If you wish to prevent further global warming, you must be willing to set aside the cultural norms by which you currently live, and accept that you and everyone you know must sooner or later learn to live on a fraction of the energy you currently consume. By all counts, there is no other way.
The earth is large but finite. The result of the enormous human population and the environmental impact of our current way of life is that we are rapidly extinguishing the Earth’s biodiversity and degrading most ecosystems, creating a bleak future for ourselves.
There are numerous ways in which our learning to live with less will take place; there is no single, magic button solution that will solve the problem of global warming. The following tips discuss some of most potent possibilities, in that implementing them will cut out or reduce some of your most significant personal contributions to global warming:
Global Warming Prevention Tip #1: Sell your car
Yup, the past century of personal motorized travel has been a very convenient, luxurious, and enjoyable demonstration of grossly unsustainable human activity. According to the Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.doe.gov/), the transportation sector overtook industry as the biggest US producer of carbon emissions in 1999, and motor fuel accounts for 60% of total US production of carbon emissions over the past 20 years. You probably contribute to these emissions in a variety of ways, but you have the greatest ability to reduce the role you play in this by changing how you relate to your car.
One of the best alternatives to owning your own car is to join a car co-op. In fact, car co-ops now operate in a growing number of cities around the world. Go here to find the closest car sharing option to you: http://www.carsharing.net/where.html
No care sharing going on in your area? You can start your own–check out http://www.relocalize.net/guide/carcoop for a primer.
If you cannot yet relinquish your car, make mileage efficiency the top deciding factor in choosing a vehicle, and start working now on any changes you need to make in your life to let you get rid of your car as soon as possible.
Public transportation is the only reasonable, long-term solution to the majority of our transport needs. It is slowly improving as US cities confront the impacts of an infrastructure built around cars and trucks. It will only get better when you demand adequate services; vote with your feet (and bring all your friends!) to demonstrate the need.
Global Warming Prevention #2: Buy local, eat local
You may have noticed the proliferation of farmer’s markets around the country over the past decade or so. This is not just a quaint fad, but rather a vital, direct-action opportunity to reduce your global warming impact and increase local food security. When you purchase from your local area, you not only reduce the amount of carbon emissions required to support your lifestyle, you also help to keep money in your community.
The long-distance transport of food and other goods comes with a heavy ecological cost;the average meal on your plate in the US has traveled 2000 miles to get to you, which helps to explain why every calorie of food you consume costs an average of ten calories of energy to produce it. That imbalance fuels the global warming fire by adding far more carbon to the atmosphere than is necissary to meet your dietary needs.
One great resource to help you buy and eat more locally is: http://www.localharvest.org/
A partial change is better than no change; you probably can’t eliminate processed and imported goods from your life tomorrow, but the more needs you can meet locally, the more you reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the prevention of further global warming.
Global Warming Prevention Tip #3: Make your local government part of the solution
No politician interested in reelection is going to sponsor the kind of legislation required to alleviate our massive responsibility for global warming without an organized citizenry pushing for better climate legislation. Only when citizen activism shifts this topic into the mainstream will the government move to act on it substantively. Influcing the federal government on this issue may seem daunting, but pushing your local government to take action on global warming may bear fruit quickly (for help, check out http://www.coolcities.us).
Your personal action matters. Sell your car, buy your food from local sources, and pressure your governments to act. Most important of all, be vocal with friends, family, and strangers alike about why you’re making these changes, and what is at stake.
Many people are making changes to combat climate change, but we need you to join us right away. Start here and now. It can be done.
To conclude, do you know that you can easily reduce your carbon footprint, by swapping or renting items, instead of buying and dumping?
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