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NREL Scientist Jordan Macknick And Jake Janski By Solar Panels
Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Solar farms shine a ray of hope on bees and butterflies

The tidy rows of gleaming solar panels at Pine Gate Renewables facility in southwestern Oregon originally sat amidst the squat grasses of a former cattle pasture. But in 2017 the company started sowing the 41-acre site with a colorful riot of native wildflowers.

The shift was not merely aesthetic; similar projects at a growing number of solar farms around the country aim to help reverse the worrying declines in bees, butterflies, and other key pollinating species observed in recent years…

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Screenshot

“Have we passed the climate change tipping point?”

Part of a successful strategy involves helping people understand how climate change impacts their region as well as the larger picture. Articles with visuals are helpful because people remember images more than facts. Just make sure you include a few tips on what they can do (composting to produce methane gas is a good one; supporting a community’s shift to renewables is another).

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Rancher Installing Solar Panel
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Three steps to better climate conversations and a communication strategy

Wondering how to communicate about climate change? Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, one of the world’s climate change leaders and scientists, provides tips on how to connect with people around climate change.

Remember that the vast majority of Americans want action on climate change. Many feel helpless about what to do.

Here are some tips on how to talk about climate change. They really are the same in any engagement strategy…

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Energy At Dusk
Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomerberg

Renewables investment nudges out fossil fuel and nuclear

“The global clean energy transition is gaining pace as it becomes a mainstream investment option. According to the latest research from CERES on progress to a ‘Clean Trillion’ it is also one that far outstripped fossil fuels and nuclear in 2017.

In 2017 the clean energy industry reached a critical turning point. Growth and cost reductions across the sector have far outperformed expectations based on policy frameworks alone.  Dramatic reductions in cost, increases in scale, and technology improvements have fundamentally changed the dynamics of the clean energy market. Energy market dynamics have shifted in favor of clean energy technologies such as wind and solar, which increasingly out-compete new fossil fuel and nuclear power sources…”

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Pit

Do you have questions about divestment and socially responsible investment?

The Land Trust Alliance provides some thoughtful information on their climate change website about divestment and socially responsible investment.  You may find it helpful when discussing whether this is a path your land trust wants to take as a moral, ethical, and financial statement.

As the financial world looks at the risks associated with fossil fuels, others are considering different investment strategies, as noted in this article earlier this year from Forbes.

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Smoke Stack
Kestral Land Trust

Example: Kestrel Land Trust takes action against climate change with fossil fuel divestment

Kestrel’s mission to conserve and care for forests, farms, and riverways in the Pioneer Valley protects the future health of our planet. They state that “the work we do is impacted by—and has an impact on—the crisis of climate change that is now defining our future. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the burning of fossil fuels is warming our planet and threatening our global life support systems.

That’s why Kestrel’s Board of Trustees voted to eliminate equity holdings in companies owning fossil fuel reserves in all of the long-term endowment accounts that support their work…”

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‘How Can We Understand The Miserable Failure Of Contemporary Thinking To Come To Grips With What Now Confronts Us ’
Piyal Adhikary/EPA

The great climate silence: we are on the edge of the abyss but we ignore it

After 200,000 years of modern humans on a 4.5 billion-year-old Earth, we have arrived at new point in history: the Anthropocene. The change has come upon us with disorienting speed. It is the kind of shift that typically takes two or three or four generations to sink in.

Our best scientists tell us insistently that a calamity is unfolding, that the life-support systems of the Earth are being damaged in ways that threaten our survival. Yet in the face of these facts we carry on as usual.

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Smoke Stack Video Clip

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn

“Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change.

The report issued Monday by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people…”

 

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Screenshot Of Skid Row Violinist

Vijay Gupta: The violinist for LA’s skid row wins a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant

Thinking differently about how music can change lives isn’t that different from thinking differently about how land and water can change lives. You don’t have to be genius. But you probably will need to think outside the box and in a paradigm that puts others first.

Check out this inspirational story of someone who uses music to do what others never would have done. How can you take this approach with conservation, community, and climate change?

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Handful Of Top Soil
Civil Eats

Carbon farming works. What is it? Can your land trust promote it?

Farming and ranching can help slow down climate change – but it will take significant changes for many to make that happen.

The first step is to understand what carbon farming is. The second step is to make it happen…

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