Archive for global warming

Dehydration?

“An epic drought in Georgia threatens the water supply for millions.

Florida doesn’t have nearly enough water for its expected population boom.

The Great Lakes are shrinking.

Upstate New York’s reservoirs have dropped to record lows.

And in the West, the Sierra Nevada snowpack is melting faster each year.”

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It is estimated that 36 states will face water shortages within five years. Droughts, rising temperatures and a rising population all have contributed to the potential water crisis.

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Florida, California and Texas combined use 1/4 of the United States water. Making me ask, “HEY guys! What about the 47 rest of us??”

Desalination, recycling, and conservation are all solutions to the problem.

 

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But why is this happening?

1. Rising temperatures have caused glaciers to melt, and the sea level to rise. As the sea level rises, it pushes saltwater into the underground freshwater supply.

2. When landscapes are paved for roads, water can no longer penetrate the ground to replenish aquifers. Instead, cities pump water back into the ocean to prevent flooding.

3. The U.S. dumps most waste water into the ocean, instead of using it for irrigation.

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Do one of these. Atleast!

Okay. So many are guilty of preaching global warming to their friends blah blah blah without telling that friend what THEY can do. 

Consider yourself a friend and consider these.

 1. Use Compacy Flourescent Bulbs

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2. Keep your tires inflated (saves gas!)

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3. Take shorter showers

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4. Plant a tree

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5. Put on a sweatshirt if you’re cold (don’t turn up the heat)

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6. Turn off your computer at night

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7. Reduce garbage and recycle

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8. Carpool

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9. Go hybrid.

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10. Tell a friend!

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Curbside pick-up.

Everything you left at the end of your driveway last Tuesday probably ended up in a landfill.But, do you really know where that is and what that means?

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27% of trash is either recycled or composted, 16% is burned and 57% is buried in landfills.

 OK. So, they just “build” a landfill? Not exactly. This is what needs to be considered:

  • the area of land necessary for the landfill
  • the composition of the underlying soil and bedrock
  • the flow of surface water over the site
  • the impact of the proposed landfill on the local environment and wildlife
  • the historical or archaeological value of the proposed site
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    The landfill is lined with several layers, including a vital plastic layer to protect the contents from the environment. A landfill is also covered with soil daily. Inside a landfill there is very little oxygen and moisture, which means trash takes much longer to decompose than normal. Landfills are not meant to decompose trash. It merely provides a place for trash to be buried.

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    There were 1,654 active landfills in the U.S. in 2005.

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     Recycling in 2005, however, diverted 79 million tons of material away from landfills.

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    Get out of your bubble!

    Every so often I feel “stuck in a bubble.” Maybe it’s an overdose of suburbia or maybe it’s the lack of diversity in my environment– but either way it’s a feeling of emtrapment. A sepration from the world around you. A blindness. You know things are going on outside of your world– but inside your domain you’re untouched by human reality. A utopia, maybe. But reality? Certainly not. 

    Get out of your bubble.

     

     Poverty is not a light topic. Some say we need the wealthy and we need  the poor so that the world can sustain, grow and function. I don’t believe that. In fact, I came along this quote not too long ago that explains why poverty is the result of injustices throughout the world:

    “The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are marginalized by our social and cultural world. They are oppressed, exploited proletariat, robbed of the fruit of their labor and despoiled of their humanity, Hence the poverty is not a call to generous relief action, but a demand that we go and build a different social order.”

     –Gustavo Guiterrez

     

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    When it comes to environmental climate change, impoverished nations will struggle the most.

     It’s okay to feel detached from the world– away from the wars, the famine, the dieases and the injustice. Consider yourself lucky to be so distant from such autrocities. But do remember, every so often, to reach outside your bubble and see the world through someone elses eyes.

     Our environmental issues aren’t just about SUVs and solar panels, they’re about the right to live.

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    the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

    This is NOT a joke.

    There is a Voluntary Human Extinction Movement, and they are serious. You want to join? Well,  all they ask is that you don’t produce children.

    VHEMT, as they are called, find it morally wrong to produce offspring. Why? Well, because according to them wildlife species are going extinct and 40,000 children die each day. They say the Earth is overpopulated and by one infant (or lack thereof) we can save the world.

    Although the movement sounds like a suicide mission (they assure us, it is not), their overall thinking might be headed in the right direction. Overpopulation contributes to everything from traffic to global warming, and it’s causing a lot of problems.

    So if your contribution to the environment is to not have children, I say right on!

    However, for those of us who dream of the perfect nuclear family, I would suggest atleast driving the kids to soccer practice in a hybrid?

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    50-Cent (carbon tax)

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     Okay, so maybe we’re not talking about rap music.

     But 50-cents is all one Congressman wants to curb the greenhouse gas problem.

    U.S. Rep John Dingell is calling for a 50-cent-per-gallon increase in gasoline tax. The proposal could generate hundreds of billions of dollars per year. More importantly, it would cause Americans to think twice about large SUVs.

     But that’s not where the plan ends.

    Dingell wants a $50 a ton tax on carbon released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.  Dingell also proposes a reduction on mortgage interests for smaller houses. This, he says, rewards those that live a lifestyle with less of a carbon footprint.

     And, did I mention Rep John Dingell is from Detroit, aka, the motor city?

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    Well, Dingell claims the car industry won’t be completely crushed. He will exempt the tax for diesel, allowing automobile manufacturers to still capitalize on extra-large cars and trucks that would utilize the chepar diesel.

    “I’m trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it’s going to have a measure of pain that you’re not going to like.”  -U.S. Rep John Dingell

     The positives?  Economists believe this is the easiest, most efficeint way to cut down on carbon and is much easier than the cap-and-trade system, which could be hard to implement.

    And the negative side?  A tax on carbon would effect everything from heating your home in the winter to the cost of your electricity.  Simply put, Rep. Dingell could be a very unpopular man.

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    Dingell also says that this is just a proposal and he anxiously waits for feedback on the plan.

    (And believe me, he’ll be getting more than feedback on this.)

     

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    Gore documentary causes alarm, lawsuit in Britain

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    The British government distributed Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to over 3,500 secondary schools in England, but not without controversy.

    Steward Dimmock, a school governor, is now sueing the British government.  He says the idea to distribute the An Inconvenient Truth is overtly political and shows bias.

    “Given the serious inaccuracies in the film and the misrepresentations it contains, the film is irredeemable.”
    -Paul Downes, a lawyer for Dimmock

    Dimmock, who has two children in British public schools, aged 11 and 14, claims only half of the Academy Award winning  movie contains “scientific fact,” while the rest, is “pure politics” and “sentimental mush.”  He believes the movie is out to influence rather than inform, and says the British government is taking part in propaganda in public schools.

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     The government argues the movie can be presented by teachers in various ways.   For instance, posing the question “what do you think?” or merely advising them that the movie is just one opinion.

    Would showing the movie fly in public schools in America?  Not if it was sanctioned by the government.   According to most, the Bush administration is more likely to censor the movie than sponsor it.

    The lawsuit does, however, bring up some great topics for discussion.   Is climate change a political issue?  Afterall, Gore claims it is much more than politics, it is a “moral issue.” And at what rate should school children be subject to climate change predictions?   They are, of course, the generation to make a difference.

    Haven’t seen it yet??? Watch the trailer here.

     

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