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We have included two glossaries here, one for Tribal Cultural Values and one for Climate Change. The Cultural Values are inseparable from the way we, as tribes, interact with and perceive the land and other people. They make up a unified whole, at the center of which is a deeply held spiritual attitude of respect toward the land, water, plants, and animals and a way of living closely and in community with one another. We believe that if each principle is to be effective in teaching about a changing climate and how it will affect the land and water and the community of life they support, the science must be placed within this larger context. The Climate Change glossary includes scientific as well as political and economic terms. It is intended to support students and instructors as they work through the ten climate science principles. Click the buttons below to view the glossaries.
We have included two glossaries here, one for Tribal Cultural Values and one for Climate Change. The Cultural Values are inseparable from the way we, as tribes, interact with and perceive the land and other people. The Climate Change glossary includes scientific as well as political and economic terms. It is intended to support students and instructors as they work through the ten climate science principles. Click the buttons below to view the glossaries.
Cultural Values Glossary
Tribal cultural values are also woven throughout this website. The values, listed and defined below, make up a unified whole, at the center of which is a deeply held spiritual attitude of respect toward the land, water, plants, and animals and a way of living closely and in community with one another. We believe that if each lesson is to be effective in teaching about the climate and how it affects both humans and natural systems, it must be placed within this larger context of tribal cultural values. In this view, the natural and spiritual worlds are valued equally. Animals and plants are respected because they were here before us and have nurtured us from the beginning of time. We honor them by never taking more than we need, never failing to leave something for others, and never wasting. In short, we care for them, and they take care of us. Similarly, we value, honor, and respect our elders and ancestors, and we love our children. For them we want to ensure the continuation of our languages and cultures, the land and water, the plants and animals. We can leave no greater gift to future generations.
Balance: Balance means living in a way and structuring one’s time and life so that the different elements or parts of one’s life are in correct proportions. It means living in harmony with family, community, the natural world, and the spirit world.
Calm: Calm means being serene and tranquil, relaxed and untroubled. It means being at peace on the inside and outside, not being angry, nervous, irritated, or impatient. It is like the calm of a deer on its bed when it is awake and relaxed, though watchful. It is a peaceful calm.
Compassion: There were many stories from the elders of great care and concern for those less fortunate. Everyone was fed and cared for within the Tribes. The attitude of inclusivity within the Tribe was a sign of compassion for all. Assisting strangers like the Lewis and Clark delegation rather than wiping them out was based on compassion for these strangers who looked pitiful.
Cooperation: Cooperation means working together rather than working in opposition or competing with one another. To be successful for thousands of years, the Salish and Pend d’Oreille people had to work together; their combined efforts provided food and safety—as they say, a cord of many strands is not quickly broken.
Courage: While the Salish and Pend d” Oreille were historically known as people who were slow to go to war, they were also know as fierce adversaries because of their great courage. One elder, John Peter Paul, was told by his grandfather that he would be proud of him if he was courageous enough to face his enemy. Pleny Coup told Linderman that of his enemies, one of the most courageous enemies was the Salish people, they would drop with their robes. They would fight until there was nothing left.
Endurance: There are many stories from the elders of the people surviving brutal cold and great difficulty. I remember Growl’s story of her great grandfather traveling to St Louis in search of black robes. When news of his death was known, his wife traveled to St. Louis by the night sky, she traveled the route to retrieve her children who remained in St Louis. She exemplified great endured in traveling the route that was extremely dangerous knowing that it was a route that took her husbands life.
Generosity: One example of Tribal generosity was the traditional norm of hospitality or welcoming visitors. Visitors were rare historically and a special occasion that was often accompanied with gifting. The Tribes have a value for gift giving. Gifting or giveaways were a way of honoring a guest or special occasion.
