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Teton County Joins Urgent Call for National Action on Climate Change
Global Warming Increasing State's Risk of Droughts, Wildfires
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. - July 10 - As Wyoming copes with drought and destructive wildfires, Teton County has joined more than two dozen other U.S. communities in supporting the use of the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to head off catastrophic climate change. Teton’s Board of County Commissioners, in unanimously passing a resolution, is the latest community to join the Center for Biological Diversity’s national Clean Air Cities campaign, which urges President Barack Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to take action on global warming through the Clean Air Act.
“By passing this resolution, Teton County recognizes the gravity of the global climate crisis and supports one key solution: the Clean Air Act,” said Rose Braz, the Center’s climate campaign director. “Communities around the country, from Seattle to Salt Lake City to Los Angeles — and now Teton County — are sending an urgent message to President Obama and other national leaders: To avert a climate catastrophe, we need to act now.”
Climate change is already making the state of Wyoming hotter and drier. It will make wildfire more common across the West in the future, according to a recent study in the journal Ecosphere. Left unchecked, climate change will reduce Wyoming’s snowpack, summer precipitation and soil moisture, which could hurt agriculture and industry.
Tourism could also be hurt by changes affecting the state’s natural treasures. Two of the biggest glaciers in the mountains of the Teton Range have lost more than 20 percent of their surface area since the late 1960s, according to University of Wyoming researchers; the Schoolroom Glacier, in Grand Teton National Park, will probably be gone by 2025.
The Center’s Clean Air Cities campaign is working across the country to encourage cities to pass resolutions supporting the Clean Air Act and its ability to reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere to no more than 350 parts per million, the level scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Similar resolutions have been approved in Tampa, Gulfport and Pinecrest, Fla.; Cincinnati and Oberlin, Ohio; Chicago, Ill.; Seattle, Wash.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Kansas City, Mo.; Albany, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; Boulder, Colo.; Boone, N.C.; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Penn.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Cambridge and North Hampton, Mass.; Madison and Milwaukee, Wis., and Los Angeles, Arcata, Richmond, Berkeley, Oxnard, Santa Cruz and Santa Monica, Calif. Several other cities around the country will be considering resolutions over the next few months.