Climate Change Trifecta

For the third time in three weeks, I sat through a presentation on climate change. This particular talk was given this evening at the quarterly Connecticut Forest & Park Association board meeting.

Eric Palola, of the National Wildlife Federation, presented the topic “Importance of Northeastern Forests/Forest Management to Climate Change” to the directors. NWF’s scientific data was similar to that presented by the speakers at last week’s Appalachian Mountain Club Board of Advisors meeting, and to that presented two weeks ago at the ISO New England Energy Summit.

The charts and graphs speak for themselves. The images offered clear proof that the United States needs to take the lead in reducing energy consumption and make an all out effort to reduce the production of carbon by cutting fossil fuel (coal, oil, propane, natural gas) use.

Climate change will effect everyone in the world. The directors got some insight into the emerging markets for carbon trading and carbon offsets. The topic is important to CFPA because our mission supports the management and conservation of of sustainable working forests and agriculture lands. A lot of landowners are seeking ways to profit from their ownership of these “carbon sinks.” Forest and adaptation (the safeguarding of natural resources) funding is a critical step in the process of reversing the effects of global warming. Maintaining trees and other plant life is as important as energy conservation and renewable energy production.

I came to the conclusion that tackling this issue is going to be one of the most important objectives for every Presidential administration–forever. The issue has to be brought to the forefront of the current administration’s agenda so that we can debate it now. Congress is moving forward with some legislation, but the clock is ticking. There are far to many government (local, state, and federal) agencies seeking funding and our government’s massive stimulus package only complicates matters. When you add all of the non-profit organizations that have a stake in the matter and all of the private enterprises with an interest ino the mix, you soon see that we need someone to take the lead.

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