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(Professor at Oregon State University, Past President of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Ecological Society of America)
Jane Lubchenco is currently the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology and Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University, and has been awarded a litany of honors. She has been selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the National Science Board. She is also an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow, an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, and has received numerous teaching awards. She has accomplished all of this since receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1975.
Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, as both of you are aware, the ecological systems of the world –– the forests, wetlands, coral reefs –– provide the life support systems for all of life on earth. Important ecosystem functions, including flood control, purification of air and water, and the creation of beautiful places for recreation and inspiration can only be provided by intact ecological systems, and when those systems are disrupted or lost, then we lose the goods and services they provide. To provide
a few vignettes of the ecological consequences of climate change, in the optimistic scenario of a doubled CO2 world, let me invite you on a brief field trip to different parts of our country:
As an ecologist, I must emphasize that the slower the rate of change in climate, the less catastrophic the results. Species are more likely to be able to migrate, to grow, and evolve if the rate of change is slow.