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Each American household averages about 21,600 pounds of carbon emissions per year and would need about 10 acres of trees just to absorb and offset their production.

 

Quote from Jason Marks, PRC Commissioner, "By the way, while I acknowledge that it is within the realm of possibility that the climate change  skeptics are correct (and I actually hope they are), the consequences of unmitigated climate change are so catastrophic that I will not gamble our children’s future on today’s scientific thinking being wrong." Hear, hear!!!

2010: Warmest year on record

Most of us have heard about "global warming" by now or have seen the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. If not,watch this short video produced by ClimateChange.gov.UK (2 Min).

Leonardo DiCaprio movieLeonardo DiCaprio also has a new short video on climatechange called Global Warming (Click on Image). (Very good.)

Governor Richardson's Annual Drought Summit on Climate Change held recently in Albuquerque was outstanding. One of the guests speaking on climate issues was Dr. Jonathan Overpeck from the University of Arizona. Dr. Overpeck has an online video lecture on Global Climate Change, What's Ahead (1 hr....okay, long but worth it) with information on projections for the Southwest....more droughts, fires, less snowpack, earlier Spring run off and more flooding. Yikes...we need to start today or plan on moving to Michigan or get busy today!!! To reduce the environmental footprint of New Mexico communities, several local non-profits have joined to offer a new program called Green Energy New Mexico. But, there are many many things you can do. If you are not convinced yet that this is a problem or just need some ammo to convince your hubby, please read the information below.

 

Ways to Help

Calculate your carbon impact ...

This website (www.climatecrisis.net) is the companion to An Inconvenient Truth and has a carbon calculator based on some simple questions. Note: YOUR TOTAL is at the top. It allows you to buy "green credits" by calculating the offsets needed for your use through Native Energy. Or go to TerraPass and purchase offsets in wind farms and other renewables. Although several gases collectively contribute to the greenhouse warming of the Earth, it is carbon dioxide that plays the largest (60%) single role in the warming process.

For additional "footprint" calculators, go to Path to Freedom...great site.

To reduce the environmental footprint of New Mexico communities, several local non-profits have joined to offer a new program called Green Energy New Mexico.

Take Action ...

Environment New Mexico - It’s time to repower America and New Mexico — to unleash the power of clean energy to refuel and rebuild our economy and protect the environment.

Carbon Tax Center was formed to give voice to Americans who believe that taxing emissions of carbon dioxide -- the primary greenhouse gas -- is imperative to reduce global warming.
CTC will provide intellectual and practical support, as well as a sense of community, to help carbon tax proponents in every region and across the political spectrum coalesce into an irresistible civic force. CTC's website, www.carbontax.org , will become the village square for civic and political conversations about the why, who, and how of taxing CO2 emissions in the U.S. and, eventually, the world.

Act for Change - Texas-based TXU, Inc. is now planning a $10 billion investment in eleven new coal-fired power plants over the next several years without new gasification technologies. If these proposed plants are built, they will produce a total of 78 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Petition your Senators on Global Warming and Support Senator Waxman's Bill. "Rep. Henry Waxman has introduced the first-ever science-based bill to stop the worst effects of global warming.  The bill requires nation-wide reductions of global warming pollution of 15% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, the level of reductions the best science says are needed." Src: Environment New Mexico

Plant a garden using beneficial microbes that store carbon.

Join a Local Organization....

Conservation Voters New Mexico works to protect New Mexico’s natural environment and our cherished way of life.  Their mission is to make sensible conservation policies a top priority for elected officials, political candidates, and voters across the state. 

Environment New Mexico is a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization. Our professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results for New Mexico's environment. Environment New Mexico draws on 30 years of success in tackling our state's top environmental problems.

CO2...

"Carbon dioxide (CO2) traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space, thus causing the phenomenon we now know as global warming -- a phenomenon that will produce temperatures by century’s end higher than at any time since before the beginning of primate evolution. And to solve it? There’s really only one way, which is to reduce the amount of CO2 we produce. That is, burn less coal and oil and gas.

Which is why it’s not like the environmental problems we faced in the past. We can’t solve it with a new law or a catalytic converter on our tailpipe. We need to upend the entire way we go about powering our lives, which is to say upend our economies and daily habits." - Bill Kibben, American Prospect.

The atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, have increased since pre-industrial times from 280 ppm to 377.5 ppm (2004 Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center), a 34% increase. Carbon dioxide levels are substantially higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years, the latest study of ice drilled out of Antarctica confirms. Carbon dioxide is a by-product of the burning of fossil fuels, such as gasoline in an automobile or coal in a power plant generating electricity.

Dr. James Hansen, NASA's top climate scientist has warned that we have less than a decade to make a difference before hitting the "tipping point" where there will be irreversable changes. Since the late 1800's, the global average temperature has increased about 0.7 to 1.4 °F. Many experts estimate that the average temperature will rise an additional 2.5 to 10.4 °F by 2100.

temp increase

Climate Change ....

Changes that could occur as a result of temperature increases include: melting glaciers, rising seas, less snow pack in mountain areas that provides fresh water, changes in habitat, drought, lowered crop yields, endangered sea life, increased storm activity and more. New study on Extreme Weather.

To make matters worse, thawing permafrost has been found to release methane gas that is 23 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse (heat trapping) gas, setting up a vicious circle. Recent good news seems to indicate that methane levels are stabilizing. See People Making a Difference to read about what Albuquerque is doing about methane.

Human Causes ...

