November 9, 2020
WHY WE, AS MASTER NATURALISTS, SUPPORT CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION
“Now is the time for science, not silence” (Scientific American, 10/8/2020).
Daily Global headlines and increasingly frequent observations of extreme weather events demonstrate that the science of climate change is all around us. The recent excessive heat and drought of our own Sonoran Desert provide abundant local evidence, as Tucson recorded both its hottest month and hottest year on record in 2020. As far back as 2011, the City of Tucson’s Climate Mitigation Report identified climate change as a threat to Tucson’s public health and safety, naming such hazards as wildfires, drought, flooding and extreme heat. As in other beleaguered cities, marginalized populations are most affected by climate change, and are most at risk.
On September 9, 2020, the City of Tucson declared a Climate Emergency, stating, “…a climate and ecological emergency threatens our city, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world, and [we] recognize the need for bold action to combat climate change, so that it meets or exceeds the current recommendations of the foremost climate scientists working around the world.”(Resolution No. 23222,2020).
We, as the Pima County Chapter of the Arizona Master Naturalists, acknowledge that climate change is real, and we align with the scientific consensus that human activities are the main cause. We support the City of Tucson’s Climate Emergency Declaration and vow to support climate change action in our communities. Master Naturalists are a corps of trained and skilled volunteers who provide leadership in education, citizen science, and stewardship to all natural and cultural history organizations in Arizona, for the public good. We actively engage with our community in helping to create a sustainable world.
We are not isolated in our work; we understand the inter-connectedness of all life on Earth. As such, we support efforts here and elsewhere to address the serious issue of climate change, and we call upon our community and national leaders to strengthen their efforts and commitments to this crucial endeavor. Tucson’s recent Climate Emergency declaration acknowledged it clearly, “the United States of America has disproportionately contributed to the climate and ecological emergencies and thus bears an extraordinary responsibility to rapidly resolve these crises”.(Resolution No. 23222, 2020). We pledge to use our skills to further educate our community, to engage in the direct observations necessary for collecting citizen science data, to continue our stewardship and protection of the natural world, and to ensure that local climate change action is just and equitable. We urge you to join us and learn how you, too, can actively participate in addressing climate change.
Pima County Chapter
Arizona Master Naturalists