The People’s Climate March

Hi folks! Sorry this post is a few days late – things have been a bit wild as I was helping to coordinate the People’s Climate March that took place in NYC this week.

Well, not just NYC. In fact, there were 2800 rallies held around the world, in 166 countries. That’s pretty nuts, huh? But in NYC, we did get about 400,000 people so that was definitely my focus!

So what was it all about?

This week, the UN is holding a summit that will be charting a path forward for global climate treaty negotiations in New York. We want those negotiations to bring about real change, not just the lip service that most governments have been paying up until now. The meetings are due to talk largely about carbon pollution.

A top advisor to the White House said that the US government is ready to ”show the world that the U.S. is leading on climate change, and to call on other leaders to step up to the plate”… except that the other main offenders in the carbon arena, China and India, aren’t attending the talks, and there’s not much to be done about that.

Regardless, it was an incredible display of solidarity, and is a shout, loud and clear, that the people want change. And we want it now! It’s a strong vote for action on this incredibly important issue.

As retired Kentucky miner Stanley Sturgill said at a press conference before the march, “Today I march because I want to behold a brighter future. We have destroyed ourselves. We have destroyed our health and I’m here because our political leaders have failed us… [but] we know together we can build our bright future.”

 

Creating Sustainability in Cities

 Environment   

Cities are increasingly where the world’s population lives. Currently it’s around half the world’s populace that live in major cities, and the UN is predicting that by 2030, that will increase to over 60%.

 

As millions and millions of people are moving out of more agricultural areas and into the cities, there are both benefits and challenges that will begin to emerge in a more pronounced way. Obviously, many positive trends have already started to show:

 

  • People who live in big cities drive less. And when they do drive, they tend to drive smaller vehicles that use less gas.

  • Living spaces in city dwellings typically require less energy to heat and cool, often because they are smaller than dwellings outside the city.

  • City dwellers use up less resources by using public transport and other publicly provided assets.

 

But there are also some negative trends that have shown up:

 

  • Traffic congestion in many cities is rising, despite fewer people driving cars – motorcycles, buses and taxis are contributing considerably to the buildup.

  • Smog is on the rise over most big cities, often creating dense clouds that filter the light and reduce the air quality in the city

  • The carbon footprint of most cities is very large, exacerbated by high volumes of flight traffic.

 

In order to move through these challenges, we’ve got to be personally proactive. Making sure that we’re taking public transport, like trains, or riding a bike whenever you can. Grow as much food as you can manage, or become part of a farming co-op to make sure your food is not contributing to the carbon footprint.

Doing Your Part to Minimize Global Warming

Doing-your-Part-to-Minimize-Global-WarmingThe earth’s temperature has been steadily increasing since the 19th century and this phenomenon has been attributed to activities such as the pollution released by automobiles, emissions of carbon monoxide from burning plastics, deforestation, and the misuse of fertilizers on agricultural land. Scientists expect that the average temperature of the Earth’s surface will continue to increase over the next fifty years. Power plants are the largest sources of harmful emissions along with gases released from the decomposition of organic wastes in landfills.

There are usable pieces of land that have turned to arid areas because of the higher temperatures. In the seas and oceans, this phenomenon has caused the excessive melting of snow and ice resulting in the increase in water levels. All these changes have made the process of predicting weather patterns more difficult. In an effort to arrest the damages of global warming, government agencies and private organizations have joined efforts to increase awareness on what people can do to reduce the damage.

Some of the alternative means that have been implemented to reduce the release of harmful emissions include the use of natural gases as an energy source for power plants. The objective is to totally replace coal which gives off harmful gases. On a personal level, households should replace their appliances with energy efficient models to contribute to a better environment by reducing and eventually eliminate heat-trapping emissions. You can also consider buying smarter cars that makes use of less gas so you can contribute to a better environment and save money as well.

Proper car maintenance goes a long way so you have to make sure that your tires are always adequately inflated. Schedule regular tune ups to keep your engine running smoothly and have other replaceable parts, such as sir filters attended to regularly. If you’re in the market for a new model, consider hybrids in your list because this gives you the advantage of better mileage and higher fuel efficiency than the traditional kind.

On your home front, you can start planting several trees around your home to get the benefit of better air. Make sure that you have good insulation in your home to get the most of your heating and cooling units. And invest in energy efficient electrical appliances to keep your electricity bills and carbon print down.Do

Maintaining Earth’s Delicate Balance

The different kinds of life forms that exist on Earth interact with each other and maintain a delicate balance that sustains life and allows us all to survive. This diversity involves ecosystems, cultures and genetic make-ups. In an amazing way, living things have managed to establish a connection that nurtures different biological processes. And any disruption in this equilibrium affects all the other life forms as well.

A perfect example of this phenomenon is the greenhouse effect. Human activity and the advent of new technologies results in the release of gases into the atmosphere. Over the years, the volume has tremendously increased because of our demand for energy sources and this caused the build-up of greenhouses gases. The concentrated levels of these gases in turn produced what we now recognize as climate change. This change is something that affects all life forms and its effects reaches far beyond human habitats.

The greenhouse effect has caused the lowering in the temperature of the oceans and the atmosphere. Seasons have also been affected as noticed by the lengthened periods compared to previous years. The sea levels have gone up in some areas as a result of ice melting faster in the poles and experts have documented shifts in the ocean and wind currents. Experts believe that all of these events can be attributed to the greenhouse effect and they are likely to affect the habitats of living organisms the world over. Any life form that fails to adjust to these climate changes will eventually become extinct.

This is what we need to understand more. The biological diversity that our planet harbors is essential to all kinds of life. What humans do impacts all other life forms on the planet which should make us more cautious and mindful of the things we do. For instance, planting trees in our gardens and backyards will benefit us directly because of the fruits that we can harvest and the shade that it provides. On a bigger perspective, this contributes to oxygen production and the removal of carbon dioxide. Walking instead of riding a car allows us to save money and is an easy form of exercise which is important for our overall health. Environmentally, this action cuts our consumption of fuel and doubly minimizes the release of harmful gases in the air, both from the energy source and as a by-product of mechanical combustion.

The Threats of Climate Change

There are a lot of factors that cause changes in our atmosphere. The increasing temperature of our planet causes harmful gases from deep beneath the earth’s surface to seep through to the upper layers. It is also affected by the changes of the Earth’s position which contributes to seasonal or climate changes. While the reasons are not all clear, it has been established that the planet’s temperature is rising. This occurrence is more commonly known as global warming.

Countries that rely on the mining of minerals are the most threatened by the changes in our planet’s climate. There are experts who have devoted much of their time to follow the occurrences of weather disturbances the world over. These includes heat waves, incidences of storm surges and bushfires. And they have come to the conclusion that human activities, specifically the burning of fossil fuels have caused the significant increase of Earth’s temperature. Some of the greenhouse gases that have increased concentrations in the atmosphere include carbon dioxide and methane.

Modern technology has allowed scientists to run programs to recreate the variables that affect our climate and study its effects closely. This study is critical in the development of policies to counter the harmful effects of climate change. There is a need to implement laws that will curb or minimize the release of harmful gases in the air. The US has been taking a stronger stance against climate change because it heavily depends on fossil fuels for its economy.

Since human activity has been pointed out as the primary source of the adverse changes in our climate, leaders from different countries has come together to find ways to reduce the harmful emissions while meeting the energy demands that come from using modern technology. In developing nations, new regulations in the construction of buildings have been implemented to make them more eco-friendly. Other efforts include planting new trees to address the problem of deforestation.