What To Know About Climate
Climate change is caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases that are released when fossil fuels are burned or
forests are cleared.
gases rise into the atmosphere and can remain for decades or even
centuries. As they build up, the gases create a "glass window" over the
Earth, trapping in heat that would otherwise escape. As the Earth’s
temperature rises, our climate begins to change, resulting in:
snow cover and sea ice
- Rising sea
levels and increases in water temperature
precipitation over middle and high latitudes
- Severe drought
in lower latitudes, leading to food shortages and starvation
- Faster spread
frequency of extreme precipitation
The science is clear — climate change is occurring and human activity is
the primary cause. The debate is not about whether or not climate change
is real. The question is: How devastating will its impact be on humans
and the environment?
Learn About Climate Change
What You Can Do
If human activity is the cause of climate change, then human activity
can also be the solution. Check out what you can do to save the present
and protect the future from the worst climate change impacts:
- Switch to
Green Power. There are alternatives for
customers who want to purchase green power.
For a complete list of green power options, visit the US Department
of Energy’s Web site
- Renewable Energy Credits.
You can offset your carbon
dioxide emissions by purchasing “green tags,” or compensatory energy
credits that add renewable power to the grid equal to the power you
use. Check out
your Efficiency. The best
and cheapest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to
improve your energy efficiency at home and at work.
- Go Renewable.
Check out Green America's
Building A Clean Energy Future
to learn more.
- Green Your
vanpool, take a bus, ride a train, or step on the subway. Better yet
walk or ride a bike. Using mass transit, fuel-efficient vehicles,
and your own energy to get around is a wonderful way to take control
of your impact on climate change. Americans could save 1.5 million
barrels of fuel a day if fuel economy were improved by 5 mpg.
Locally. From farm to
dinner plate, food grown in the US travels 1500 miles on average.
Distances are substantially longer for foods imported from elsewhere
in the world. [source:
Add on the energy used for packaging and refrigeration, and your
food can carry hefty carbon emissions. When you visit a farmers
market, subscribe to a CSA, or buy local produce at your grocer you
are saving thousands of miles. Just think what you save when you
purchase handcrafted goods and gifts from local producers.
- Use Your
Investor Power. If you
invest in power companies that continue to rely on coal, voice your
concerns with unsustainable technologies and ask them to disclose
their role in creating climate risks, assert that you prefer to
invest your dollar in cleaner technologies. If you invest in mutual
funds, tell the company that you expect them to vote for
sustainability on climate risk resolutions.
Green Energy Resources
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (http://www.aceee.org/)
1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Ste. 801
Washington, DC 20036
American Solar Energy Society (http://www.ases.org/)
2400 Central Ave., Ste. G-1
Boulder, CO 80301
American Wind Energy Association (http://www.awea.org/)
122 C St. NW, Ste. 380
Washington, DC 20001
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (http://www.aham.org/)
1111 19th St. NW, Ste. 402
Washington, DC 20036
Better World Club: The Environmental Auto Club
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (http://www.dsireusa.org/)
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (http://www.eere.energy.gov/)
National Arbor Day Foundation (http://www.arborday.org/)
100 Arbor Ave.
Nebraska City, NE 68410
Real Goods Renewables/GAIAM (http://www.realgoods.com/)
REPP-Renewable Energy Policy Project (http://www.repp.org/)
1612 K St. NW, #202
Washington, DC 20006
Rocky Mountain Institute (http://www.rmi.org/)
1739 Snowmass Creek Rd
Snowmass, CO 81654
Carbon Footprint Calculator (http://www.safeclimate.net/calculator)
World Resources Institute
10 G St. NE
Washington, DC 20002
Solar Living Institute (http://www.solarliving.org/)
P.O. Box 836
Hopland, CA 95449
Union of Concerned Scientists (http://www.ucsusa.org/)
2 Brattle Square
Cambridge, MA 02238-9105
Green America. All rights reserved.