Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Climate Change

More on climate change or global warming.  You know, it's interesting.  They started out calling it global warming, and then they started calling it climate change, and these are kind of "buzz words" that get people all riled up and they fall into different camps on whether or not they "believe" climate change is really happening.  I personally prefer to call it climate change because some people hear "global warming" and think that because they've had record cold winters lately, the planet can't possibly be warming.  This is a confusion about weather vs. climate and a general lack of information about the topic.

I'm surprised at the variety of info I've run across in my research about climate change as a "hoax".  I'm sorry, that's bull.  It is very well established, and look at the weather this week if you're not convinced.

Today's Weather.com forecasts (click to go there)

Huge heat waves are becoming more and more common, sea level is actually rising like it or not, ice is melting, hurricanes have been going crazy the past few years due to the warmer ocean water feeding the storms, the earth is getting warmer.  If you're unfamiliar with this here is an excellent overview in 17 minutes.  You can also see my previous post which has a 3 minute overview from National Geographic.

I have been delving deep in to the world of climate change with all this research, and to be quite honest it's gotten me scared.  Scared because most of the world seems so unconcerned.  And they continue with the lifestyle they've always had with no regard to the environment, or even less "tree hugger" factors such as the fact that fossil fuels are exhaustible.  That means they won't last forever.  At some point they will run out.  But long before that happens, the seas and temperatures will rise even more- perhaps so high that many of us won't be able to survive.

Coal Plant...can I just say?  Ew.  (Click for source and an article about coal power issues in Georgia
Did everyone else know that a huge portion of the power created in the world is still done by burning COAL?  I thought that was an archaic method we had gotten past and stopped using long ago because we know how disgusting and bad for everyone's health it is. You can go here to the US Energy Information Administration website and click on your state to find out what kind of power is being used.  It also shows you what renewable energies could be used in your area.  Here are a couple examples.  Notice the legend showing the types of energy, as well as the various shading across the state which indicates what types of renewable energies could be harnessed there.

California sources of energy:

 Texas sources of energy:

Oregon sources of energy:

Please go to this site if you would like to see your state's results.  You may be surprised.  Writing to the power company and congress could be a good idea.
If you are not from the US, visit the International Energy Agency site to see if your country is a member of the agency and find some info for your area.

I know there have been issues of "eco scaring" or "eco phobia", whatever the terms are... well I think people should be scared.  It might help if they had a little fear to motivate them to turn the lights off, stop buying (and making) gas guzzling SUV's, ride a bike, and recycle.  I do think there are a good number of people who are conscious of these things and I salute them.
I will have to strike a balance with my project to be able to get the information across without turning people away.  I am shocked at politicians who I don't much like anyway, and the way they try to cover up climate science.  Scientists can't even use the phrases "climate change" and "sea level rise", and they have to include the last 100 years of data which skews the seriousness of the situation that is quickly escalating.
Watch the video and realize that you can make a difference- the sea level is still going to rise and it's going to get hot (and already is), but if we don't stop our emissions, it's going to get so bad that I don't think any of us humans will even be here.

If you'd like to learn more, there is a two episode BBC documentary TV show that is really awesome and it looks at every angle.  It's entertaining and enlightening.  They're an hour each.  Well worth your time in my opinion.

Climate Wars episode 1:

Climate Wars episode 2:

I hope that some of this information has been helpful.  I hope that people will become more educated on this issue and take some action.  Since I'm working on this I'm sure there will be more posts to come that in the near future will include some helpful information on action items you can take beyond what most already know.  Such as stop driving as much, use reusable shopping bags and water bottles, recycle, plant trees, buy products with less packaging, etc.  I'm hoping to find some more info on products and companies that are ecologically responsible and worth supporting, so if I find info I'll be sure to post it.  If you know of any resources PLEASE let me know.  Thanks for reading, please click on the comments below and leave your own.  You can also follow this blog with the links on the right.  Happy 4th!

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