WHAT WE CAN DO TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE

The effects of climate change have worsened. Sea levels are rising faster than anticipated, methane leaks and emissions are out of control (with little to no regulation of the emitters), the Earth is warming at a rate expected to exceed the 2 degrees Celsius that is the goal of COP21 to prevent catastrophe, and vicious storms, floods, and droughts are increasingly common. “Global Weirding” is a new term for the weirdness that is happening to the Earth due to climate change.

We need to take action, and fast. We at DWWC believe these are the most important steps individuals can take:

1) Cut down on (or cut out) animal products in our diets, particularly beef and dairy. Watch Cowspiracy and you’ll understand why.

2) Cut down on CO2 emissions caused by transportation. If possible, buy or lease an electric car. Or, drive a hybrid or other fuel efficient car, and drive less. Hats off to those who ride bikes, take the bus, and walk rather than drive. Low gas prices have caused Americans to drive more, which is a tragedy. No matter what gas costs, we must cut back.

3) Go solar for your home or business. It is imperative that all nations move as fast as possible to cut the use of fossil fuels, or we may not live to regret it.

4) Support the Clean Power Plan. It’s essential to meet the goals of COP21.

5) Work to elect government representatives who will fight climate change. We need governments to develop policies that will move us to sustainable energy immediately.

6) Spread the word. Doing What We Can offers presentations on climate change and related topics that are free to the public. Contact us at 208-484-3241.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Contact your legislators, governor, and Congresspersons to: (1) Express concern about climate change and request action, and (2) Express support for the Clean Power Plan
  • If your elected representative or official doesn’t support action on climate change, VOTE ACCORDINGLY
  • Become a vegan, or at least cut back on animal food products, especially beef
  • Cut back on fossil fuel use for transportation, ie walk, ride a bike, take the bus, consolidate errands to reduce trips, carpool
  • Buy a hybrid or electric car if possible, or at least a car with good gas mileage
  • Actively participate in a group like DOING WHAT WE CAN to study climate change, bring the public’s attention to the dangers of climate change, and take group action
  • Use your influence with family, friends, co-workers to inform them about climate change and what they can do to mitigate it
  • Eat locally grown food and organic as much as possible
  • Use cloth bags at the grocery store, refuse plastic
  • Avoid buying water in plastic bottles – carry your own refillable container
  • Buy only energy efficient appliances and light bulbs, preferably LED
  • Keep the heat in your home lower in winter and warmer in summer
  • Recycle and reuse to the max possible
  • Conserve water
  • Share with others to avoid having to continually buy new stuff
  • Compost organic waste, if possible
  • Choose the products you buy carefully, reading labels and staying informed as to who produces it and what’s in it
  • Reduce food waste and thereby the energy used to produce it
  • Choose no packing (bulk with reusable containers for groceries) or minimally packed items
  • Zeroscape or xeriscape http://wateruseitwisely.com/xeriscape-zeroscape/
  • TerraCycle-to creatively recycle “hard-to-recycle” waste http://www.terracycle.com/en.US/
  • Recycle, especially paper
  • Ask businesses for recycling options if they’re not available or visible / follow up
  • Educate others
  • Donate to organizations that support the Earth and a sustainable future
  • Obtain solar panels and/or solar hot water for your home
  • Repurpose anything and everything you can
  • Buy clothes that last – patch and use to aid buying nen
  • Save and reuse produce bags
  • Use reusable coffee mugs, ziplocs, plastic storage, etc. – many items labeled “disposable” can be reused
  • For shipping orders, ship as much together as possible to avoid extra packaging
  • Obtain new windows / seal your home for temperature control. Studies show more energy is wasted through heating and cooling poorly sealed buildings than through the more visible ways, Such as leaving lights on, etc. But also, turn lights off when not in use.
  • Don’t upgrade phones and electronic products often. RECYCLE ELECTRONICS PROPERLY. NOTE: Take to the Reuseum in Garden City, Idaho, if you live in the Boise area
  • Wash laundry in cold water – use eco settings
  • Line dry clothes – limit use of dryer
  • Wear clothes more than once, when possible
  • Compost
  • Only run dishwasher when completely full
  • Use Earth-friendly detergents and cleaners
  • Shop at and support businesses that use green energy
  • Unplug or turn off power strips when electronics and appliances are not in use
  • Educate Others
  • Make your voice heard – It’s too important to stay silent, especially now
  • Consider buying flood insurance – Global warming causes additional moisture in the air, which can result in downpours and flooding, even in dry areas of the country
  • Prepare to adapt – The world is changing and some of it we can’t stop
  • Stay tuned for more.

 

This list is compiled by our members. It’s a work in progress. Your ideas are welcome!

