Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Global Warming - What Are You Doing?

Those of you living in Canada who sponsor children through World Vision likely get a publication called Child View. Take a look at the Spring 2007 issue. (or download it free here.)There is a great article on how we can help others in developing countries by changing some of our ways at home. I‘ll share a few of those ways below.

Shortly after reading that article I finally watched Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven’t seen it, please go out and rent it and watch it this week. The statistics are staggering. We may be headed for serious Revelation type events if we don’t change our current course of action.

Then while in an airport yesterday I noticed the cover of Time Magazine, “The Global Warming Survival Guide” is the headline. They have a list of 51 things you can do to make a difference. I’ll share a few of the ones I think are most effective.

Then this morning I went to my usual CBC.ca to see what’s going on in the news in the homeland and noticed a link to a whole section on going green. Once there the headline story was about a small town in Manitoba called Leaf Rapids. This town is the first one in Canada to ban plastic bags. It sounds like San Francisco (the city I am writing in right now) is next in line to make that same change.

As you can see there seems to finally be a pretty serious shift here, at least in the media, to the fact that climate change is real. So now it’s our turn to do our part. Hopefully all of you are already doing things to help out but here are more ideas to keep, or get, you on track.

From World Vision Canada’s Child View magazine:

Make The Connection
- A warmer world is going to affect the people in the hottest places more than anywhere else. And that’s exactly where the world’s poorest people live. By becoming more green we have the potential to offer a better life to those people.
Buy Less, Buy Locally
- Buy less and you have less waste. Easy concept. Buy items of high quality that will last longer. Look for items with minimal packaging. The transport of goods that are shipped to us is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. Support your neighbours and reduce nasty truck emissions. Note: An idea I read in the Toronto Sun was that grocery stores be mandated to put signs on their produce that indicate how far it traveled to get there.

From Time Magazine’s April 9th issue: There were 51 "things you can do", I’ve chosen 9. I picked the ones with the highest impact and that were easiest for people like you and I to accomplish today.

Open A Window
- Open a window instead of running the AC. Adjust the thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter.
Skip The Steak
- The meat industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions than transportation!!!! Eat your vegetables!
Just Say No to Plastic Bags
- A high impact easy solution
Support Your Local Farmer
- I already mentioned this one under World Vision but it’s worth mentioning again. Hit the local Farmer’s Market, help keep your neighbours and your community in business.
Remove The Tie
- Japan cut an estimated 79,000 tons of CO2 during the summer of 2005 by keeping its office temperatures at 82.4F throughout the summer. Loosen those collars and relax boys!
Shut Off Your Computer
- If you’re reading this then I know your computer is on. Save yourself some money and shut’er down when you’re not using it. That means off not sleep. While you’re at it make sure all of your other electronics and lights are in the off position too.
Rake In The Fall Colours
- Put that blower away and give your health a boost too. Use a rake, use a shovel, use your muscles, everybody wins!
Change Your Lightbulbs
- Fluorescent and LED lights use as much as 25% of the energy as standard lights. Save yourself some money and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

And last, this one is a bit of a dream but I think it’s a cool idea.

Get a Carbon Budget
- Here’s the idea. We all have a certain allowance of carbon emissions. Whether we choose to live above that allowance or below it is up to us. Live below and gain credits, live above and pay for more credits. So let’s say you bike or walk to work and gain some carbon credits. You can then sell those credits to Mr. Hummer driver since, if he wants to drive his Hummer, which is way above the allowance, he needs more credits. This way we keep a balance of carbon emissions and let the market work out the details. I’m sure there are a million things wrong with this theory but it sounds like a cool idea to me.



Kathryn 4/03/2007 7:03 PM  

Strangely enough, i had one negative response to the global warming information email i sent out to my address book. That person 'doesn't believe in global warming and finds it ridiculous to think that cow farts and humans have done anything to superheat the planet'. They also claim that Al Gore falsified many facts in his presentation. I'm just gonna think what i think and do what i can to be a good steward. . i've always been that way, but i'm going to step things up. . I take Al Gore seriously and I believe the scientific community when they say there's a crisis.

