The following is a release from Eastside Audubon:
The Board of Directors of Eastside Audubon Society, which serves the Bothell area, voted unanimously to significantly divest from fossil fuel investments over a two-year period and place the funds in alternative investments. The chapter’s board believes it is the first Audubon chapter in the country to take this stand for the climate and against fossil fuels. The chapter has now submitted a resolution to the Washington State Audubon Conservation Committee, a body composed of representatives of all 26 Audubon chapters in Washington, seeking to have all Washington State Audubon chapters join the Fossil Free movement.
Eastside Audubon takes this action in response to the National Audubon Society Climate Report which estimates that over 300 species of North American birds are at risk of losing a substantial portion of their breeding range if average global temperature rises more than 2C (4.5F). Such species as the Trumpeter Swan, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Merlin, Bald Eagle and Common Loon will be harmed by continued temperature rise.
Eastside Audubon joins at least 248 other institutions in making a decision to divest from fossil fuels. A full list of the colleges and universities, cities and towns, religious institutions, and foundations which have previously made a commitment to divest from fossil fuel companies can be found on the website of 350.org, an organization devoted to promoting reduction of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere.
The Eastside Audubon resolution highlights an increase in average global temperature of 0.8C (1.8F) since the beginning of the Industrial Age and the changes in the climate of our planet Earth that have produced more severe storms in both winter and summer, melting of the Arctic ice in summer, melting of glaciers around the world, spreading of deserts in the equatorial range of the planet, and an extended fire season in the western United States.
The resolution cites the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report issued in 2014 stating that, “continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.”
The resolution is also aimed at protecting Important Bird Areas designated by the National Audubon Society, birds and bird habitat, and ultimately all life on the planet as we know it.