Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow (Bucks Audubon)
Statement on Climate Change
Bucks Audubon agrees with the scientific consensus that the Earth is warming, that our climate is changing at a rapid pace, and that this change is largely due to human activity, primarily from the emissions of greenhouse gases due to the use of hydrocarbon-based fuels. This changing of the Earth’s climate brings with it the likelihood of environmental impacts on numerous ecosystems, including serious negative effects to the wildlife and vegetation in our area. We support initiatives at the personal, local and government level to reduce greenhouse gases, to improve habitats and preserve open space, and to educate the public on the causes and impacts of climate change.
Bucks Audubon supports the development of renewable, sustainable energy sources such as geothermal, solar, and wind energies. The siting of these facilities must be undertaken with due regard to the potential environmental impact to sensitive landscapes including habitats that support threatened or endangered species, raptor and bat concentrations, flyways and migration routes, wetland and riparian zones, and areas that have been specifically designated as conserved lands by private or governmental bodies. Further, we support distributed generation projects such as rooftop solar and home geothermal systems.
There are over 2.6 million miles of pipelines nationwide in the US.[i] The existence of pipelines through populated areas and environmentally sensitive areas poses well-documented risks. Our own property at Honey Hollow is crossed by transmission pipelines and while there have been no accidents or discharges here we do not support the construction of additional pipelines through previously undisturbed lands and habitats. Where there is the need for more capacity in the short term transition period from fossil fuels to sustainable, renewable energy sources this capacity should be constructed along already disturbed rights-of-way.
Bucks Audubon opposes the extraction of fossil fuels in general because of its impact on the climate and fracking in particular because of the known and potential impacts on the environment from this technology. Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is the process of extracting natural gas and/or light oil from tight rock formations using fluids, chemicals etc. at high pressure to break or “fracture” the rock and release the hydrocarbons. Fracking operations are known to deliberately vent as well as inadvertently leak methane, a strong greenhouse gas 64 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Bucks County is underlain by the South Newark Basin within which gas deposits are approximately 1/20th of the more well-known Marcellus Shale.