Posts tagged climate change

Hey Americans!! Obama vs Romney and the Environment

by Liz

I stumbled upon this great article that is a must read for a couple of reasons:

  • it addresses the issue of the environment in the upcoming American Presidential Election which was widely left out in the debates
  • it addresses climate change and how it affected Hurricane Sandy
  • it was an interview with Bill Nye, the Science Guy!

Click here for the article.

To sum it up Bill Nye explains how climate change made Hurricane Sandy worse in very understandable terms.  He said, “Climate change amps up… basic factors that contribute to big storms… The oceans have warmed, providing more energy for storms, and the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, so it retains more moisture which is drawn into storms, and is then dumped on us.”

What Bill Nye thinks about Obama and the Republicans:

President Obama, Vice President Biden and the Democratic Party’s position is consistent with what 90 percent of scientists say — that humans significantly cause the world to warm and climates to change and that, in order to slow climate change and eventually control its effects, we must slow down and regulate the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane… and develop clean, alternate forms of energy, like solar, wind, geothermal, tidal and biomass.

What Bill Nye thinks about Romney and the Republicans:

Governor Romney, Congressman Ryan and the vast majority of those in the Republican Party, however, strongly disagree and they cite a small number of researchers who say that any warming and any climate change is a natural cyclical phenomenon that has been occurring on Earth for millions of years and that human activity is not a significant factor.

Bill Nye then continues to use facts to back up his beliefs.  Click here to read more.

So Americans, come Tuesday who will YOU be voting for?


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Friday Fun: The Royals

By Liz

Since the whole world can’t stop talking about them I decided to write about the British Royal Family.  Happy wedding day William and Kate.. see you there!

The wedding itself with be very eco-friendly.  The invitations have been printed on recycled paper, the flowers are all seasonal flowers which will be replanted after the ceremony, the media scaffolding will be made from sustainable wood, and even Kate’s dress will be made from eco-friendly materials such as peace silk and fair trade cotton!

Most energy is lost through heat loss.  Buckingham Palace has been on top of their heat loss since 1995.  They now have heat resonance imaging which is constantly taking pictures and checking for heat loss.  Most heat loss (like most homes) is through windows and skylights.  Windows and skylights in the Palace are now double glazed.

Lighting has been a big topic on this blog.  CFLs versus incandescent bulbs is a big issue.  Pollution versus energy saving?  I am not entirely sure where I stand on the issue.  Buckingham Palace, however, has made it’s stand.  All lighting in the Palace is LED.

It is not only London where the Royals are sustainable.  In Sandringham and Balmoral have organic farming.  They compost the organic waste and in Sandringham they turn their apples into juice using only Vitamin C as a preservative.

Prince Charles has been a major environmental promoter.  He was once laughed at for talking to his plants to promote growth, but now his ideas which he has been pushing since the 80’s are very important issues.  Farming has been big to Prince Charles.  He has created a company called Dutchy Originals which is all organic food from his arable lands.  The company also makes soups and dishes with these vegetables.  All of the profits from this company are donated to environmental charities.  Prince Charles has also been vocal about the urgency of reacting to climate change since 1990.  Hopefully this will be his first priority when he becomes King.

This list of environmental practices is not even the tip of the iceberg. To find a timeline on the Royal’s environmental action click here.

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Friday Fun: Robert Redford

by Liz

Growing up in my house there was a running joke that Robert Redford always played the same type of characters.  At the time I don’t even think I knew who he was or what movies he was in, and got him confused with Richard Dreyfuss for some reason.  I now know he has been in many great films and for some reason Spy Game is his most memorable to me.  Well what I didn’t know about was his longstanding environmental activism.  He has been in the environmental game since the 1970s and quite influential at that.

In 1975 Redford started to campaign for solar panels on every American home.  He criticized the Bush administrations for their dependence on foreign oil and that solar energy would be a viable source.  He also talked of the damage drilling for oil in fragile habitats like the Arctic will cause.  He is actually continually fighting for Arctic National Refuge in Alaska.

Robert Redford spent 30 years on the National Resources Defense Council and campaigned to preserve an enormous plot of land in Utah and save it from commercial hands. In 1996 President Clinton effectively closed it to development.  This plot of land inspired him to create the Sundance Institute for aspiring young filmmakers and the annual Sundance Festival is now a very important film festival in the movie industry. He has also created the Sundance Channel where he dedicates a large block of programming to environmental shows.

He has been so involved over the years that he is known for educating the public about environmental issues and trying to get politicians to put climate change into their top issues to deal with. He has used his celebrity and influence to further his causes.  His work has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.  Some of the environmental awards he has received over the years are the 1987 United Nations Global 500 Award, the 1989 Audubon Medal, the 1993 Earth Day International Award and the 1994 Nature Conservancy Award among others. I think we could all use to take some inspiration from Robert Redford.

