While world leaders meet in Copenhagen, state and national wildlife interests want to bring these issues home.
A group of leaders met Thursday to share information with outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. The discussion, held in Columbia, included National Wildlife Federation’s Derrick Brockbank, who says the U.S. needs to move toward a clean energy economy.
“We are currently spending $1 billion a day buying oil from overseas from other nations. We need to move to creating energy here, which means renewable energy, such as wind and solar. That’s going to create jobs that can’t be outsourced. “
Brockbank says he knows there are skeptics regarding the situation. ” While there are some that are trying to raise doubts about the science. The fact is, even if you don’t believe in the science, clean energy is good policy.”
The National Wildlife Federation met with outdoor and hunting enthusiasts in South Carolina, and is working with Christians in Copenhagen. Brockman said that this event is being geared for sportsman, but that there’s a common bond with those who have varied interests.
” We’re seeing environmentalists stand together with sportsman. We’re seeing the Christian community. Actually this week, in Copenhagen, where there’s a big international agreements, National Wildlife Federation is partnering with the Evangelical Environmental Network to talk about how the faith community is coming behind, moving clean energy and climate legislation. This isn’t just the environmentalists versus the world. There’s bridges that are being built.”
Steve Moore, Director of Climate and Energy of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation says the cap and trade bill that has stalled in the U.S. Senate for now, can help South Carolina. “We’re going to see some pretty significant impacts from climate change over the next couple of decades -certainly this century. And our natural resources are going to take a particularly hard hit as our climate changes and their either forced to adapt or move.
“We’re now so heavily developed, it’s going to be difficult for them to move. We’re vitally and interested in making sure there’s money for our resource agencies, like DNR and OCRM to make plans for that adaptation,”
Moore, along with scientists from Clemson, USC and DNR who were in attendance at this week’s meeting, says the facts for man-made climate change are clear.
“The vast majority of actual climate scientists think it’s a problem and it’s man-made. There’s a very small minority of people that say that either it’s not a problem or it’s not man-made or has some other theory about what could be causing it. But that’s true in any science. It’s true in cancer research. That’s true in anything. It’s not really a case of good science-bad science. The science is clear.”
Moore says that no matter the cause of climate change, it is affecting wildlife in South Carolina. “Even if humans aren’t causing it, it’s still changing, and the worse case scenario is we’ll stop polluting so much. We’ll get ourselves less dependent on fossil fuels. We’ll start building a whole new economy around renewable energy. It can only be a good thing.”
The Wildlife Federation spokesman says it is strange that cap and trade legislation has polarized Americans. “Cap and trade originated on the business side. It was originally a republican initiative back in the early 1990’s during the first George Bush administration.
“The environmental community was initially opposed to it. And it took some selling, because they essentially said this is not fair because people are going to be able to pay their way to pollute. But it passed. And they passed it to a deal with a sulphur-dioxide problem. It cut the sulphur-dioxide problem in half.”
South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham has been criticized by his own party for trying to find a compromise to current cap and trade legislation.