Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

i do 30, do you?

December 14, 2009

Some like it hot, but I like it cold. The water temp setting on my washing machine, that is. That baby is locked in at the cold position for every load of wash. If everyone in Europe alone kept their laundry setting at 30°C (86°F – though I think mine is colder than that), it would mean the equivalent of taking 3 million cars off the road, according to Wah? For real? Seems so. So heed the advice of New Edition and ‘Cool It Now’ – turn your washer setting to cold.

And watch this fun vid featuring a tiny washing machine in the streets of Copenhagen from I do 30. May as well join their facebook page while you’re at it, too.

Oh, Bobby B, what happened?


make the call for those who can’t

December 9, 2009

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to wildlife. Please call your Senators at 1-800-217-7379 and ask them to support climate legislation on behalf of those who cannot call themselves.

the story of cap & trade

December 9, 2009

Remember that great video about the history of our consumer culture called the Story of Stuff? (See sidebar for link.) Annie Leonard has a knack for simplifying complex and controversial topics for people like me, whose eyes can sometimes glaze over at the vast amount of information that exists regarding climate science and other environmental issues.

Well, Annie’s done it again. This time she’s talking about cap & trade. It’s a seemingly sensible solution to the carbon emission problem. But like many seemingly sensible solutions, the devil is in the details. According to Annie, the way cap & trade is structured, it ignores the triple bottom line of ethical treatment of people, ecological stewardship, and fairly created wealth. Instead, cap & trade supports business as usual (remember Enron? Goldman Sachs? These are the guys designing the cap & trade scheme!).

But just like any controversial topic, there are many opinions about the validity and focus of this video. Here’s another take from David Roberts of Grist (via Kate Sheppard at Mother Jones).

Check out the video (below is a teaser) and let me know what you think.

international day of climate action

October 22, 2009

This Saturday, over 4000 events are being planned in over 170 countries to make a loud statement about the importance of action to abate climate change. It may just be the most widespread day of environmental action in the history of the planet.

To participate, you can volunteer to host an event, like arranging a screening of an important environmental film, such as A Sea Change. (Find out how here. Then join the facebook event here.)

Or you can join in one of the many existing actions – Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, go to a climate awareness festival in Palo Alto or a picnic in Abu Dhabi. Go here to find out how you can take part (or just consult the map below).

View Actions at

According to, all events are designed to do one thing: show the support for the most important number in the world: 350.

What’s the big deal with 350? 350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for parts per million carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. 350 is the number humanity needs to get below as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change. Most immediately, 350 is the number world leaders need to lead with as they prepare to meet in Copenhagen this December to draft a new global climate treaty.

How will you get involved?

care to make a difference: blog action day 09

October 15, 2009

This post is part of Blog Action Day ’09

Floods, droughts, super storms – these are not the things of fantasy, of Hollywood blockbuster disaster films. They are real. And real people who live off the land are the most affected by these climate-change–induced or -exacerbated events.

Yet the wealthiest nations, especially those with large standing militaries, are burning fossil fuels like there’s no tomorrow. And there very well might not be if they keep it up.

While climate change and its effects are being seen today, most of us are still thinking like it’s some futuristic event. It is here, and people are suffering because of it. The time to act is not when things start to really get ugly for all of us, the time to act is now.

Luckily, there are organizations doing the work now to prevent catastrophe for those who could not recover from it. Organizations like CARE are examining the impact of climate change on coastal and rural communities in economically poor places, and mitigating the negative.

See how people are impacted, then do something about it.

This is what CARE has to say about the current state of climate change action…

Poor people are especially vulnerable to climate change due to the sensitivity of their livelihoods and the extensive constraints – such as low levels of formal schooling and political marginalisation – that frame their adaptive capacity. Therefore, the world’s response to climate change has to challenge entrenched inequities and discriminatory power structures if we are to ensure that everyone can access the information, resources and support necessary for adaptation. But this hasn’t happened. Instead, the international community has focused on building capacity within poor countries to integrate climate change in national policy frameworks.

Though helpful, this is wholly insufficient because vulnerability to climate change varies within countries, communities and even households. National-level efforts must be complemented by action at the grassroots that understands, targets and reduces the poorest people’s vulnerability to climate change. In recognition of this principle, community-based adaptation is finally emerging as a critical part of the global response to climate change.

And this is how CARE responds to the situation…

CARE’s approach to community-based adaptation is people-centred. It fosters more resilient livelihoods, strengthens local capacity through training and the promotion of appropriate traditional knowledge, supports social change and engages in advocacy to address the underlying causes of poverty and differential vulnerability.

