President's budget ups NOAA funding for climate change... Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act gains new cosponsor
In a Feb. 4, 2008 press release, NOAA announced that "President Bush today released a fiscal year 2009 budget for NOAA that includes significant increases to implement the President’s Ocean Initiative, to maintain critical weather forecasting abilities and to sustain the nation’s ability to monitor and predict global climate change. The $4.1 billion request represents a 7.7 percent increase over the President’s FY 2008 request and a 5.2 percent increase over the FY 2008 budget passed by Congress. The request is the highest ever for NOAA."
The action represents an important step towards addressing the information gaps associated with climate change. However, it should be noted that some of the progressive thinkers in Congress (and elsewhere) have suggested that much more information -- and action -- is needed. In Senate Bill 2204, "A bill to assist wildlife populations and wildlife habitats in adapting to and surviving the effects of global warming, and for other purposes," -- also known as the Global Warming Wildlife Survival Act -- Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) and Barbara Boxer (CA), along with Richard Durbin (IL) (who recently joined as a co-sponsor on Feb. 11, 2008) propose to address the threats presented to wildlife by global warming. (To see the bill, enter S.2204 in www.thomas.gov, a Library of Congress tool to track legislation.) The bill has already passed through the House of Representatives, where Norm Dicks (D-WA), Jim Saxton (R-PA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA) introduced the bill. The proposed legislation seeks to create a National Policy and Strategy for Wildlife, a National Global Warming and Wildlife Science Center, a State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program, an Oceans Program to address Planning for Climate Change in Coastal Zone, and a Special Imperiled Species Program.
Photo of the Upsala Glacier in Argentina, from Berry Street Beacon