How to slow threats posed by global warming – taosnews
Decisions made and actions taken today will shape the world of 2100.
Our planet has been warming dramatically since the 1850s because human activity has been putting a blanket of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. That insulating blanket must be drawn down to mitigate the destructive impact of global warming. There are solutions.
When I was born in 1937 the planet’s population was 2.3 billion and wild, open space was 66 percent of the planet. Now, 84 years later, the population has exploded to 8 billion, and open space has shrunk to a mere 35 percent. Projections are grim: population will expand to 10.9 billion by 2100.
If global warming is not reversed the future of human life on our planet is bleak. The planet will survive; we might not. How can we stop the Climate Crisis from destroying our ability to inhabit the planet?
If population growth can be slowed and if governments, industry, academia and all of us relentlessly dedicate our creativity and energy we can start drawing down that insulating blanket of greenhouse gasses and solve this problem so our children and grandchildren will have a healthy, thriving planet to enjoy.
Sir David Attenborough’s film, A Life on Our Planet, graphically describes the problem and offers hope.
“Seven actions to save the world”:
1. Put people and planet before profit.
2. Replace oil with renewable energy.
3. Embrace a sustainable lifestyle.
4. Create no-fishing zones in the ocean.
5. Farm smarter and eat less meat.
6. Protect the forests.
7. Raise people out of poverty to slow population growth.
Action is being taken on all these overarching objectives; the Paris Accords, governments, private industry, academia and more are dealing with “big picture” issues.
What’s missing, in my opinion, is concerted effort and action at the personal and family level.
We need millions of people in the developed world doing everything possible, consistently, to reduce our “carbon footprint” to help make this dream of a regenerated, joy-filled planet a reality..
The measurement standard of carbon generation is the metric tonne of carbon – 2,205 U.S. pounds. The global average of “personal use” (housing, transportation, food and services) is approximately 5 tonnes per person per year. In the U.S. we average 16.5.
The principal factors in housing are utilities; in transportation it’s fuel and the manufacture of new vehicles; in food it’s the amount of meat in the diet, and food waste. Wasted food accounts for approximately 8 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, equal to the greenhouse gas impact of the aviation industry, worldwide.
Housing – Make sure your home is well insulated. Put on a sweater rather than turning up the thermostat. Use less air conditioning. Run only full loads in the dishwasher and washing machine. Turn down the hot water heater and take shorter showers. Use the clothes dryer at low heat (or just “air dry”). LED lamps and bulbs have up to 25 times the life of incandescent, and use up to 80 percent less electricity.
Transportation – Keep your existing vehicle longer. Replace it with a used one, or buy an electric vehicle.
Food – Use less meat and pay attention to food waste.
Travel – You can buy carbon offsets (credits) for your travel and other carbon generation. A carbon credit represents the reduction/removal of one tonne of CO2 equivalent from the atmosphere.
Acquiring Carbon Credits – There are numerous options on the internet, some excellent, some bad, or even worse – scams! My provider of choice is Gold Standard goldstandard.org. Gold Standard has many projects you can support. I select one or more clean energy projects and reforestation/sequestration projects. I have, and will continue to, offset the carbon footprint of my travel.
Above all, be aware, be committed, be consistent, learn from others and share ideas and passion with others.
Its mission is to be a catalyst; energizing individuals and families to become passionately engaged in taking action to Reverse Global Warming. Our Facebook Group, Champions of The Planet, is focused on fostering the change needed to accelerate the process of “drawdown” and eliminate the existential threat to human life.
Join the conversation, take action, learn what others are doing and share your ideas.
Let’s ALL live a more environmentally conscious life. We need to pay attention individually as well as working cooperatively, to make, model, teach and encourage the behavioral changes that will slow down, and hopefully reverse the Climate Crisis. Just tweeting a “climate fact” won’t achieve anything. It’s shoveling sand against the tide, and muddles the messaging, but:
“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
— Howard Zinn
A version of this article was published in the Explorers Log of the Explorers Club – Spring 2021. George (Explorer George) Basch has lived in Taos, New Mexico, since 2006. As a youngster, he traveled extensively with his parents throughout the United States and Canada. In 1959, after earning his Mechanical Engineering degree from MIT, he made his first overseas adventure; a 10,000 Km self-guided solo trip on a Vespa motor scooter throughout Europe. He hasn’t slowed down. Now, at 84, George has visited all 7 continents and been to over 60 countries. He is most well known for founding the Himalayan Stove Project in 2010 (as a memorial to his son, Paul, who committed suicide in 1998), which provided clean burning, fuel efficient cook stoves to families in the high Himalayas of Nepal. Covid brought this successful program to an end in 2020. In its decade of existence, it impacted the lives of over 50,000 people. George is a member of the Explorers Club, which honored him and the project with it’s Citation of Merit in 2017, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of Rotary International. In his more than 60 years of global travel and Exploration George has witnessed the transformation that has happened to our planet, where the population has almost tripled, from 3 Billion when he began his travels to the 8 billion inhabitants today. In 2020, he founded Champions of the Planet, directing his energies to encouraging people to live a more sustainable lifestyle to slow down what he calls the Climate Emergency that is overwhelming our planet. He can be reached at George@ChampionsOfThePlanet.org.