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Mel Melcon / LA Times / Getty Images

United Nations report shows that climate change is accelerating

“On May 27, the World Meteorological Organization released its decadal survey, which included dire predictions: there is a 90 percent chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record, and a 40 percent chance that we will experience a year with a global average temperature 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels…”

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Long Haired Girls
Judy Anderson

Reflections for land trusts, October 2021

Last week, the national Land Trust Alliance hosted its land trust conference. There were over 60 presentations, including many on climate change and communications.

The timing couldn’t have been better. As climate change continues to accelerate, land conservationists and those who care about their communities are stepping forward to help people connect the dots on how to support meaningful change.

We recognize that climate change is quickly pushing animals and plants past their ability to survive, and natural climate solutions are, at best, predicted to be approximately 30% of the solution.

As natural systems become more stressed by climate change and the resulting disasters and impacts, natural climate solutions become more vulnerable.

Nature needs renewables — and our collective work to reduce energy consumption — to flourish.

To help with that, I thought you might appreciate this very thoughtful video about the role of “agrivoltaics” in water conservation, farm viability, and economic impact. It’s titled: “Agrivoltaics. An economic lifeline for American farmers?

For too long, we’ve been saying that solar should avoid farmland, based upon soil type (meaning, avoiding lands of “prime” or “statewide” importance, etc.). Yet given that we know that climate change is stressing soils, and making farming and ranching more difficult, the question could better be framed: “How can solar (and wind) help farm and ranch viability, water retention, and soil health?”

Installing millions of acres of solar that are mowed like lawns, to me, is a gigantic waste. Instead, we could promote elevated solar that allows for a diversity of farming and ranching underneath and between the panels.

I look forward to hearing what you think of the agrivoltaics video, and what you think of the land trusts, featured below, who are helping to address climate change.

Best,

Judy

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dad-and-son
Conservation Hawks

Organization to know: Conservation Hawks

We are a group of passionate hunters & anglers devoted to protecting our sporting heritage and passing on a healthy natural world to our kids and grandkids. Our motto says it all:  Hunters & Anglers Defending Our Future.

What makes us different? At Conservation Hawks, our job is to identify and address the single biggest threat to our hunting & fishing. That’s why we focus all our time & energy on the most important issue for sportsmen:  Climate Change.

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Flowers And Solar
Rob Davis

Farm-friendly solar site management

You may find the slides of this presentation helpful in understanding how you and/or community organizations can think through how solar can be compatible with conservation and farming goals — and how to help communities recognize the importance.

There is an opportunity to help people understand how compatible wind and solar can add to farm viability, soil health, and water quality.

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Pope
REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

World’s top three Christian leaders in climate appeal ahead of U.N. summit

In “A Joint Message for the Protection of Creation,” Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew asked Christians to pray that world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November make courageous choices.

“We call on everyone, whatever their belief or world view, to endeavour to listen to the cry of the earth and of people who are poor, examining their behaviour and pledging meaningful sacrifices for the sake of the earth which God has given us,” the message said…

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Therapy Online
Michael Hession

Anxious about the climate future? Seen a climate-aware therapist lately?

As climate psychologists will attest, we are living through an epoch of collective environmental trauma, and subsequent climate distress. Even for those among that increasingly shrinking number who are less-than-concerned, the distress of living in an increasingly unpredictable, hostile world will inevitably influence their daily lives. Acknowledging one’s feelings about climate change challenges, and talking about them not only benefits individuals and groups, but may spur broader climate engagement…

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Soil Health
Alexandre Family Farm

Nation’s first regenerative dairy works with nature to heal soil — at scale

At a time when large dairy brands are experimenting with scaling up regenerative practices, Alexandre Family Farm is working to set the standard for the future of the industry…

The couple currently farm on about 9,000 acres (up from 560 acres when they first bought the ranch) with 8,000 head of cattle, including 4,500 mature cows, spread across four locations. All of their cows are on pasture after 5 months of age and the entire land gets grazed eight to nine times per year…

More than a dozen Northeastern dairies (all small-scale, with 100 – 150 cows) are currently going through the ROC certification process, Whitlow says, and the hope is that once those are announced, “it’ll show what’s possible”…

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Dawn Fishin
San Bernardino County

Six habitat improvements that are also climate solutions

When you think about who cares about slowing down climate change, don’t forget about hunters, anglers, and those who have a long-standing connection with the land.

There is no one silver bullet nor single set of actions that will turn the tides entirely — climate change can only be addressed with a comprehensive strategy that involves all of us and all the tools we have. Thankfully, this includes habitat conservation measures that are already supported by sportsmen and women.

Here are six habitat improvement strategies that provide this win-win proposition: better hunting and fishing opportunities and fewer climate-change-driven impacts to fish and wildlife….

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Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Harvard says fighting climate change is a top priority. But it still won’t divest from fossil fuels.

“Harvard University prides itself on being on the cutting edge of climate policy and research. Its students and faculty have deployed drones over the Amazon, worked on a “bionic leaf” to turn sunlight and water into fuel and fertilizer, and searched for a cheaper electrochemical method of capturing carbon dioxide.

But there’s at least one step on climate change that Harvard has not taken: divesting the university’s $39 billion endowment of investments in fossil fuels.”

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Vox

Harvard, America’s richest university, will divest from fossil fuels

The action is likely to have ripple effects in higher education and beyond, given Harvard’s $41 billion endowment and its iconic status among American institutions. For years, Harvard resisted calls to cut off funding for oil and gas firms despite demands from many students, alumni, and outside advocates.

“We must act now as citizens, as scholars, and as an institution to address this crisis on as many fronts as we have at our disposal,” Harvard President Larry S. Bacow said recently in a statement to the university community…

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