Despite these threats to national parks, “there’s scientific consensus that if we act within the next few years to really bring down greenhouse gas emissions substantially, we can avoid some of the most damaging tipping points of climate change,” says Wenzler.
What you can do:
Lessen your impact during your visit to a national park by using shuttle buses rather than your car to get around. A number of parks now have free shuttles that are hybrids or that run on alternative fuel. You can even take public transportation to get to some parks, such as California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Yosemite National Park, and New York/New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area.
Volunteer in the national parks to work on habitat restoration and exotic-species removal projects. "When we restore park resources to natural conditions, we build their capacity to withstand the effects of climate change," says Shawn Norton, coordinator of the National Park Service's Climate Friendly Parks program. For volunteer opportunities, go to:
Find out what steps you can take in your daily life to reduce your carbon footprint: Drive a fuel-efficient car and wash your clothes in cold water. Check out these and other recommendations at http://www.doyourpartparks.org/. On this site, sponsored by the National Parks Conservation Association in support of the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program, you can calculate your personal greenhouse gas emissions and set a goal to reduce them.
To Learn More:
Check out the National Park Service’s Climate Friendly Parks program to find out more about what national parks are doing to address climate change:
For more on how global warming may affect our parks and what we can do to protect them, read the National Parks Conservation Association’s report, “Unnatural Disaster: Global Warming and Our National Parks.” The report is posted online at the following address: http://www.npca.org/globalwarming/.