Friday, October 30, 2009

A Great Day, and More Work To Do

Thanks to all those who participated in the planet's most widespread day of political action ever- with over 5,200 events in 181 countries! There was scant to no mainstream media coverage of Santa Fe's action involving 350 people, but there was a huge amount of coverage worldwide, including front-page stories in the New York Times and International Herald Tribune and top stories on Google News and CNN World online. Thanks to Barbara Wold for coverage on her blog Democracy for New Mexico. Organizers posted photos to from Papua New Guinea to New Jersey, Botswana to Brooklyn, Antarctica to China. Go see them--they're amazing and inspiring! And if you haven't contacted your Senators to demand the strongest climate legislation they can deliver, click here to do that. See my Aug. 28 post for more info.

Now, back to refuting myths, which I started in my Oct. 16 post. Myth #2: CO2 is not a major cause of climate change. Ads on TV and sites on the Internet proclaim this myth. But that's just what it is, a myth.

Fact: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (an international group of climate scientists established by the UN Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization), "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations." CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas, according to the IPCC and many other sources. If you're worried about the phrase "very likely," realize that the IPCC has a reputation for being conservative, because it can only report what all its many scientist from all over the world agree on.

Fact: The US National Academy of Sciences along with 10 other national science academies proclaimed in 2005 that the evidence for human-caused global warming is strong enough for governments to take rapid action.

Fact: 97% of US climate scientists surveyed agree that human activity has been a significant factor in rising average global temperatures.
Send us your thoughts and
Stay cool,

Friday, October 23, 2009

International Day of Climate Action October 24

"As far as we can tell, you'll be part of the single most widespread day of political action about any issue that our planet has ever seen," if you join the nearest action. So says Bill McKibben, the influential environmentalist and writer who started the 350 campaign, and with good reason. The International Day of Climate Action and broadcast the message that we have to limit CO2 (carbon dioxide) to 350 ppm (parts per million) in the atmosphere in order to maintain the planet close to the way it's been as civilization has evolved. This is a stiff challenge, as CO2 levels are currently at 390 ppm. However, there will be over 4,000 events in over 175 countries October 24 to bring the message to world leaders that we want a strong new treaty to limit climate change when they gather in Copenhagen in December. Click on this link and scroll down to see some great photos of the actions that are already happening around the world: Also follow that link to join an action in your community.

In Santa Fe, meet at the Center for Contemporary Art, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, at 1 p.m. (noon if you want to volunteer) for a human 350 postcard photo, march to the Roundhouse and rally. Bring signs that say 350, ride your bike or the bus as far as you can, and wear green or blue. Click here for more info. See you there!

I'll continue countering myths next week.

Stay cool,

Friday, October 16, 2009

Global Warming Myths and Facts

Due to the persistent publicizing of myths and misleading statements about climate change, whether or not humans are the cause, and whether we can do something about it (including those annoying and reckless ads proclaiming CO2 is Green), and due to the fact that I presented this information at church last Sunday, I'll be posting some common myths about global warming and the facts that refute them. Remember the international Day of Action on climate change Saturday, Oct. 24! Here in Santa Fe, it starts at 1 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Santa Fe Trail. See last week's post for more info. Hope to see you there!

1. Myth: The Earth isn't really warming. This myth has been bolstered by a controversy over how much temperatures have been increasing or whether they have possibly been cooling over the last several years to a decade. In any case, it requires at least a 30-year period to determine a climate pattern, as opposed to a weather pattern. Also watch out for myths based on local trends. Conclusions about global warming are based on worldwide and hemisphere-wide data.

Fact: "According to all major temperature reconstructions published in peer-reviewed journals, the increase in temperature in the 20th century and the temperature in the late 20th century is the highest in the record." (Wikipedia; also see the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, RealClimate and many others). The actual temperature record goes back to 1850. Since then, scientists have measured tree rings, ice layers, coral reefs, and other data from all over the world and calibrated it to these temperatures. They can then use older tree ring, ice, and other data to tell what temperatures were in the past. Based on this data, global average temperatures are the highest they've been in at least 1,000 years.

I'll continue this series next week. Until then, post your thoughts in Comments and
Stay cool,

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 24th World Climate Action Day

On October 24, 2009, there will be actions all over the world to let leaders know that we want serious action on global warming! Click here to find an action in your area. In Santa Fe, people from nonprofits, schools, and with no affiliation are meeting at 1 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 1050 Old Pecos Trail, for a human postcard photo, march to the Roundhouse and rally until 4 p.m. Ride your bike or take the bus as far as you can to get there (I plan to do both)! Global leaders are meeting in Copenhagen in December to write a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto agreement. Recent talks leading up to this meeting ended without much agreement, so our voices are needed to show leaders how important this is. The US, although the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases overall and per capita, does not participate in the Kyoto treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which 192 countries have signed, so we in the US especially need to make our voices heard.

I'll be participating in an adult education forum on global warming and reducing our carbon footprint at the United Church of Santa Fe with two other members of the church at 9:45 a.m. this Sunday, October 11. Come if you can, send me your comments, and
Stay cool,

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good news! While the country's been preoccupied with health care debate (a very important topic), the Senate has still been working on ACES (the American Clean Energy and Security Act), the global warming reduction bill that passed the House earlier this year. A draft of the bill the Senate is working on calls for deeper reductions than the House version--20% by 2020. This is just a draft, however, and the Senate is already subject to strong lobbying by the fossil fuel industry and others to weaken the bill. Please, if you haven't already, contact your Senators and urge them to enact the strongest possible bill that includes a cap-and-trade system for limiting carbon emissions. Cap-and-trade has proven successful in Europe, despite coverage in the US to the contrary. See my August 28 post for more information on this bill. Contact your Senators here. Tell them what you're doing to reduce global warming, and that you expect the government to do its part, too.

I ride the bus twice a week and ride my bike home from work those days to reduce global warming and to get exercise. It was hard to get started, but it's been fun to actually do! Today I got a ride to the Chavez Center from Hank, rode my bike to the coffee shop to do this, and am taking the bus & bike home. It's fun to get out in the community rather than spending time alone in the car or at home. Also, my internet is down (equipment failure)! We should have it up again within a couple of days, so send me your thoughts and
Stay cool,