Global Warming's Affect In
By Carrie L. James
June 29, 2006
I am a concerned citizen who is involved in the community. I
am aware of the seriousness of global warming; I have attended
numerous events such as the National Congress of American Indians,
Self-governance conferences, Legislative fly-in on lobbying training,
Alaska Native Brotherhood & Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand
Camp Conventions, Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indians
General Assembly, and most recently the 4th Annual Southeast
Alaska Environmental Conference of Tribal leaders this last June.
Global warming has come up in all these conferences I have attended
and it is a real threat to Mother Earth. Alaska is the first
to experience the effects of global warming.
Tribes and other organizations has established a sucessful environmental
service and protection program through various outreach and education;
and scientific consensus has developed that carbon dioxide (CO2)
and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere have a profound
effect on the Earth's climate.
In 2001 at the request of the Administration, the National Academy
of Sciences (NAS) reviewed and declared global warming a real
problem caused in part by human activities.
Over the past 40 years, annual temperatures in Alaska have increased
4-5 Farenheit and winter temperatures have warmed 8-10 Farenheit
and over the next 100 years, under a moderate emissions scenario,
annual average temperatures are projected to rise 5-9 Farenheit
over land and up to 13 Farenheit over the oceans. The oceans
worldwide are estimated to be at least 2 degrees Farenheit warmer
presently; that is a vast body of water...worldwide.
Alaska glaciers are retreating at a rapid pace, with Mendenhall
Glacier losing 656 feet in 2004 alone; and could come out of
Mendenhall lake in a few years or less.
Reduced spring snow pack in the Southeast Alaska is leading to
widespread die-off of yellow cedar in the region.
Warming permafrost throughout most of Alaska undermining Alaska's
roads and utility infrustructure, pipelines and buildings, affecting
the availability of groundwater and surface water, and contributing
to increased erosion along coasts and rivers. It is estimated
to cost Alaska over 400-500 million dollars to begin relocating
some of the 25 coastal villages in Alaska.
Climate change could lead to a sea level rise of up to three
feet per century or faster and flooding many coastal areas around
Alaska and the lower 48.
The once vast expanse of summer Arctic sea ice may disappear
by the end of the century, endangeriong polar bears, walrus,
seals, and other marine species; and climate-related changes
to the weather, food sources, and local landscapes undermine
the social identity and cultural survival of Alaska Natives.
There is already a concern for the polar bear species, there
are t.v. ads on how to save polar bears. The distance between
land and ice are becoming more vast and the polar bear mothers
in some cases have to abandon their cubs to save themselves.
There are have been bad storms and numerous polar bears are
drowning. Note that although polar bears are good swimmers,
they are not good long distance swimmers.
safepolarbear.org is a good site to look up if there are concerned
citizens willing to look on this site and see what they can do
about impending doom the polar bears are facing at this time.
Alaska wildlife will be affected by changing habitat, insect
populations, snow and ice cover, and unpredictable weather related
to climate change.
I have seen many power points on global warming, from professors
and Phd's and it does not look good.
The upside to this doom and gloom is that there is presently
48 mayors from major cities in the U.S. that have already signed
on in coalition to lower their emissions by 6% by the year 2010.
President Bush has acknowledged that there is major concern
for global warming, but he is not acting fast enough. There
are ways citizens can do their part also by cutting back on their
fuel consumption. Ethenal plants need to be planned and put
in place, people and major organizations need to look into bio-diesal,
which is just around the corner.
The major business/corporations/factories that have cut back
on their emissions or release of carbon dioxide have in turn
saved hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars by conserving
As a concerned citizen, and involved person in my community and
statewide I feel it is my duty to voice my concerns after reading
all the debate on Sitnews.
I always welcome feedback to my opinions/viewpoints
Carrie L. James
Ketchikan, AK - USA
About: Carrie L. James is the Alaska Native Siste.rhood Grand
2nd Vice President, Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp #14 (Ktn) President,
and a concerned citizen.
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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