Good Cheer: Good cheer means maintaining a happy and optimistic attitude. There are many stories of hard times when people continued to encourage those that were most afflicted, and this was often light-hearted encouragement. One of the things elders always say before we come together for community activities is to “leave any bad feelings you might have outside.” A Tribal elder used to say that when we come together, particularly for cultural activities, we are supposed to bring our very best: our best attitudes, our best thinking, our best feelings, and our best clothing.
Honesty: Honesty is an essential part of everyone’s character. It is a measure of the success of the culture. For Tribes honesty was crucial for their wellbeing.
Humility: Within the Tribes there is an inherent humility that ties back to basic values for everyone equally. Traditionally Tribes living in community had no hierarchy.
Humor: Humor in American Indian culture is a vital part of most social situations. Humor helps to insure group cohesiveness and equality and to cope with the sorrow and hardships of life. American Indian humor is not limited to structured jokes. Humor can be found everywhere and can make pleasant situations more enjoyable and very tough situations tolerable. One of the ways Tribes survived hardships over the last century or two was to tell stories that were filled with humor. Some of the Coyote stories combine the sacred and profane and infuse it all with great humor.
Kindness: There are many stories within the Tribal histories that tell of great kindness for those who couldn’t care for themselves, like orphans and elders. The Tribes’ tradition was for a hunter to bring meat back to camp and placing it in the center of the camp then the leader would divide the meat so everyone would have a share. All were cared for within the community. Children, elders, and those less fortunate were treated with helpfulness, gentleness and thoughtfulness, these were signs of great personal strength.
Level Headedness: Level headedness means a person is calm, sensible, and self-possessed. A levelheaded person is strongly grounded in and comfortable with his or her culture but is also contemporary in outlook. A levelheaded person does not take excessive risks and tends to foster reconciliation, equity, and peaceful coexistence within his or her community.
Listening: Listening is the process of giving one’s full attention to what one hears. It is like what a deer does when it hears something and freezes for a long time, moving its ears to fully capture and understand the sound. It means taking full notice of what you are hearing, thinking about it, and considering or interpreting it.
Observation: Observation is the process of observing something carefully, like a hunter who watches, knowing a deer is close or an angler who looks deep into a pool, knowing a hard-to-see trout might be hiding there. It involves watching, inspecting, thinking about what you are seeing, and considering or interpreting it.
Patience: An example of the Tribes patience was during hunting was the hunter’s ability to be still yet focused and alert for long periods of time. In child rearing there was extreme forbearance for kids antics, living in a time of no clocks where time was based on when things were ready took great patience.
Quiet: Quiet means being still. It means the absence of noise and bustle, being in a state where one’s voice and body are settled and silent. There is also natural quiet, when one hears peaceful natural sounds, like a stream or a bird’s song or one’s own breath, but things feel quiet and at peace. And there is pure quiet, like the quietness of a butterfly on a flower or a rough-legged hawk when it is sitting in a tree watching the world below.
Reciprocity: Reciprocity means that when we take from nature we are obligated to give something of equal or greater value in return. Reciprocity means recognizing that people and natural systems are mutually dependent and that we should respond to gifts and kindnesses, whether they be from others or natural systems, with similar benevolence of our own. As the students in the story Bull Trout’s Gift learn, a wonderful example of this principle is the Tribes’ Jocko River Restoration Project.
Relatedness: Relatedness as a tribal value refers to family relationships. Extended family members are often thought of as immediate family. This view also extends to the natural world, and the family-caring relationship is often used as a core metaphor when one thinks about one’s relationship to different elements of the natural world.
Resilience: Both people and communities can be resilient. For individuals, resilience is the ability to encounter adversity and recover, even come back stronger and healthier, like a forest after a fire. Some of the factors that make a person resilient include a positive attitude, an inclination to learn something from each situation, the ability to regulate their emotions, and to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Similarly, resilient communities have the capacity to use shocks and disturbances like climate change to spur renewal and innovative thinking. Resilient communities embrace the belief that humans and nature are not separate entities, but a single social-ecological system. They also possess enormous reservoirs for learning, innovation, and creativity that are often revealed in moments of crises. Even more important, they possess hope, courage, faith, and persistence.
