Straight Talk about Climate Change
(from David Newton) Reports of climate change continue to be issued with language that express increasing concern. For example, on October 13, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Republican, issued a statement which read, in part: “Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe.”
Subsequently on November 1, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report, CLIMATE CHANGE 2014: Approved Summary for Policymakers was issued. (Recall that 195 countries are members of IPCC. Its reports are created, with rigorous review, by volunteer scientists from around Planet Earth.) The following quotations are from that report.
- “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.
- “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.
- “Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
- “Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.”
Often climate change is viewed by some as a partisan political issue. In fact, it is about physics. Deniers notwithstanding, increasing greenhouse gases are detrimental to our health, the economy, and Planet Earth.
Here is a quote from an August 31 opinion piece by Alabama House of Representatives Speaker Mike Hubbard that will provide additional motivation to act. “The fawning liberal media and left-wing posse that protect Obama claim that his job-killing actions are necessary in order to combat ‘climate change,’ which is a meteorological theory built upon the spongy foundation of snake oil science and crystal ball predictions by gypsy fortunetellers wearing lab coats. I remember when they used to call their flawed theory “global warming,” but when data proved the planet is getting cooler, not hotter, they changed the name to “climate change.”
Sierra Club members are urged to express their views to policy makers at all levels. It is important.
Many thanks to all that volunteer for the North Alabama Group
Our Outings Committee recognized the following as 2014 Outstanding Hike Leaders:
Patricia Wales, Suzanne Cawthon, Pete Luther, Carolyn Brooks, David Jackson, Steve Jackson, Michael Stewart, Sandy Kiplinger, Desiree Kiplinger, Charlie Cohen, Bob Eastburn and Liz Poleretzky.
As chair, I would also like to thank all the people serving on the Executive Committee for their time and energy. Without them the club would not thrive. A special thanks to:
Steve Jackson for wonderful programs in 2014
Sandy Kiplinger for her youth outreach
Michael Stewart for posting our events on Meet-up
Charlotte Buening for representing us at Earth Day and other local events
Jack Drost for putting together our newsletter every month
Tom and Judy Burley for their support of our outings program and for the superb First Aid classes they conducted earlier this year.
---Thank you all, Liz Poleretzky
Save the Date: 17th Annual Alabama Water Rally
February 27-March 1, 2015. Lake Guntersville State Park
The Alabama Rivers Alliance is pleased to announce that our next annual conference, Alabama Water Rally, will be February 27 - March 1, 2015 at Lake Guntersville State Park.
Please contact Alabama Rivers Alliance if you would like to contribute in any way to this year's conference. Below you will find all the needed information to begin your flow towards Lake Guntersville.
What is Alabama Water Rally?
Alabama Water Rally is the annual conference of the Alabama Rivers Alliance. For over seventeen years, this event has brought together over a hundred individual attendees from a variety of backgrounds to share, network, and learn. Participants include agency employees, teachers, elected officials, scientists, lawyers, engineers, concerned citizens, nature lovers, and other eco-minded folks.
What to expect at Alabama Water Rally?
Alabama Water Rally offers workshops from experts on the newest ideas and issues around water and the environment in Alabama. It offers opportunities for life-long-learning as well as a chance to get together to socialize, celebrate our victories, share our challenges, and have a good time. Days are packed with informative education sessions and each night features a different form of entertainment. Learn more>>>
Oak Mountain Master Plan, is it good or bad for the users?
photo from Alabama Department of Conservation, Billy Pope
(submitted by Ken Hyche) Oak Mountain State park has some big plans for the park. There is a study going on now about building a hotel and Conference center inside Oak Mountain State Park. There are several articles in AL.com that you can read for more info on the plans. Please make your opinion known.
You can attend a meeting, "The government partners are hosting an open house from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Community Room of the Shelby County Services Building in Pelham, located at 1123 County Services Drive. A short presentation will start the meeting and another will happen at about 7 p.m." or there is a web site to make comments about the plans until Jan 17; Shelby County Tourism, AL - Official Website is PlanOMSP.DiscoverShelby.com.
The survey will be available until Jan. 17. A direct link to the survey is here.
The Year in Review from National Sierra Club
Is Coal Smarter than a 5th Grader?
Sierra Club Outings
Winter is coming! Well, it feels like it is already here. It's time to get out! Take a great hike. Or just enjoy gathering with friends to discuss environmental issues!
Come join us on the trail or just out for a stroll in the park! Great outings and meetings from North Alabama all the way to the Gulf! more>>>