Ways to stop global warming
Ways to stop global warming and the most effective global warming solutions are presented. A global warming activist's guide is summarized here: "The Solution is You!" was written by Laurie David in 2006.
An Intro & The Science
Being an "environmentalist" has been given bad connotations from some groups. And sometimes this is furthered with terms like, "tree huggers" where images of hippie's with bandanas fill the mind. However whatever your religion or party affiliation, you and your children and family deserve to have clean air and water. In that way, we are all environmentalists! We should all look for ways to stop global warming.
Global warming has become the most urgent problem of our lifetime. And...it's not too late; even with 2 F in the "pipeline" (there is a lagged response from what we've put in the air and the global temperature), do we want only the 2 F or 5 F or more warming?
Some sobering facts:
- Americans are the biggest contributors to global warming, yet we do the least as a country.
- The fuel efficiency of U.S. cars has regressed to the lowest rate in 20 years (largely thanks to the popularity of SUV's)
- We continue building carbon-spewing, coal-burning power plants (which account for 40% of emissions)
- There is more CO2 in the atmosphere than at any time in the last 650,000 years, at least. 70 tons per day goes into the air.
- More CO2 means more heat, warmer oceans, larger number of intense hurricanes (like Katrina in 2005), more severe weather, more drought in some locations, more heatwaves, melting ice, rising sea levels, and flooding of low lying coastal areas (80% of world population lives in coastal areas).
- 99% of Alaska's glaciers are melting
- warmer winters mean bad news for the skiing industry with less snow. Less snow is bad for reservoirs in the Western U.S. cities depend on the snow melt to replenish in the spring.
- syrup production can be adversely affected by mild winters as the trees are "tricked" into production mode too early and quality and amount suffers.
- Other consequences of global warming: flowers bloom later; butterfly population at new low
- polar bears are suffering as their habitat becomes less favorable for hunting seals (lack of ice) and increase mortality of mother and pups. Drowning and lack of food major culprits.
- extinction of more than a million species expected by 2050
- increase in poison ivy plants and potency - happen to thrive with an increase in CO2 (don't need to convince anyone that this isn't favorable)
- agriculture can take a hit with more rapid evaporation, faster drying, but more erratic (and at times) intense precipitation
Image from coastalcare.org
The Bottom line? Some quick facts about global warming:
- Quick Fact #1: Each year (in general) exceeds the previous for record warmth.
- Quick Fact #2: We are the cause. Our lifestyles, including how we heat our buildings, drive our cars, mow our lawns, etc, etc. leads to large emissions of fossil fuels.
- Quick Fact #3: Katrina is a taste of things to come. Storms like this will be more common.
- Quick Fact #4: We can solve this as there are many ways to stop global warming. Most people go from "denial" directly to "despair". But we can't leave government and businesses to do this without pressure. Money has led to everything from subsidies to gas and oil to "misinformation campaigns" and everything in-between.
We need to free ourselves from a source of energy that not only pollutes the environment and is leading to enormous financial and health costs, but "peak oil" has come and past, so will slowly become less plentiful AND you need to negotiate with unstable countries that can be ruled by despots, to satisfy our fossil fuel dependence.
Government doesn't change until people demand it.
Our scientists are all speaking with one voice. The American people must speak with one voice too.
The day will come when young people will assign blame for this problem, but by then, we will be at a point where little can be done. That's where you come in and learn ways to stop global warming.
Why Take Action?
- Part of what compels you to do more, is anger at something that isn't "right". When it becomes obvious to scientists and even some policy makers and some business owners the we need to curb emissions, and then you see fuel-economy standards of vehicles going down, you think "how does this make sense?" Obviously it doesn't, but making $$ in the short term trumps making the world a better place for generations to come. That should tick you off. And makes you want to learn ways to stop global warming.
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) senior attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. describes "environmental problems" as the civil rights issue of our time.
