Global warming, or climate change, is a fact of life for people around the world. Human caused warming of the earth’s atmosphere has been happening for more than a century and accelerating for the past few decades. In fact, it is too late to prevent it from getting much more severe. We humans have discharged enough carbon into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel to substantially heat up the atmosphere. We are showing no sign that we will change our behavior so change we are seeing now is only the beginning. If it is too late to prevent the consequences of global warming, then what? The most immediate necessity is to adapt to the changes that are happening now and to those that are coming. The page you are viewing is an explanation of the Tulalip Tribes’ efforts to adapt. It links to specific concerns the Tulalip Tribes has and how we are responding.
The words “global warming” and “climate change” have come to mean the same thing – the result of humans polluting the atmosphere with carbon from fossil fuels to the point that we are warming our planet. From here on this website we will use “climate change” to make reading easier. Be aware that we are talking about global warming from human causes.
The effect of putting too much carbon in the atmosphere is a warming, changing climate. It has affected the people of the Tulalip Tribes for decades. Perhaps the most noticeable recent example, and most acute, is hotter drier summers, more wildfires and associated severe air pollution from smoke. But climate change has also been affecting us in more subtle, less obvious ways. Changes to our environment from climate change are tied up with all the other changes happening since the time of treaty signing of the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855. It is difficult to specifically separate climate effects from others but we know that climate change has made them more severe. Our physical health, cultural health, our homes, our economy and the resources we reserved in the Treaty are all affected. Every aspect of Tribal life is affected. Climate change will become a bigger part of that effect as time goes on. To adapt and remain resilient we need to continue our work improving our overall welfare while being aware of the added effect that a changing climate imposes on us.