In response to the calling of the presidential election on Saturday, Audubon California Executive Director Sarah Rose issued the following statement:
The election outcome confirmed that a majority of Calfornians are united in their support for action on climate change and racial equity, and a new landscape promising real progress awaits us.
However, in the past four years we have fallen dangerously behind on the urgent work needed to combat climate change’s impacts on our state’s birds and frontline communities. Audubon urges state and federal elected leaders to heed the call of Californians to make decisions based in science that lower carbon emissions, protect the most important places for communities and wildlife, and advance bedrock environmental protections. Thanks to the courageous stances of Gov. Gavin Newsom and leaders in his adminstration, California Attorney General General Xavier Becerra, Asm. Ash Kalra and other state leaders, California has held the line against the rollback of many landmark pieces of federal conservation protections, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Clean Water Act, and even advanced bold initiatives such as safeguarding 30 percent of California’s habitats by 2030. But no lawsuit or piece of legislation can change the harsh realities facing us.
Research shows that North America has lost more than three billion birds since the 1970s. Audubon found last year that more than two-thirds of North American birds are threatened with extinction because of climate change. Birds are excellent indicators of our environmental health and what humans need to survive. They are telling us that we have no time to waste.
Following a summer that was difficult for all but truly traumatic for communities of color, we have a historic opportunity: Audubon is resolute in our commitment to become an inclusive and anti-racist organization. Climate change, together with air and water pollution, exacerbate historical socio-economic inequities faced by frontline communities. To that end, we will increase our advocacy for a more resilient and inclusive economy with more green jobs, for cleaner air and stronger communities that protect birds, improve public health, conserve water, restore wetlands, and reduce emissions. Audubon is also committed to looking within, to challenge and change our own history, structures, and practices. Only then will we succeed in creating a more just, equitable, and durable organization and network that lift up the voices and meet the needs of all people.
Our work will continue to be motivated by a simple truth: what’s good for birds is good for people. I look forward to working with you in the days ahead.
Media Contact: Jason Howe, 415-595-9245; firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.