When I was at Audubon, I frequently had to deal with statements along the lines of "Global Warming is the greatest threat to birds and biodiversity in our lifetimes." Most of the time that would leave me scratching my head. How do we know if this is true or not? What about habitat destruction or modification? These are complex issues that leave most of us concerned but feeling helpless and wanting to just turn off the computer and head go birding.
What should we do about global warming when the issue seems to be so complex scientifically that it is hard to know what is really happening, let alone what we should do about it? How would we know if it is a bigger threat than habitat destruction or modification?
We've been trying to save birds for over 100 years and the news seems to just keep getting worse (a few bright spots like Kirtland's Warblers and California Condors--which we will have to manage forever--aside). Have the issues become so complex scientifically, politically, and culturally that all we can really do now is just enjoy the birds and hope for the best?