Climate change is not about Al Gore

Posted by on October 15, 2009 in Clean Energy

It’s time for Tennesseans to understand that climate change is not about Al Gore but about real issues like song birds, hemlock diseases, and tourism. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency completed a comprehensive study on the impacts of climate change in Tennessee. Those impacts include:

  • Brook trout populations are expected to decline as surface water temperatures increase.
  • Migratory songbirds may alter their ranges, with some species disappearing from Tennessee altogether
  • Larger floods and longer droughts could cause increased erosion, reduced water supply and the spread of invasive species.

We are seeing those kind of issues in our state where coastal states are experiencing sea level changes. So, what’s at stake for TN economy if we don’t address climate change?

  • Outdoor recreation contributes more than $6.3 billion annually to Tennessee’s economy and supports 67,000 jobs across the state.
  • Tennessee is home to around 787,000 acres of wetlands. A 20 percent loss of wetland acreage would cost the state from $55 million to nearly $4 billion.
  • In 2000, the forest product industry accounted for 6.6. percent of Tennessee’s  GDP, generated $21.7 billion in economic output, and employed 180,000 people in the forest product industry.

Even if you don’t want a carbon tax or trade you should want a cap! It is time to stop burning as much coal as we do and look at other alternatives like solar, biomass and nuclear. Why take the chance that global warming might be real? Let’s hedge our bets and go green.

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