Respect: Respect is the process of expressing a deep admiration and a feeling of gratitude for a person or group (for example elders or one’s community) or for the natural world (landscapes, plants, animals) or for things sacred. It means showing due regard for the feelings or wishes of that entity and not doing anything to harm it. In traditional Tribal society everyone and everything is accorded an equal and basic level of respect. There is also earned respect, an extra measure of respect that is earned because of one’s remarkable selflessness or ability.
Responsibility: Responsibility refers to the duty each individual has to his or her community and homeland. Responsibility means behaving correctly, working to protect resources and cultural traditions, providing healthy opportunities for young people, and helping to care for and watch over the young, sick, and elderly. It also means working to restore areas damaged by misuse and ensuring that there will be something good for future generations.
Sustainability: Sustainability means living in a way that does not compromise the integrity of the environment or the society in which we live. It means paying attention to how we live so we can ensure that the natural systems we depend on for our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being endure. It means working to ensure those systems remain diverse and productive over time. It means not compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs—be they physical, emotional, or spiritual.
Warmth: One of the firs things a visitor is greeted with when they come to the door is the offer of food, you always feed a visitor regardless of your food stores. The response from the visitor is often that the food is the best they have ever tasted or the water is the sweetest they have ever drank, so the warmth and good heartedness goes both ways.
Climate Change Glossary
Adapted from: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-11833685
Adaptation Action that helps cope with the effects of climate change - for example construction of barriers to protect against rising sea levels, or conversion to crops capable of surviving high temperatures and drought.
Anthropogenic climate change Man-made climate change - climate change caused by human activity as opposed to natural processes.
Atmospheric aerosols Microscopic particles suspended in the lower atmosphere that reflect sunlight back to space. These generally have a cooling affect on the planet and can mask global warming. They play a key role in the formation of clouds, fog, precipitation and ozone depletion in the atmosphere.
Baseline for cuts The year against which countries measure their target decrease of emissions. The Kyoto Protocol uses a baseline year of 1990. Some countries prefer to use later baselines. Climate change legislation in the United States, for example, uses a 2005 baseline.
Biofuel A fuel derived from renewable, biological sources, including crops such as maize and sugar cane, and some forms of waste.
Black carbon The soot that results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass (wood, animal dung, etc.). It is the most potent climate-warming aerosol. Unlike greenhouse gases, which trap infrared radiation that is already in the Earth's atmosphere, these particles absorb all wavelengths of sunlight and then re-emit this energy as infrared radiation.
Business as usual A scenario used for projections of future emissions assuming no action, or no new action, is taken to mitigate the problem. Some countries are pledging not to reduce their emissions but to make reductions compared to a business as usual scenario. Their emissions, therefore, would increase but less than they would have done.
Cap and trade An emission trading scheme whereby businesses or countries can buy or sell allowances to emit greenhouse gases via an exchange. The volume of allowances issued adds up to the limit, or cap, imposed by the authorities.
Carbon capture and storage The collection and transport of concentrated carbon dioxide gas from large emission sources, such as power plants. The gases are then injected into deep underground reservoirs. Carbon capture is sometimes referred to as geological sequestration.
Carbon Cycle Circulation of carbon atoms through the Earth systems as a result of photosynthetic conversion of carbon dioxide into complex organic compounds by plants, which are consumed by other organisms, and return of the carbon to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, decay of organisms, and combustion of fossil fuels.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) Carbon dioxide is a gas in the Earth's atmosphere. It occurs naturally and is also a by-product of human activities such as burning fossil fuels. It is the principal greenhouse gas produced by human activity.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent Six greenhouse gases are limited by the Kyoto Protocol and each has a different global warming potential. The overall warming effect of this cocktail of gases is often expressed in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent - the amount of CO2 that would cause the same amount of warming.
Carbon footprint The amount of carbon emitted by an individual or organisation in a given period of time, or the amount of carbon emitted during the manufacture of a product.
