Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Conservative House Republicans Attempt To Block Vote On Resolution Designating October Biodiversity Awareness Month

The House voted 126 to 70 to pass House Resolution 497 (McCarter-D-Montgomery) designating October as Biodiversity Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, but not before voting 152 to 44 to reject a motion by Rep. Cris Dush (R-Indiana) to postpone a vote until October 4.
Rep. Dush said he made the motion for postponement because he wanted to review the scientific information underpinning the resolution to see if it has been peer reviewed.  
Rep. Dush is part of the group that developed the House-passed revenue plan that takes $317 million from environmental and energy funds.
The text of the resolution follows--
Designating the month of October 2017 as "Biodiversity Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.
WHEREAS, According to the American Heritage Science Dictionary, biodiversity is defined as "the number, variety, and genetic variation of different organisms found within a specified geographic region"; and
WHEREAS, Use of the term biodiversity can encompass several aspects of the natural world; and
WHEREAS, Beyond the total number of different and distinct species, biodiversity can be used to describe an ecosystem, which refers to a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment; and
WHEREAS, Biodiversity may also refer to the distinct genetic differences among a particular species in which some members have developed certain unique characteristics based on their geographic location and environment establishing certain endemic species that only live within a specific area; and
WHEREAS, According to the National Geographic Society, scientists located throughout the world have identified nearly 1.75 million species to date, including more than 950,000 species of insects, 270,000 species of plants, 19,000 species of fish, 9,000 species of birds, 4,000 species of mammals and countless other species such as fungi, arachnids and mollusks; and
WHEREAS, The term "biological diversity" was first used and popularized by entomologist Edward O. Wilson in his 1992 book, The Diversity of Life, in which he referred to the totality of Earth's organisms and their interdependence based on interactions between different species and their habitats; and
WHEREAS, The 2014 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) publication, Living Planet Report, found that wildlife populations of vertebrate species have declined by 52% over the past 40 years; and
WHEREAS, The WWF has referred to the consequences of human activities as being directly responsible for the alarming decline and in some cases the extinction of certain species; and
WHEREAS, Climate change, the clearing of natural habitats due to increased human development and the expansion of agriculture, overfishing, poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking have all contributed to the decrease in species' populations throughout the world; and
WHEREAS, The loss of a species may have an impact beyond that of the environment in which it lives; and
WHEREAS, The ecological loss of species may negatively impact a region's economy due to a loss of tourism and may be adverse to native people and cultures that often consider an animal or a species to be of particular importance to their heritage; and
WHEREAS, Based on scientific models and collected data, the National Audubon Society's 2014 Climate Change Report indicates that of North America's 588 bird species, 314 could lose more than 50% of their current climatic range by the year 2080; and
WHEREAS, According to the report, many of North America's bird species are currently experiencing population declines for a variety of reasons, including shifting climatic ranges; and
WHEREAS, As climatic ranges shift, native bird species could face an increase in competition for food and other resources from invasive species; and
WHEREAS, When a species with a shrinking population is faced with a sudden increase in competition for resources by one or more invasive species, its likelihood of survival further diminishes; and
WHEREAS, A species whose total population decreases is less likely to adapt and survive in a changing environment; and
WHEREAS, As a species' total population decreases, there is less genetic diversity carried forward by new offspring, making the overall population more susceptible to illness and disease; and
WHEREAS, In her recently published book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, author Elizabeth Kolbert states that there have been five mass extinctions in the history of life on Earth; and
WHEREAS, According to Ms. Kolbert, the world may currently be facing a possible sixth extinction, a mass die-off of a multitude of species due to manmade activities; and
WHEREAS, It is vital that people be educated about the importance of biodiversity and commit to working toward maintaining the Earth's unique and fascinating species; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives designate the month of October 2017 as "Biodiversity Awareness Month" in Pennsylvania.
A sponsor summary of the resolution is available.
For more information on biodiversity in Pennsylvania, visit the iCONSERVE Pennsylvania Biodiversity webpage.
(Photo: Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative.)

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner