Pollution Causing Global Warming: Scientists Report Overwhelming Evidence

Statement by Larry Schweiger, President & CEO of the National Wildlife Federation

02-02-2007 // Jeremy Symons

Statement by Larry Schweiger
President & CEO, National Wildlife Federation
Regarding New Report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

WASHINGTON, DC -- "In this report, the science of global warming is clear. It is our future that is now uncertain. It is past time to act and solve global warming with the urgency and determination with which Americans have successfully confronted other threats to our security and to wildlife.

"The evidence is now overwhelming that pollution from burning fossil fuels like oil and coal is causing global warming. This report underscores our moral responsibility to confront global warming immediately to protect our children's future and the future of wildlife.

"More than 2,200 of the best scientists from around the world were involved in developing this consensus on global warming as part of a cooperative global scientific effort unparalleled in history.

"According to the report, there is at least a 90 percent certainty that human activities are causing global warming since 1950, especially from using fossil fuels that drive global warming pollution.

"We cannot allow our children to inherit this problem when we have the know-how and ingenuity to solve it now.

"The clock is running out for wildlife.

"The rising sea levels projected in this scientific report would devastate coastal wildlife habitat, and the human communities that depend on healthy wetlands, coastal barriers and natural buffers. More intense hurricanes, drought and other severe weather events summarized in this report will threaten the most vulnerable wildlife populations already struggling to survive. The acidification of the oceans that the scientists project is an unprecedented threat to marine life.

"The report also clarifies the link between global warming and recent droughts, storms and other extreme climate events. According to the report, the increase in intense hurricane activity is more likely than not being fueled in part by human activities and global warming.

"This report is the exclamation point on the scientific community's decades of research on global warming. It is the latest in a long series of warning signs from our natural world and from scientists. For example, the polar bear is being considered for Endangered Species Act protection because its habitat is melting.

"Throughout America, global warming is harming wildlife. In Minnesota, heat-stressed moose are declining. In the West, critical snowpack that supplies cold water for trout streams and salmon runs is declining. Forest landscapes are being ravaged by unprecedented wildfires. As sea levels rise, coastal wetlands are being submerged.

"The report offers hope for avoiding the most dangerous impacts of global warming if we act now. The amount of pollution we pump into the atmosphere will be the deciding factor for our future. America can and should be a leader in this fight.

"The science of global warming may be complicated, but the solution is simple. We need to act now to turn around our growing dependency on oil and fossil fuels and set enforceable targets for reducing the global warming pollution that comes from these sources. If we start now by cutting global warming pollution by an average of about two percent per year and reduce emissions to 80 percent by mid-century, we can make a positive difference.

"Momentum is quickly building to reverse global warming pollution, around the country and in Washington. This report makes it clear that the time is now to turn that momentum into action."

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

Immediate Release
February 2, 2007

Jeremy Symons, National Wildlife Federation, 202-306-7902 cell, symons@nwf.org

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