Sunday, November 24, 2013

It just ain’t as much fun as twerking -- 5 pieces of climate change news that you might have missed

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While our local news outlets have been busy providing us with important news (ie.  the definition of twerking, which stores will open on Thanksgiving for Black Friday, and why Toronto’s mayor thinks he should stay in office), there have actually been some important news stories on the topic of climate change (an issue that will affect every one of the 7 billion people on Earth).  Here are a few articles/posts/reports from the past several months that you might want to check out:
  1. The UNEP and World Meteorological Organization’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its 2013 report.  From the Summary for Policy Makers, “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.”
  2. A paper published in the journal Nature in October predicted when we might see higher temps as the “norm” in areas around the world.  This paper from researchers at the University of Hawaii sheds new light on the urgency of needed changes in human contributions to climate change.  (Mora, C., et al.  2013.  “The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability”  Nature 502, 183-187.)
  3. The Warsaw Climate Change Conference was held in November.  Check this site for updates.
  4. The coal industry staged a protest against EPA’s new rules to control carbon emissions. It’s good to be acquainted with both sides of the argument!
  5. Energy Star has begun its Do 1 Thing campaign with tips on what you can do in your home to reduce energy waste (and, thus, climate change).  Topics covered so far include lighting and simple insulation tips.
As we all know well, our Federal government representatives are a bit too busy at this time to deal with issues like climate change.  Climate change is definitely an area in which we must “Think Globally. Act Locally.”  What’s going on in your neighborhood?  Any new building projects that need a greenmomster to ask about energy efficiency?  I know in my town of Vienna VA, they’re designing a vision for our main street – fortunately they’re considering environmental issues and listening to town residents, but attendance by greenmomsters at town meetings is essential!  What about your local energy provider?  Up and down the east coast of the U.S., wind energy is on the verge of success – why not encourage your energy provider and local officials to support this option?
Nope, climate change might not be quite as entertaining as Mileys’ latest antics, but I’m guessing your grandchildren will be glad you paid attention to the less glamorous stuff.


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