Weathering Change

Have you wondered, like I have, why our Presidential candidates haven’t even discussed climate change?  Their silence is deafening. That’s even though poll after poll shows deep concern about climate change:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of Americans, including 65% of independents, see solid evidence of global warming, up 10% in the last 3 years. That’s according to a new Pew Research Center poll.
  • Government action to regulate the release of greenhouse gases from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming is supported by 74% of Americans, according to an August poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Among sportsmen, a conservative-leaning group, two in three (66%) believe we have a moral responsibility to confront global warming to protect our children’s future. Additionally, 69% agree the U.S. should reduce its carbon emissions that contribute to global warming and threaten fish and wildlife habitat.

New York City’s three-time mayor, Michael Bloomberg, had this to say today, two days after  ‘Frankenstorm’ Sandy blew through his city:

“Our climate is changing,” he wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”    

                             Meet Frank…

New York’s Governor Cuomo got the message by replying: “It’s a longer conversation, but I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality. Extreme weather is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable.”                                                                                                                                                              

If governor’s and mayors are willing to admit the reality of it, why not our national candidates? I’m so tired of waiting for our government to step up and take a stand and lead the citizens of this country to take steps to alleviate the inevitable suffering that’s begun and will continue to happen because of the frequency and severity of droughts and crop failures, heat waves, wildfires and storms.  Too many federal policies are moving us in the wrong direction and making communities and wildlife more vulnerable.

So, what can we do? It will require significant changes in how we live our lives, so we must start by taking responsibility for our carbon emissions and footprints. All of the following suggestions offer positive results to us as individuals AND collectively, as well as opportunities to ‘live more with less’. I like that! Living more with less appeals to me on many levels, and I’ll be writing more extensively about these ideas in future posts, so for now, I hope you’ll just read ’em and give them serious consideration…

1. Plant native trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe

2. Drive less-driving a hybrid car twice as much because you get twice as much mileage from a gallon of gas doesn’t reduce your emissions!

3. Eat a plant-based diet or at least eat less meat-beef cattle produce a comparable amount of methane in a day as a car

4. Switch to renewable or sustainable fuels for heating your home’s water, cooking and heating and  make the ‘Green Energy Switch’ for just four dollars from your local energy supplier. That’s one Starbucks coffee. TVA offers the credits here:  http://www.tva.gov/greenpowerswitch/green_formres.htm

5. Turn down the heat, turn up the AC-Heating and air conditioning draw more than half of the energy that a home uses in the United States. Give cuddle duds and sweaters for Christmas gifts this year.

6. Insulate and caulk. Install window quilts, insulating curtains, draft dodgers, foam receptacle covers, blinds or awnings to block cold and/or sun.

7. Replace compact fluorescent bulbs with even more energy-efficient LED’s. They’ve really come down in price- I even saw strings of LED Christmas lights at Family Dollar today for $2.50

8. Get out of debt and learn to live beneath your means. Downsize your home, your car, your stuff. In other words…

Someone said to me just today: “Our lives are filled with cheap plastic crap from China”.  Amen! Reducing your debt load can also reduce your stress levels, the hours you need to work, the clutter in your home and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as well.

9. Act globally, eat locally. If you shop at a supermarket, the food you buy may travel in a plane from the other side of the world, burning fossil fuels the entire trip. Grow your own or shop at a local farmers markets,  and you will find fresh and healthy food, and help save our climate.

10. It’s time we put some serious pressure on politicians, locally, nationally and internationally, to implement policies that support a transition to worldwide sustainable energy. VOTE WISELY ON TUESDAY! Be the change you want to see.


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