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Earth Hour 2011

by Liz

Today is the day where over 120 participating countries goes dark for one hour.  At 8:30pm tonight the Eiffle Tower will go dark, Buckingham Palace, LAX, CN Tower, Manchester United Stadium, Empire State Building, Parliament Hill, Golden Gate Bridge, and so many more iconic buildings around the world will turn off non-essential lights and electricity for one hour.

Now what can you do?  Wherever you are in the world, turn off the lights and appliances from 8:30 to 9:30 pm tonight, March 26, 2011.  Since moving to a new city I don’t have too many friends yet and a small place, but if I did I would have a party held by candlelight!  Wherever I will end up I will be in the dark.  Others are going to a candlelight yoga class.  Some are going to their city’s planned Earth Hour events.  Whatever you do make sure it is in the dark!  Earth Hour spreads awareness of climate change.  It began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 by the World Wildlife Foundation and reaches 1.3 billion.  We have the power to spread awareness!

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Weather Related Disasters and Climate Change

by Liz

Right now there is a devastating cyclone hitting Northern Queensland.  I spent a year living in Townsville, Queensland and have many friends there without power, hiding in their basements hoping that Cyclone Yasi doesn’t blow their roof off or that storm surges don’t flood their homes.  If you remember just a short while ago, around Christmas, Northern Queensland was dealing with crazy floods from which they are still recovering from.  These disasters are happening way too often and on bigger scales and they are not just in Australia. Storms and natural disasters are happening all over the world from Australia to the USA.  These disasters are costing billions of dollars to clean up and years for some areas to get back to normal, if at all.

“The last 30 years have yielded four times as many weather-related disasters as the first three-quarters of the 20th century combined.” (Onuf, The Origins of the Federal Republic, p.145)  The last thirty years or so just happen to be the years where the world has grown and we have damaged the environment, to what some would argue is beyond repair. “One hundred eleven hurricanes formed in the tropical Atlantic between 1995 and 2008, a rise of 75 percent over the previous thirteen years. They are stronger, stranger.” (McKibben, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, p.8) The world is changing and that means attitudes need to change so that we can get Earth back on track so that our children and our children’s children will be able to enjoy Earth like we have.  Everyone needs to do their part from recycling to educating others on why they need to change their attitudes.  We all need to stop and think how our actions are affecting our environment, our world.

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If you think that global warming does not exist you are coo coo..DON’T EAT THE POISONOUS SANDWICH

By Erica

To all those folks who continuously claim that global warming is a falsehood, listen to David Suzuki (my hero), when he gives this beauty global warming metaphor:

If you knew there was a 70% chance of a sandwich being poison..would you still eat it?

Most likely, you would not. Unless you have a death wish.  And the same goes for climate change, it may not be 100% proven, but do you really want to take that chance?  Large panels of scientists have proved over and over again that current changes in weather patterns are not just run of the mill changes, but quite out of the ordinary, and as well they have shown that at the rate we are releasing toxins into the atmosphere, paired with the rate we are chopping down trees, there is NO WAY our world will continue to hold up.  Occasionally a rogue scientist will claim this is all falsehood, but keep in mind that the oil industry, forestry, and other non-sustainable industries put lots of money towards “research” to prove otherwise.  Money is a great motivator to come up with new “findings”.  So people, whether or not you believe in climate change, there is no harm in being more sustainable, because really, do you want to risk biting that poisonous sandwich of global warming?? NO. So here are ten things David Suzuki suggests we can all do in our own homes to help!

  1. Reduce home energy use by 10%. (Turn those lights and computers off!)
  2. Choose energy-efficient home and appliances. (We can’t all afford an efficient dishwasher and fact I can’t even afford a regular microwave.. but get those energy efficient light bulbs at least!)
  3. Don’t use pesticides. (Watch the movie ‘Bugs’ and you will see how cute they are)
  4. Eat meat free meals at least once a week. (Kraft dinner anyone?)
  5. Buy locally grown and produced food.  (Go to a Farmers Market… you won’t be able to say no to all the cute old farmers..well that is my problem anyways)
  6. Choose a fuel efficient vehicle.  (two feet and a heart beat)
  7. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transit one day a week (I am never bored by eavesdropping on teenagers’ conversations on the bus)
  8. Choose a home close to work or school (I would live in the university library if I could)
  9. Support alternative transportation (ride donkeys!)
  10. Learn more and share information with others (tell people about our blog! Haha)


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The Aflockalypse

By Liz

Over the past two weeks there has been a lot of talk about dead birds falling from the sky in Arkansas and then dead fish coming to the surface just down the road from the birds.  A buzz is going around that this is the beginning of the Apocalypse and to that I show you this cartoon I found.

Others are saying that it has something to do with the environment. Is it climate change?  I found a great article on Twitter from David Suzuki explaining why the birds and fish died and then talks about what humans are doing to animal and plant species and putting them close to extinction. It is a very interesting article.  Pay attention to the last paragraph especially!

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