Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Humans Faulted For Global Warming - washingtonpost.com

Humans Faulted For Global Warming - washingtonpost.com

If you haven't heard of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the report released in February, then follow the link here to the Washington Post article. Here's an excerpt:

"An international panel of climate scientists said yesterday that there is an overwhelming probability that human activities are warming the planet at a dangerous rate, with consequences that could soon take decades or centuries to reverse.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of hundreds of scientists from 113 countries, said that based on new research over the last six years, it is 90 percent certain that human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the global rise in temperatures over the past half-century.

Declaring that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the authors said in their "Summary for Policymakers" that even in the best-case scenario, temperatures are on track to cross a threshold to an unsustainable level. A rise of more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels would cause global effects -- such as massive species extinctions and melting of ice sheets -- that could be irreversible within a human lifetime. Under the most conservative IPCC scenario, the increase will be 4.5 degrees by 2100."

Bottom line - the debate on "if" we are causing global climate change is over. Now the bigger challenge - what will we do about it? The good news, many people, many scientists, many governments and many corporations are now treating it as a real issue.

The first step on the road to recovery --- admitting you have a problem!

Monday, April 02, 2007

How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It.

How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It.

So, think you can't really make a difference in this whole global warming thing? Think again! Check out this excerpt from a Fast Company Article:

"Compact fluorescents emit the same light as classic incandescents but use 75% or 80% less electricity.

What that means is that if every one of 110 million American households bought just one ice-cream-cone bulb, took it home, and screwed it in the place of an ordinary 60-watt bulb, the energy saved would be enough to power a city of 1.5 million people. One bulb swapped out, enough electricity saved to power all the homes in Delaware and Rhode Island. In terms of oil not burned, or greenhouse gases not exhausted into the atmosphere, one bulb is equivalent to taking 1.3 million cars off the roads.

That's the law of large numbers--a small action, multiplied by 110 million. "

Dan and I have changed almost all of the lightbulbs in the house since we saw An Inconvenient Truth. We took the old ones to The Rescue Mission, but perhaps we should have thrown them out. Our thinking was that if someone in need of lightbulbs is shopping at the Rescue Mission, they probably aren't aware of the value of compact fluorescents.

Dan is now (right this minute) taking an inventory of the remaining traditional bulbs so that they can be replaced. Listen, it's the right thing for the environment, and for your pocketbook! Here's another excerpt from this article:

"Swirl bulbs don't just work, they pay for themselves. They use so little power compared with old reliable bulbs, a $3 swirl pays for itself in lower electric bills in about five months. Screw one in, turn it on, and it's not just lighting your living room, it's dropping quarters in your pocket. The advantages pile up in a way to almost make one giddy. Compact fluorescents, even in heavy use, last 5, 7, 10 years. Years. Install one on your 30th birthday; it may be around to help illuminate your 40th. "

One simple step to help our world, and to save money! So what's stopping you? Get the kids in on the action, screwing and unscrewing light bulbs. They know about global warming, they are learning about it in science class. And it's almost Earth Day - so go for it!