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E-M:/ FW: Sierra Club statement on Senate Global Warming and Wildlife hearing



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Enviro-Mich message from "Rita Jack" <rita.jack@sierraclub.org>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2007

Contact:
Virginia Cramer, 202-675-6279


Statement of Bart Semcer, Washington, DC Representative, Fish and Wildlife
                                  Policy
    On the Environment and Public Works Hearing on "Global Warming and
                                 Wildlife"

Global warming is the most significant threat to America's fish and
wildlife since the unrestrained market hunting and rampant destruction of
habitat a century ago.  The threats to the natural world faced by earlier
generations gave rise to leaders in the halls of government, people like
Theodore Roosevelt, who had the will to take bold and thoughtful action to
secure our wild places and the benefits they provide the people of this
nation.  Addressing the challenge of global warming requires that our
leaders follow in the footsteps of Roosevelt and take the same kind of
determined action to protect our wild heritage.  Today's hearing is a step
in that direction.

We can secure the conservation achievements of the past and the outdoor
traditions they support. We can ensure that wildlife is still found in the
precious, wild reaches of our nation. We can prevent hundreds of thousands
of acres of existing national wildlife refuges from being lost to rising
seas and we can maintain America's over $100 billion sport hunting and
fishing economy we must confront the threat of global warming by working
our way towards a new energy future.

The certain and drastic impacts of global warming make it even more
imperative that we take immediate action to protect important fish and
wildlife habitat from other degradation. For example, since it is estimated
that global warming has the capacity to eliminate as much as 90% of the
wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region we must create incentives and
implement protections that keep these vital wetlands from further
destruction by development. These remaining wetlands have become even more
precious and the area known as "America's Duck Factory" will cease to
produce the abundance of wildlife we enjoy unless we better address all of
the impacts.

Likewise, with the expected changes in precipitation patterns in inland
regions and the predicted rise in sea level along coastal areas all bird,
land and aquatic species will be affected. Drought, flooding, changing
river patterns and decreased snow pack will affect all wildlife in North
America. Public land managers must incorporate the effects of global
warming into their planning.

A new energy future that ends our dependence on the dirty oil and coal
technologies of yesterday can be built around the recommendations of
leading scientists who last week issued a report showing that we can use
the smart energy solutions we have today - solar, wind and efficiency
technologies - to achieve a large share of the 60% - 80% reduction in U.S.
global warming emissions that we need to realize by mid-century if we are
to stave off the worst effects of global warming.  Building this future
means securing jobs: keeping jobs to boost the outdoor industry and
creating jobs for those who will manufacture America's new energy
infrastructure and put it in place.

The technology is here.  The workers are ready.  The polar bear, the musk
ox, the walrus, and the caribou are counting on us.  What we need now is
leadership in Washington and a willingness to follow in the footsteps of
Roosevelt and take decisive action to protect the wild legacy we leave our
children.

                                    ###


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