A variety of human activities, including deforestation, agriculture, the burning of fossil fuels, and cement production produce carbon dioxide. Of these activities, fossil fuel combustion accounts for about 85% of the carbon dioxide production per year. "Coal combustion creates the largest amount of CO2 per energy unit of any fossil fuel. Coal and oil together represent 80% of the US fuel supply used to generate electricity. When we reduce electric power use, we save money, breathe cleaner air, and help to reduce the global warming problem." Johan Olsson

While, there is still some debate about this issue on the internet, most scientists blame - at least in part - fossil fuel burning and other human activities for global warming. See this ABC report video. Many of the scientists debunking climate change have ties to oil, gas and coal. We believe that for the sake of our kids and grandkids, it is important to make changes to reduce greenhouse gases NOW. We can't afford to take a chance. If ALL the scientists turn out to be wrong on this issue, reducing energy usage in our country will help lengthen our supply curve (PEAK OIL) and reduce the risk of economic disaster. PLUS reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil will give us more stability and facilitate national security. No matter what the reason, this seems to be a no-brainer. NO MORE DEBATE. It is time we do our part. Government will follow our lead.

Our Impact ....

Every kilowatt-hour of electricity saved keeps 1.5 to 2 pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere. How many KWh's do you use every month? Check your PNM bills and graph your usage over a year or two. What is the average per month? 500 KWhs per month creates 750-1000 lbs of CO2. How much electricity could you save by turning off lights or a printer when not in use?

Each therm (gas heat) produces 11.7 pounds. Could you bring down that gas bill by setting the thermostat a little lower, adding insulation or stopping leaks?

Could you be more fuel efficient? Each gallon of gas burned produces 20 pounds of C02 for cars and 21 CO2pounds of C02 for trucks/vans. How many gallons do you use each month?

We were able to bring our summer KWH (electric) usage down from 575KWh to 440KWh by some simple ideas suggested by local energy expert, Alan Zelicoff, a savings of 243 pounds of carbon emissions/Mo. or 2,916 lbs/Yr. While still a small savings, imagine that number multiplied times 240,000+/- households in the Albuquerque metro area. WOW!

The average U.S. single family household generates about 80,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. Each pound of CO2 contains about .27 pounds of carbon. Thus, each American household averages about 21,600 pounds of carbon emissions per year and would need about 10 acres of trees just to absorb and offset their production.

News ...

Scientist predicts disastrous sea level rise:
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2007/s1870955.htm

British tycoon Branson offers $25 million prize to fight climate change

Gore's legislative recommendations to the House including the "electranet (distributed electrical generation by homes and businesses)" and "Connie Mae (A carbon neutral financing program to help homeowners retrofit and build energy-efficient homes". To watch his opening remarks on You-Tube, click here.

Time Magazine's 51 Things you can do - Can one person slow global warming? Actually, yes. You—along with scientists, businesses and governments—can create paths to cut carbon emissions. Here is our guide to some of the planet's best ideas, with an assessment of their impact and feel—good factor.

Mark Fiore's "Feel the Heat...whatever you do ....don't do anything! Animated Cartoon that I like alot.

On a more discouraging note: Study: Climate change could bring new U.S. Dust Bowl - Changing climate will mean increasing drought in the southwestern United States, where water already is in short supply, according to a new study.

Crude - The Incredible Journey of Oil - Excellent!!!!!!!

High hopes and hard truths dictate future - Efforts to fight global warming will be wasted unless we concentrate on energy efficiency Author is the chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell.

Tackle climate change or face deep recession, world's leaders warned - Climate change could tilt the world's economy into the worst global recession in recent history, a recent UK report warned.

Pew sponsored discussion of Business Strategies on Climate Change (video - encouraging to see what a few good businesses are doing in this area.)

The Plan for "Green Capitalism" by Matt Imber - Rough Outline for the Hydrogen/Solar Economy and Saving Humanity Before the Century’s End

Smart Money eyes Climate Change, offsite article - Companies in a range of industries are starting to figure in the business impact of climate changes stemming from global warming, according to experts.

LANL Climate Study: Scientist talks about his work - “The argument over whether the planet is warming is pretty much settled. The past few decades have been warmer than any period within at least the past four centuries.” -- MATTHEW HECHT

Schwarzenegger Discusses Climate Change - "That is the idea - to let enough states join the movement that eventually the federal government will say, 'I think we should also join here.' I have great hope for that," Schwarzenegger said.

Democrats and Republicans Say Stop Funding Global Warming Doubters to Exxon Mobile - ExxonMobil should stop funding groups that have spread the idea that global warming is a myth and that try to influence policymakers to adopt that view, two senators said today in a letter to the oil company.

The Price of Doing Nothing - Unchecked climate change would turn 200 million people into refugees, the largest migration in modern history, as their homes succumbed to drought or flood. UK report

Global growth in carbon emissions is 'out of control' - The growth in global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels over the past five years was four times greater than for the preceding 10 years, according to a study that exposes critical flaws in the attempts to avert damaging climate change.

Review of George Monbiot's "Heat" - a new book about Climate Change solutions....warning...there are tough measures proposed.

World Changing Products - Eco-friendly ideas that promise to make the planet a better place

Causes of Changes in Arctic Sea Ice; by Wieslaw Maslowski  (Naval Postgraduate School):
http://www.ametsoc.org/atmospolicy/documents/May032006_Dr.WieslawMaslowski.pdf

This is a follow up on the big melt (lessons from the Arctic summer 2007) assessment:
www.carbonequity.info/PDFs/Arctic.pdf

Carbonequity (http://www.carbonequity.info/) then reminds us that "the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice will speed up the disintegration of the Greenland ice sheet, and a rise in sea levels by even as much as 5 metres by the turn of this century is possible", as warned by NASA climatologist James Hansen here: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/East-West_070925.pdf

See our tips for Saving Energy and Gas and start making a difference today.

PLEASE be a part of the solution. mysuggestions@sustainableabq