Carbon intensity A unit of measure. The amount of carbon emitted by a country per unit of Gross Domestic Product.
Carbon leakage A term used to refer to the problem whereby industry relocates to countries where emission regimes are weaker, or non-existent.
Carbon neutral A process where there is no net release of CO2. For example, growing biomass takes CO2 out of the atmosphere, while burning it releases the gas again. The process would be carbon neutral if the amount taken out and the amount released were identical. A company or country can also achieve carbon neutrality by means of carbon offsetting.
Carbon offsetting A way of compensating for emissions of CO2 by participating in, or funding, efforts to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. Offsetting often involves paying another party, somewhere else, to save emissions equivalent to those produced by your activity.
Carbon sequestration The process of storing carbon dioxide. This can happen naturally, as growing trees and plants turn CO2 into biomass (wood, leaves, and so on). It can also refer to the capture and storage of CO2 produced by industry. See Carbon capture and storage.
Carbon sink Any process, activity or mechanism that removes carbon from the atmosphere. The biggest carbon sinks are the world's oceans and forests, which absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the Earth's atmosphere.
Certified Emission Reduction (CER) A greenhouse gas trading credit, under the UN Clean Development Mechanism programme. A CER may be earned by participating in emission reduction programmes - installing green technology, or planting forests - in developing countries. Each CER is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.
CFCs The short name for chlorofluorocarbons - a family of gases that have contributed to stratospheric ozone depletion, but which are also potent greenhouse gases. Emissions of CFCs around the developed world are being phased out due to an international control agreement, the 1989 Montreal Protocol.
Clean coal technology Technology that enables coal to be burned without emitting CO2. Some systems currently being developed remove the CO2 before combustion, others remove it afterwards. Clean coal technology is unlikely to be widely available for at least a decade.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) A program that enables developed countries or companies to earn credits by investing in greenhouse gas emission reduction or removal projects in developing countries. These credits can be used to offset emissions and bring the country or company below its mandatory target.
Climate change A pattern of change affecting global or regional climate, as measured by yardsticks such as average temperature and rainfall, or an alteration in frequency of extreme weather conditions. This variation may be caused by both natural processes and human activity. Global warming is one aspect of climate change.
Climate Forecast A prediction about average or extreme climate conditions for a region in the long-term future (seasons to decades).
Climate System The matter, energy, and processes involved in interactions among Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and Earth-Sun interactions.
Climate Variability Natural changes in climate that fall within the normal range of extremes for a particular region, as measured by temperature, precipitation, and frequency of events. Drivers of climate variability include the El Niño Southern Oscillation and other phenomena.
Climate The long-term average of conditions in the atmosphere, ocean, and ice sheets and sea ice described by statistics, such as means and extremes.
CO2 See carbon dioxide.
Dangerous climate change A term referring to severe climate change that will have a negative effect on societies, economies, and the environment as a whole. The phrase was introduced by the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which aims to prevent "dangerous" human interference with the climate system.
Deforestation The permanent removal of standing forests that can lead to significant levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) A scheme set up to allow the trading of emissions permits between business and/or countries as part of a cap and trade approach to limiting greenhouse gas emissions. The best-developed example is the EU's trading scheme, launched in 2005. See Cap and trade.
Feedback loop In a feedback loop, rising temperatures on the Earth change the environment in ways that affect the rate of warming. Feedback loops can be positive (adding to the rate of warming), or negative (reducing it). The melting of Arctic ice provides an example of a positive feedback process. As the ice on the surface of the Arctic Ocean melts away, there is a smaller area of white ice to reflect the Sun's heat back into space and more open, dark water to absorb it. The less ice there is, the more the water heats up, and the faster the remaining ice melts.
Flexible mechanism Instruments that help countries and companies meet emission reduction targets by paying others to reduce emissions for them. The mechanism in widest use is emissions trading, where companies or countries buy and sell permits to pollute. The Kyoto Protocol establishes two flexible mechanisms enabling rich countries to fund emission reduction projects in developing countries - Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Fossil fuels Natural resources, such as coal, oil and natural gas, containing hydrocarbons. These fuels are formed in the Earth over millions of years and produce carbon dioxide when burnt.
