Saturday, September 24, 2005

SPECIAL: Climate Crisis, Time to Act

Last night I attended an excellent talk given by Al Gore on climate change. I have always been attentive to conservation issues, but now am convinced that we've got to step up and really solve this problem. We are ethically and morally bound to do so. And we have to do it RIGHT NOW. "Too late" is looming.

Laurie David, wife of Larry David, is the producer of the Al Gore talks (and resulting documentary) and these suggestions are from her site.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO FIGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS

1. DRIVE SMART

- Buy a hybrid car!
- Make fuel efficiency a top question when purchasing a new car.
- Carpool when possible.
- Get your engine tuned up and keep your tires inflated.
- Start a no-idle rule in your school or church carpool lane.

2. BE ENERGY EFFICIENT

- Buy energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star” label.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These compact bulbs produce the same amount of light, last 10 times as long, and use a 1/4 of the electricity. Use clean energy to power your home and business.
- When you are in a hotel that is over-air conditioned or they leave all of the lights on in your room, complain!
- Unplug your cell phone charger and other electronics from the wall when you are not using them. Did you know that even when turned off your hairdryers, cell phone chargers, and cameras use energy?
- Call your local utility and sign up for renewable energy. If they don'’t offer it, ask them why not!
- Weatherize your home, caulk, and weather-strip your doorways and windows. Not only will this save energy, but it will also save you money!

3. CREATE INCENTIVES

- Give coveted parking spots at churches, schools, malls, and community centers to hybrid cars.
- Let's pass car pool lane incentives and offer free parking meters for hybrid vehicles.
- If you are a business owner, offer clean-energy incentives to employees like the software maker Hyperion, who is giving $5,000 to every employee who buys a car that gets 45 mpg or higher.

4. PAPER PRODUCTS

- Buy only post consumer products, including toilet paper and tissues . The paper industry is the third greatest contributor to global warming emissions .
- Recycle your paper.
- Don'’t buy from companies that refuse to make post consumer paper! Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70% to 90% of the energy and pollution that results from products made from virgin materials.

5. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

- Join a national or local environmental group that is fighting the climate crisis everyday so their membership numbers swell and their voice can't be ignored.
- Write to your elected officials, your mayors, your city council members, your state legislator, your Senators and members of Congress, and your President. Tell your local officials to adopt new goals. Write your congressional representatives that you support the McCain/Lieberman global warming bill. Ask your friends to do the same.
- Tell the companies you invest in that you care about global warming and you will pull your investments if they don'’t address the issue. Don'’t like a company's stance on global warming? Stop buying their product! Are you on a company'’s board? Promote solutions to global warming.
- Write to your local newspapers and call your radio shows and tell them you care about global warming; question the skeptics.
- Get these issues into the curriculum in schools.
- Email relevant articles to your friends and family to get them fired up about global warming.
- Go to shareholder meetings and speak-up!

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