THE MOUNTAINEERS

TO: Board of Trustees
From: Conservation Division

March 14, 1989

RE: Greenhouse Effect Submitted by Polly Freeman, 329-3006

RESOLUTION: Resolved, that The Mountaineers support legislative and other efforts to mitigate environmental factors implicated as contributors to global warming or the "greenhouse effect." Currer federal bills which address the greenhouse effect which we support are S .324, National Energy Policy Act; S.491, Global Greenhouse Warming Prevention Act; H.R.1078 (companion bill to S.324) and S.201 (phasing out non-recyclable and non-degradable products and CFCs).

SUMMARY OF ISSUE: Most experts agree that current global warming trends will continue and increase into the next century, and that profound environmental changes will result, possibly including desertification of current agricultural areas, a significant rise in sea level, and profound changes in vegetation patterns. The complexity of the problem and the inherent variation in weather patterns make it impossible to predict with absolute certainty how much temperatures will rise in the next century. Yet many of the suspected causes of the greenhouse effect are serious environmental problems in and of themselves. This, together with the grave consequences of global warming, should scientists' predictions prove true, warrants The Mountaineers' action to address those factors suspected as contributors to the problem.

Increased levels of "greenhouse" gases (C02, chlorofluorocarbons, and methane, among others) and tropical deforestation are generally agreed to be primary contributors to a hotter planet. Consequently The Mountaineers should support increased auto efficiency (mpg) standards, energy conservation, recycling and the banning of CFCs (as is currently being considered) as important issues in their own right and as ways to mitigate the greenhouse effect. The Mountaineers should also fight deforestation and support reforestation in industrial and developing nations for the same reasons.

WHY THE MOUNTAINEERS SHOULD TAKE PROPOSED POSITION: Global warming is generally conceded to be one of the most critical environmental issues of this century and the next. Global warming would have profound effects on land use, wilderness, wildlife and water quality. Moreover, actions proposed to counter the greenhouse effect are consistent with existing Mountaineer policy.

board of- Trustees
March 14, 1989
RE: Greenhouse Effect
page 2

SOURCE OF EXPERTISE: Members active in the Conservation Division are in the process of educating themselves about this issue and have connections with scientists at the University of Washington to provide assistance with technical questions.

COALITIONS WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: Since there is not yet a major coalition effort actively working on this issue at a local level, this could be an opportunity for The Mountaineers to a leadership role. Almost all ot our traditional environmental allies are concerned about the greenhouse effect and would doubtless work with us on legislative and other initiatives.

ANTICIPATED LEVEL OF SUPPORT: Support of legislation designed to counter the greenhouse effect, support of related issues, possible, involvement in a coalition effort. Letter to William O'Reilly, director of the Environmental Protection Agency and falso to President Bush.

TIMELINES AND ACTIVITY DESIRED: Several bills dealing with this issue have been introduced in Congress. This will be an ongoing issue and the club needs to establish a basic position so that action can be taken as the need arises.