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You are here: Home 2017-07 Items Eastside Audubon Is Now Fossil Free

Eastside Audubon Is Now Fossil Free

By Andy McCormick

 

“Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we can say, ‘Our work is finished.’” – Rachel Carson

In the past few months Eastside Audubon has sold its last shares of investments in fossil fuels and reinvested in businesses unrelated to fossil fuel energy production. This completes the sale of assets in fossil fuel development that the Eastside Audubon Society board agreed to in early 2016. Eastside Audubon has also been instrumental in passage of a 2015 resolution passed by the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee recommending that all Washington State Audubon chapters that have investments in fossil fuels to divest from them. The chapter developed a gradual reinvestment program so that it could sell investments over an 18-month period. This systematic transfer of assets has been completed and the new investments are doing well. The chapter has funds in several accounts that provide stability to its operations and a reserve fund for conservation efforts. Although the amount of the investments are small compared to those of oil, gas, and coal companies, the change also has symbolic value in making clear the chapter’s position on supporting birds and their habitats, clean air and water, and doing our part to prevent continued warming of the planet. I am proud that our chapter has taken a leadership role among our state Audubon chapters and encouraged other chapters to divest from fossil fuels. The need for Audubon and other environmental organizations to continue to work to prevent the acceleration of global warming has never been greater. On June 1, 2017 President Donald Trump said he was taking the US out of the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement signed by 195 countries. This decision pulls the US out of the process for reducing carbon emissions. The decision was widely criticized by scientists, business leaders, world leaders, and climate activists as  “stupid and reckless” (Bill McKibben, founder and leader of 350.org), “an abdication of American leadership in the fight against the biggest threat facing people and birds” (David Yarnold, president, National Audubon Society), and “pathetic” (Washington Governor Jay Inslee). Rachel Carson was right when she said that, “Conservation is a cause that has no end.” Our best hope for reducing global warming now lies with state and local governments and organizations like Eastside Audubon to continue our ongoing work to protect our planet. At Eastside Audubon we will continue to work with other organizations to reduce the transport of coal and oil across Washington and emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. With your help we will continue our work to protect the environment for the preservation of life on planet Earth for the benefit of all people, birds, and other wildlife. As climate activists are saying, “There is no Planet B.”

 

Osprey, by Mick Thompson

Photo: Osprey, by Mick Thompson.

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The mission of Eastside Audubon is to protect, preserve and enhance natural ecosystems and our communities for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.