Earth Day 2015! A day of hope for the future, but only if we join together and undertake the mission of the new millennium. We must do more than hope and care, we must act.
A good start is finding out what is really happening. So here is a link to the report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. ( http://www.ipcc.ch/ )
The news is not good: Climate Change is real. Human activity is the primary cause. Time is running out. We MUST reduce carbon emissions. We have no choice in the matter.
I know this sounds discouraging, but please don't stop reading now...there is good news too, but first....
The report states: "Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and the ecosystem."
The ecosystem is what allows us to survive on this planet. We need it. Trying to preserve the ecosystem is not an idealistic, do-gooder, tree-hugger nice idea. It is essential to life on this planet as we know it. This is not rhetoric.
And here is the Good News: THERE IS STILL TIME TO REDUCE THE SEVERITY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IF WE TAKE ACTION NOW. We can make a difference if we choose to.
As individual citizens, we can begin to find ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Here's an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Turn off and unplug all your electric items for one hour a week. If every household in the U.S did this for one year, we would prevent close to 12 billion pounds of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere! (Here is a youtube video I made explaining this - www.youtube.com/watch?v=XluJOQQzH80. #DoNothingWithMe)
Some other things we can do:
- Stop drinking bottled water and conserve water at home.
- Eliminate or reduce our use of all kinds of plastic.
- Recyle and re-use.
- Walk more and drive less.
- Use less electricity.
- Keep our heat set to lower temperatures and our air conditioners set to higher temps.
- Go solar. If we can't have solar panels installed where we live, we can join a solar garden. This is an innovation that is growing in popularity.
- Ask our electric companies if they have contracts with solar, hydro and wind energy providers.
- Grow herbs and vegetables in our own gardens, or in community gardens.
- Compost and forego the use of chemical fertilizers
- Buy locally-produced food.
- Learn about regenerative agriculture practices and support farmers who use them
These may be seem like small steps to solve a huge problem, but it is said that big changes have small beginnings.
Human history has proven this countless times. Every one is familiar with the saying that the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.
It is time for each of us to take that step because the time has come for us to act.
We are the leaders we have been waiting for - you and I and everyone who lives on this planet at this point in history has an incredible opportunity to make a difference for all of humanity. I believe we can, and I know we must.
And here is some more GOOD NEWS ~~~~
The issue of climate change will be the vehicle that ushers us into an era of peace.
We must work together as humans to preserve the environment that allows us to survive on the earth. This goal should surpass all others. It must take precedence over political, religious, national, and cultural differences. We must unite to save ourselves.
The task for all humans who are living on earth during this period of change is to renounce violence and division so that we can slow the pace of global warning and create sustainable systems of adaptation that will enable humans everywhere to thrive.
In other words our biggest challenge may turn out to be our biggest blessing!
Slowing the pace of global warming provides us with the incredible opportunity to work together in peace as inhabitants of the same amazing planet....the planet that provides us all with sustenance; that gives all of us immeasurable beauty to behold on a daily basis; that supports over 7 billion people; that became your home, your only real home, the day you were born. Even after you die, your body will eventually return to the earth and become part of this planet. You are part of it and it is part of you.
And, even though, there are so many things that confuse us about what it means to be humans living on Mother Earth together, we are part of each other.
We are inextricably tied, one to another, each of us to all of us, because we share the Earth as our home.
Our task lies shining before us - save the ecosystem that sustains us all. People from every country, every village, every tribe, every family - each one, and every one, we all have a part to play in working together to save our home. We can not wait. The time is now.
Jan Krause Greene
Author of I Call Myself Earth Girl