Doing What We Can – Summary of 2/26/15 meeting – Boise, Idaho USA

I.  One of our members made a presentation on the “Clean Power Plan” (Plan). Here are some highlights:

The Plan is a set of rules proposed by the EPA designed to limit carbon pollution emitted by power plants. The federal Clean Air Act is the legal authority for the proposed rules. The Plan is premised on the following:

  •  Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the US, consisting of approximately 1/3 of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions;
  • The Plan will cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30% from 2005 levels;
  • States will have flexibility in establishing plans to meet the carbon reduction goals;
  • The Plan will cut wasted energy, improve efficiency and reduce pollution while still maintaining adequate power to grow our economy and maintain the US’s competitive edge;
  • The Plan will keep the US and US businesses at the forefront of a global movement to produce and consume energy in a more sustainable way.

Handouts were presented, containing information showing, as of 2013:

  • China was the leader in carbon emissions, with the US coming in second;
  • The US and Saudi Arabia tied for the highest per capita emissions, with Canada coming in second;
  • India, with its huge population had about 1/10 the emissions per capita of the US and Saudi Arabia. The concern was expressed that if nations with huge populations that are currently low emitters per capita should rise to the level of US emitters, the climate crisis would be exacerbated to an increasingly alarming degree.
  • The UK had less than ½ the emissions per capita than the US and Saudi Arabia;
  • In 2013-2014, use of coal as energy constituted approximately 32% of total emissions.

The rules are expected to be finalized in the summer of 2015. President Obama is expected to use the Plan at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21 or CMP11) to be held in November and December 2015 in Paris to showcase US efforts to address the climate crisis.

The group discussed the rules and what we can do to support them.

WHAT WE CAN DO:  Write to our representatives both in Congress and in the Idaho Legislature to let them know we’re concerned about climate change and wish to support the Clean Power Plan.

II.  The attendees discussed how to further membership in our group, and ideas were presented as to how our group can make a difference in solving the climate crisis, including joining with other groups in that mission. Education of the public on climate change was identified as a major goal and perhaps holding an all-state climate rally in the foreseeable future. One suggestion was for our group to make presentations on a local radio stations regarding climate change and what we can do to address it.

WHAT WE CAN DO: Discuss these issues further at our next meeting and develop a plan to implement the best ideas.

III. The group discussed developments in the climate movement since our February meeting, to include President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL Pipeline bill, Divestment Days on February 13-14, Pacific Island nations being displaced due to rising sea waters (Kiribati), possible extinction of monarch butterflies, aerospace engineer Willie Soon (whose work is relied on by climate deniers) being exposed as funded by the fossil fuel industry, and serious water shortages happening now in Brazil and Pakistan.

IV.  Michael Richardson, founder of the Idaho Climate Think Tank, informed us of the work he is doing on energy issues in Idaho, including through proposed legislation, and working with officials from Idaho Power. He also briefly discussed the current effort by Idaho Power to limit the 20-year duration of solar contracts to two years. Such change would effectively defeat solar power in Idaho due to the inability to obtain adequate financing under that time constraint.

V.  Individuals associated with Idaho 350.org and the Snake River Alliance joined our meeting and shared their ideas.

VI.  Our next meeting will be held on March 26, 2015, at 5:30 p.m. at the Flicks Theatre meeting room in Boise, Idaho. A presentation regarding the Koch Brothers and their influence on climate denial will be given.

 

FOUNDER’S COMMENTS:

The following website offers further information about the “Clean Power Plan.”

http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-pHerlan-proposed-rule

Climate deniers are sharpening their sabers to defeat the Clean Power Plan.

Check out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s stance:

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/mcconnell-tells-states-blow-off-epa

How about Sen. James Inhofe, senior member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-jim-inhofe-throws-snowball-senate-floor-attempt/story?id=29255635

This from a senator from Oklahoma, a state that has experienced fracking-induced earthquakes. But that’s another story. See:

http://www.newsweek.com/industry-pressure-kept-oklahomas-scientists-silent-earthquake-fracking-link-311307#.VPjXtGsGH4o.mailto

Idaho’s Senator Michael Crapo is a denier, at least according to my recent review of his website. Amazing, considering the fact that he is a Harvard-educated attorney.

Because Congress holds the “power of the purse,” we can expect Congressional deniers to threaten defunding the EPA as a way to thwart the rules. Stay tuned on that.

We’ll have to closely watch Idaho Power’s stance in the discussion of the Clean Power Plan in Idaho. Idaho Power owns shares in three out of state coal fired plants. Check out Idaho Power’s website for more information.

Please join us at our next meeting.

Alyson R. Martin, JD