G77 The main negotiating bloc for developing countries, allied with China (G77+China). The G77 comprises 130 countries, including India and Brazil, most African countries, the grouping of small island states (Aosis), the Gulf states and many others, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Geological sequestration The injection of carbon dioxide into underground geological formations. When CO2 is injected into declining oil fields it can help to recover more of the oil.
Global average temperature The mean surface temperature of the Earth measured from three main sources: satellites, monthly readings from a network of over 3,000 surface temperature observation stations and sea surface temperature measurements taken mainly from the fleet of merchant ships, naval ships and data buoys.
Global energy budget The balance between the Earth's incoming and outgoing energy. The current global climate system must adjust to rising greenhouse gas levels and, in the very long term, the Earth must get rid of energy at the same rate at which it receives energy from the sun.
Global dimming An observed widespread reduction in sunlight at the surface of the Earth, which varies significantly between regions. The most likely cause of global dimming is an interaction between sunlight and microscopic aerosol particles from human activities. In some regions, such as Europe, global dimming no longer occurs, thanks to clean air regulations.
Global warming The steady rise in global average temperature in recent decades, which experts believe is largely caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The long-term trend continues upwards, they suggest, even though the warmest year on record, according to the UK's Met Office, is 1998.
Global Warming Potential (GWP) A measure of a greenhouse gas's ability to absorb heat and warm the atmosphere over a given time period. It is measured relative to a similar mass of carbon dioxide, which has a GWP of 1.0. So, for example, methane has a GWP of 25 over 100 years, the metric used in the Kyoto Protocol. It is important to know the timescale, as gases are removed from the atmosphere at different rates.
Greenhouse gases (GHGs) Natural and industrial gases that trap heat from the Earth and warm the surface. The Kyoto Protocol restricts emissions of six greenhouse gases: natural (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane) and industrial (perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride).
Greenhouse effect The insulating effect of certain gases in the atmosphere, which allow solar radiation to warm the earth and then prevent some of the heat from escaping. See also Natural greenhouse effect.
Hockey stick The name given to a graph published in 1998 plotting the average temperature in the Northern hemisphere over the last 1,000 years. The line remains roughly flat until the last 100 years, when it bends sharply upwards. The graph has been cited as evidence to support the idea that global warming is a man-made phenomenon, but some scientists have challenged the data and methodology used to estimate historical temperatures. (It is also known as MBH98 after its creators, Michael E. Mann, Raymond S. Bradley and Malcolm K. Hughes.)
IPCC The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific body established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical, and socio-economic work relevant to climate change, but does not carry out its own research. The IPCC was honoured with the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Joint implementation (JI) An agreement between two parties whereby one party struggling to meet its emission reductions under the Kyoto Protocol earns emission reduction units from another party's emission removal project. The JI is a flexible and cost-efficient way of fulfilling Kyoto agreements while also encouraging foreign investment and technology transfer.
Kyoto Protocol A protocol attached to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets legally binding commitments on greenhouse gas emissions. Industrialised countries agreed to reduce their combined emissions to 5.2% below 1990 levels during the five-year period 2008-2012. It was agreed by governments at a 1997 UN conference in Kyoto, Japan, but did not legally come into force until 2005. A different set of countries agreed a second commitment period in 2013 that will run until 2020.
LDCs Least Developed Countries represent the poorest and weakest countries in the world. The current list of LDCs includes 49 countries - 33 in Africa, 15 in Asia and the Pacific, and one in Latin America.
LULUCF This refers to Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry. Activities in LULUCF provide a method of offsetting emissions, either by increasing the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (i.e. by planting trees or managing forests), or by reducing emissions (i.e. by curbing deforestation and the associated burning of wood).