Mark,  4/03/2007 7:30 PM  

Well I must say that I've witnessed in the last few years what surely have been the mildest winters on record. Actually, I've never seen such mild winters in my life time.

To claim that global warming is just a farse ... well ... come on really?

Kathryn 4/03/2007 9:27 PM  

i too have noticed this, Mark. . i really believe this is a serious issue. For ages now the scientists have talked of the holes in the ozone, pollution in so many forms, landfill crises, ecosystem destruction, rapid extinction of species and more. I can't imagine just kind of shrugging my shoulders and thinking its all exaggerated. I agree, come on really indeed! When i was a kid i watched my father pour paint, paint thinner and other household chemicals down the laundry tub drain, no one thought anything of it. My grandfather described swimming in a creek downstream from a tannery and having to vacate the creek at the times when the tannery would dump all of its liquid dyes and chemical wastes into the creek. Those are just two examples of people's attitudes in the past. Even now the world's fishery fleets will dump their waste bilge oil in Canadian waters because they know that there will be no consequence if they do so. Some people may wish to think that none of these things happen, or that accounts of occurrences are 'falsified'. . . but wishin' don't make it so.

Krista 4/03/2007 10:22 PM  

I like the "Skip the Steak" tip. Seriously, do yourself and the environment a huge favor and go veggie often!!!

I noticed that they had these reusable grocery bags at Zehr's on the weekend! It was so exciting to see that - I totally bought a bunch and went home without a single plastic bag. The next step will be to take those reusable bags to the market instead of the grocery store...

Kathryn 4/04/2007 12:20 AM  

i noticed those bags too, K! They're 99 cents each, right? or was it $1.99? I used to have these mesh grocery bags. . had about a dozen of them and used to take my food home in those, but they weren't so good, not much capacity and the stuff was always falling out. Lately, i've been using the plastic ones and then recycling them in my blue box. I'm going to go to Zehrs and get me some of those bags!!! I agree about the red meat. . after seeing Fast Food Nation i was SO glad to be a non red meat eater!

Elliott 4/04/2007 10:39 AM  

Unfortunately not all of the scientists agree and we aren't even in the warmest period of recorded history yet. The "Medieval Warm Period" was even warmer than we are experiencing now. I must remind you that there were NO internal combustion engines then, and far less people. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo released more CO2 into the atmosphere than humans have in their entire history. I haven't seen enough evidence from the doomsayers to prove that we have had much influence one way or the other. The UN report on Global Warming that was prepared by climatologists showed that Al Gore's movie was propaganda. Al defended his numbers by saying that he had increased discussion about Global Warming among the common people. If you want to decrease pollution because you want to be a good steward, by all means do so. But follow what God and the Bible say not Al Gore....

Mark,  4/04/2007 6:07 PM  

Then I would say, please fill me in on what God and the bible say as maybe I've been misinformed.

1singularity1 4/04/2007 7:38 PM  

Its not so much about determining if global warming is real, its not about doing what is environmentally responsible, its about doing what is morally and socially and consciously responsible.

A simple and effective thing you can do to save trees is stop your junk-mail.

For a dime-a-day Green Dimes will stop your junk mail—saving you the time of shifting through mail you don't want or need, and helping to stop the pillaging of our natural resources.


Kathryn 4/04/2007 11:13 PM  

cbc.ca "The National" is running a series of shows on 'global warming'. I saw one of them tonight. Focus areas were Egypt, Australia, Israel (i didn't see the whole broadcast). There was a lot of talk of 'adaptive technology', which i think is great. I bought 10 of the 'green bags' today. They're great, hold 22 pounds each! They make them from 85% recycled plastic and the bags themselves can be recycled when they wear out.

electroluminescence 4/09/2007 9:20 PM  

brilliant ideas & tips, glenn!!
Whether global warming is happening in super fast motion or not [some people seem to think global warming won't happen.]... our world is slowly deteriorating & it won't last forever... so i agree that it is our duty & responsibility to do what we can to slow the effects down!

i hope you're having a premium day!!!


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