—and use local examples.

While the rest of the world celebrated World Wetlands Day on February 2nd, we in Juneau might wonder if every day is wetlands day, especially when venturing off a developed trail.

We are lucky for it. Our spongy ground might be inhospitable to tromping and building, but it performs a service arguably more important than recreation or development: carbon sequestration.

Juneau’s peatlands and wetlands are carbon sinks, complex biomes that trap carbon in an anaerobic environment, slowing the decomposition of organic material. Coastal wetlands can store five times as much carbon as a tropical forest over time; peatlands store ten times more carbon than other kinds of ecosystems…

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Climate Change Sign Holders

Black Lives Matter in the climate movement

Land trusts all over the country pledged to address racism and make their lands, and community, welcoming places for all. Yet many aren't thinking about how climate change will impact those who have been disenfranchised in their community. This coming year is a great time to consider that—and talk about solutions.

We have come to a time when the United States is having yet another reckoning with racist institutions that have pervaded since its founding. Corporations, sports teams, and brands alike have been publicly re-evaluating their policies to declare how they stand with the Black community.

While preliminary policy changes are a start, what is really needed is a more thorough investigation of what it means to be anti-racist.  Especially for corporations, anti-racism should also be incorporated into climate change mitigation efforts. While it may seem that climate change activism has taken a backseat in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement, how we address these issues can help forge a path forward for the climate movement…

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