New Climate Change Report from Federal Government Explains Loss of Ambassador Species
Posted Jul 01 2009 4:31pm
On June 16, the government of the United States released its landmark report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. While coming up short in
several key areas, most notably the exclusion of Dr. James Hansen who no doubt would have refuted every point which does not
call for immediate and sweeping action, there is much to celebrate in the
Under the auspices of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, an interagency
task force of long standing which is based just a short distance from the White
House, the climate change report essentially states that we are very far past
the tipping point on the subject of sea level rise. That most certainly is true
and the release of the climate change report constitutes a very significant
milestone in the fight against global warming.
The authors of the report, whose tenure extends back through multiple
presidential administrations of both political parties, have taken it upon
themselves to brief various colleagues in the federal government, including the
United States Congress, in the hope of driving reforms. Moreover, many of those
same authors are members of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007.
On the whole, then, I am comfortable with the tenor of the report given the
enormous (but otherwise denied) political pressure which was applied to every
single author of the report in an attempt to dilute the language as much as
possible. If you would like to read the report and/or watch the video of the
press conference at which it was released, just visit
No matter how one feels about the report, however, one is left with a startling
question. The report points to ambassador species, flora and fauna being harmed
right now, at this moment, by climate change. What is to be done about them?
Well, if you have read my blog for any period of time, you know that I advocate
a low-carbon lifestyle, just as I have lived since 2005. For details, please
refer to the carbon section. However, one’s motivation to move to a low-carbon lifestyle
may fall short simply by reading the climate change report.
Hence, I advocate a more personal approach. I recommend examining the ambassador
species and determining how their loss impacts each of us. The good people at
Environmental Defense have created a handy section of their website to
facilitate doing just that. Called Warming and Wildlife, this page makes it easy
to read and help imperiled species including the puffin, the pika, the sugar
maple, the lynx, the monarch butterfly, the leatherback turtle and, of course,
the polar bear.
I exhort you to visit the page today. Review the information. Learn about how
these lovely ambassador species are being harmed right now, at this moment, by
climate change. Then, take action which the Environmental Defense website
enables you to do quite easily. The direct URL is