- Mother Jones magazine exposed millions of $$ spent by oil companies to fund "think tanks" to create misinformation on global warming. This magazine regularly features articles on ways to stop global warming.
- Main reason for misinformation: $$$ Certain industries are going to have to change, and it's going to cost them, so they are resisting as much as possible.
- If you are being attacked, then the message must be true. Always question the messenger when you hear an attack. Who is saying it and why are they saying it?
- Ultimately, if you want to effect change, you have to get politically active too.
Ways to Stop Global Warming
- Join the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC); more membership means greater lobbying power to help positively affect environmental legislation in Washington. Buy memberships as gifts.
- Join the "Virtual March". The three goals are: get Americans to admit that the globe is warming; to acknowledge that we are causing it; and to demand from our government and business community meaningful solutions.
- Forward global warming articles to your e-mailing list. This is a simple one of the ways to stop global warming.
- Read blogs (i.e., Huffingtonpost.com) and post comments or start a blog. Write letters to the editor. Call in talk shows.
- Modify your daily lifestyle (i.e., bring mug to work and don't use paper cups, recycle, print two-sided when possible, pull chargers from walls
- Buy a hybrid car. A practical one of the ways to stop global warming.
- Give gifts that educate about global warming/the environment (i.e., DVD of movie "Inconvenient Truth", books, etc.)
- Turn off lights when leaving rooms, re-use towls, re-use packaging material
- Replace traditional light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. They use 66% less energy than traditional and last 15 times longer.
- Buy in bulk, combine trips. One of the daily or weekly ways to stop global warming.
- Buy appliances with Energy Star label
- Defrost your freezer often; only run dishwasher when full; don't preheat ovens; hang things to dry; clean vents and filters
- Think. Think about where things come from, how they get made, where they end up when thrown away.
- Use recycled/postconsumer paper
- Instead of using new plastic or paper bags from the grocery store, bring in your own. American throw away 100 billion plastic bags per year! Less than 1% of those are recycled. They are produced from petroleum and end up in a landfill.
- Recycle newspapers - one of the classic ways to stop global warming
- Get off junk mailing lists (call company to have your name removed)
- Don't use plastic water bottles for your water; use a cup and fountain/faucet
- Plant trees and don't use leaf blowers. Leaf blowers create as much emissions as driving a car 350 miles! And there's the noise pollution too.
- Support organic & local farmers. The average American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to the table.
- Run for local offices, support candidate who support environment. Check their environmental ratings through the League of Conservation Voters.
- Support "green" companies
- Calculate your carbon footprint to get a better understanding on what your lifestyle contributes. Work to reduce this. Calculate at stopglobalwarming.org or climatecrisis.net.
- Think outside the box. A popular exercise instructor in Los Angeles offered a free class in exchange for a ticket stub from An Inconvenient Truth. A woman's whose grandmother passed away asked, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to an environmental organization.
- As your local store manager to carry "all-purpose reusable" bags for people to buy and use.
image from schoolworkhelper.net
The Solution is You!
- A common complaint might be you "care about too many things" and therefore you are overwhelmed and then do nothing. The advice is to pick on thing and do it well. We are dealing with Global Warming here. But this advice applies to anything. Do your 10% at a 100% level.
- Asking the fossil fuel industry to voluntarily curb emissions by spending money and cutting into profits is not realistic. There has to be a movement for change. You have the power to choose between driving an SUV or a more energy-efficient car (hybrid is ideal). You can decide to put "money where your mouth is" and support environmental organizations, candidates, organic farmers, etc. You vote with your wallet. Will you be a full-fledged activist or will you forward e-mails to your friends. The choice is yours and is based on time, commitment to the cause, money, etc. We need all levels of action.
- There are a ton of resources to help fight climate change, including books, DVD's, web sites, and environmental groups. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, find a niche and work it hard. (a comprehensive list of resources is in the back of Laurie David's "The Solution Is You!" action guide on global warming. These give ideas on ways to stop global warming.
Good luck with you climate change action plan!