Making the point that climate change is the single greatest threat to birds that most of us will encounter in our lifetimes, Audubon California Executive Director Brigid McCormack (pictured above) this morning told a panel from the Environmental Protection Agency that if it wants to be serious about addressing the problem, the government branch needs to begin regulating global greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. These power plants are responsible for 40 percent of the carbon emissions responsible for climate change.
“Studies from Audubon and others have shown that climate change is causing birds across the continent to shift their ranges northward and has altered the timing of their life events,” McCormack said. “Audubon urges you to act.”
The listening session in San Francisco was among the first of a series of opportunities across the country for members of the public to comment on the proposed rule.
In addition to stating Audubon’s position in support of the rule, McCormack noted that addressing climate change wasn’t just about helping the birds. She stated that birds are one of the best indicators of environmental health, and quoted statistics from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife agency extolling the important role that birders and birdwatching play in the economy.
Total economic value of birding – which includes the amount birders spend on travel, equipment and other expenses – totals $82 billion each year. The total number of jobs supported by birdwatching exceeds 670,000.