Likely, Very Likely, Extremely Likely, Virtually Certain These terms are used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to indicate how probable it is that a predicted outcome will occur in the climate system, according to expert judgment. A result that is deemed “likely” to occur has a greater than 66% probability of occurring. A “very likely” result has a greater than 90% probability. “Extremely likely” means greater than 95% probability, and “virtually certain” means greater than 99% probability.
Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate A forum established in 2009 by US President Barack Obama to discuss elements of the agreement that will be negotiated at Copenhagen. Its members - Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and the US - account for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. The forum is a modification of the Major Economies Meeting started by the former President George Bush, which was seen by some countries as an attempt to undermine UN negotiations.
Methane Methane is the second most important man-made greenhouse gas. Sources include both the natural world (wetlands, termites, wildfires) and human activity (agriculture, waste dumps, leaks from coal mining).
Mitigation Action that will reduce man-made climate change. This includes action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or absorb greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Natural greenhouse effect The natural level of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, which keeps the planet about 30C warmer than it would otherwise be - essential for life as we know it. Water vapour is the most important component of the natural greenhouse effect.
Ocean acidification The ocean absorbs approximately one-fourth of man-made CO2 from the atmosphere, which helps to reduce adverse climate change effects. However, when the CO2 dissolves in seawater, carbonic acid is formed. Carbon emissions in the industrial era have already lowered the pH of seawater by 0.1. Ocean acidification can decrease the ability of marine organisms to build their shells and skeletal structures and kill off coral reefs, with serious effects for people who rely on them as fishing grounds.
Per-capita emissions The total amount of greenhouse gas emitted by a country per unit of population.
ppm (350/450) An abbreviation for parts per million, usually used as short for ppmv (parts per million by volume). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested in 2007 that the world should aim to stabilise greenhouse gas levels at 450 ppm CO2 equivalent in order to avert dangerous climate change. Some scientists, and many of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, argue that the safe upper limit is 350ppm. Current levels of CO2 only are about 380ppm.
Pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxide The levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution. These levels are estimated to be about 280 parts per million (by volume). The current level is around 380ppm.
Renewable energy Renewable energy is energy created from sources that can be replenished in a short period of time. The five renewable sources used most often are: biomass (such as wood and biogas), the movement of water, geothermal (heat from within the earth), wind, and solar.
REDD Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, a concept that would provide developing countries with a financial incentive to preserve forests.
Stern review A report on the economics of climate change led by Lord Nicholas Stern, a former World Bank economist. It was published on 30 October 2006 and argued that the cost of dealing with the consequences of climate change in the future would be higher than taking action to mitigate the problem now.
Technology transfer The process whereby technological advances are shared between different countries. Developed countries could, for example, share up-to-date renewable energy technologies with developing countries, in an effort to lower global greenhouse gas emissions.
Tipping point A tipping point is a threshold for change, which, when reached, results in a process that is difficult to reverse. Scientists say it is urgent that policy makers halve global carbon dioxide emissions over the next 50 years or risk triggering changes that could be irreversible.
Twenty-twenty-twenty (20-20-20) This refers to a pledge by the European Union to reach three targets by 2020: (a) a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; (b) an increase in the use of renewable energy to 20% of all energy consumed; and (c) a 20% increase in energy efficiency. The EU says it will reduce emissions by 30%, by 2020, if other developed countries also pledge tough action.
UNFCCC The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is one of a series of international agreements on global environmental issues adopted at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The UNFCCC aims to prevent "dangerous" human interference with the climate system. It entered into force on 21 March 1994 and has been ratified by 192 countries.
Vulnerability The degree to which physical, biological, and socio-economic systems are susceptible to and unable to cope with adverse impacts of climate change.
Weather The state of the atmosphere with regard to temperature, cloudiness, rainfall, wind and other meteorological conditions. It is not the same as climate which is the average weather over a much longer period.
Weather Forecast A prediction about the specific atmospheric conditions expected for a location in the short-term future (hours to days).