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In the mid-1980's, Lee Wulff, the famous fly fisherman and conservationist, spoke before an audience of wealthy fisherman. Paraphrasing him, this is what he said. "I'm supposed to talk to you about Atlantic salmon, but since they've been fished to the brink of extinction, I'll talk about trout instead." This one brief statement was enough to raise awareness to the level of action. These pillars of society rallied and helped reverse the trends that were leading to the extinction of this most favorite of fish.

This kind of action is what is needed today regarding the issue of global climate change. Rising water temperatures will and are affecting fish colonies in both saltwater and fresh. Fish, like plants (and people!), live within a certain temperature range. As temperatures rise, fish will look for waters more suited to their preference. According to the IPCC "stream habitats are projected to decline across the U.S. by 47 percent for coldwater, 50 percent for cool-water, and 14 percent for warm-water species. In the southern Great Plains, summer water temperatures already approach the limits for survival of many native stream fish." Saltwater species will also be directly affected by warming water temperatures, the destruction of the marshes and more severe weather. What does this mean? A lot less fish to fish for whether you are a catch-and-releaser or a keeper.

Now, I'm not into fishing of any kind, but many people are. I'm also not into hunting, but according to the Wildlife Management Institute, reduction in habitat will reduce the number of waterfowl, big game and upland birds, and some species will simply go extinct.

What will all those hunters and fisherman do then? Here's a simple solution, halt global warming now. Many powerful and influential people hunt and fish. Many highly intelligent and innovative people do, too. Surely individually or as part of a club or group, all these people can become a part of the solution. And if you are like me and do neither of these things that doesn't mean we shouldn't be a part of the solution, too.

I know we've all heard it before, but how many of us have replaced all our incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, or better still, LEDs? How many of us opt to walk, bike or take public transportation? Turn off the lights when we leave a room? Unplug appliances when not in use? Turn the thermostat up a degree in the summer and down a degree in the winter? Insulate our homes and hot water heaters, install energy efficient appliances when it's time to replace the old ones, drive hybrid cars. Yes, the lists are endless and every little bit really does help especially when you multiply it by 6.7 billion people.

 

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For over 25 years, I have been working to reduce the world's reliance on fossil fuels and to make building energy systems more efficient, effective and maintainable. I am the owner of an environmental engineering consulting firm that works to turn (more...)
 

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