CARE’s community-based approach to adaptation is composed of the following four inter-related action areas:

  • Reducing the Risk of Disasters
  • Making Livelihoods More Resilient
  • Strengthening Local Capacity
  • Supporting Social Mobilisation and Policy Engagement

Read more about CARE’s actions in the face of climate change

Get involved with CARE

a feel-good film about fuel

September 18, 2009

Fuel, it’s a star-studded little eco-documentary that won some awards at Sundance last year. The title is pretty self-explanatory, as is the trailer. Woody Harrelson, Larry David, Sheryl Crow, Neil Young, and of course Willie Nelson (the face of BioWillie) all grace the screen. Check it out:

Although it was released last year, it looks like it’s getting another chance on the big screen. Fuel is playing at AMC Theater Time Square, starting tonight. Get your tickets here.

Visit the film’s official site.

are we living in the age of stupid?

September 4, 2009

I’m inclined to say yes. And I’d like to confirm my suspicions by watching this:

The Age of Stupid Global Premiere Trailer from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

This isn’t just a film about climate change and what could happen if the most severe predictions come to fruition. It’s also a global call to action (before the film even launches). I think director Franny Armstrong and the producers learned from the anti-climactic, uninspiring suggestions at the end of An Inconvenient Truth for individual energy consumption reduction.* Of course, I think each of us is responsible for our ecological actions, but something as big as climate change requires the attention and concerted effort of policy makers around the world. And the film’s release just happens to coincide with the UN General Assembly’s climate session.

*Not to discount Gore’s own current efforts to thwart climate change.

Want to see what the world might look like if our climate nightmares come true? The Age of Stupid premieres September 21/22.

Find out where it’s playing.

Find out what you can do to help.

no hunger

July 13, 2009

As someone who eats on a very regular basis, never in want of food, I cannot fathom what it is like to wonder where my next meal is coming from. When I am hungry, I go to the cupboard or refrigerator, where there is always food stocked from the farmers market or grocery store. I am fortunate to be able to rely on produce that comes from local farms, and have the luxury to buy fresh food that comes from other places in this country, like California.

I recently read a post on elephant journal of a woman who, after returning to the US from a long sojourn in India, visited a supermarket. She literally wept at the bounty around her. We should all be so fortunate to realize the abundance we have.

For millions of children around the world, there is no bounty. There is no corner store, no fruit stand, no supermarket. There is only hunger.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently reported that there are now over 1 billion people worldwide going hungry. Acute malnutrition affects 55 million children globally, resulting in 5 million childhood deaths every year (one child every six seconds). This is a predictable and preventable condition.

No Hunger is an international initiative, started by Action Against Hunger, asking Al Gore to make his next film about global hunger. The website features a trailer for No Hunger, and a petition addressed to the former Vice President that will be presented to him this December at the COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

The hope is that, as An Inconvenient Truth did for climate change, No Hunger will help shift public perceptions of hunger, and attract the support needed to reach every acutely malnourished child.

The treatment for severe acute malnutrition is not expensive—it costs about $50 per child and doesn’t require prescription drugs. Instead, it relies on nutrient dense, ready-to-use food products. These products can take a child from the brink of death and restore him to health in as little as six weeks.

In response to a desperate situation, ready-to-use plumpy’nut provides emergency nutrition to starving children.

climate prodigy coming to amnh

April 9, 2009

This coming Tuesday, Alec Loorz, 14, founder of Kids vs Global Warming, will be speaking at the Museum of Natural History. He was trained by Al Gore, and is his youngest US-trained climate presenter. (Not sure why the caveat of “US,” Al must be busy training other kids around the globe).

Details on the event below.

And here’s a little bit about the non-profit he started, from Alec himself. Spoken like a true 14 year old, and I mean that in a good way.

Tuesday, April 14, 1 pm
American Museum of Natural History
Kaufmann Theater, first floor

Alec Loorz, a 14-year-old from Ventura, California, founded Kids vs. Global Warming, a youth-inspired and youth-led non-profit organization, two years ago, after watching Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Feeling the weight of the global situation and a sense that he could make a difference, Alec became an impassioned environmentalist with a desire to educate kids about global warming and empower them to take action. In this talk at AMNH, Alec will share his message of hope with an audience of students and Museum visitors. He will suggest ways for kids to get involved in protecting the environment. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

Last October, Alec was invited by Al Gore to be formally trained with The Climate Project and is now their youngest U.S.-trained presenter. Following this presentation at the Museum, Alec will be speaking at the United Nations during the upcoming “Global Partners for Global Solutions” conference on April 15.

oh no they didn’t

March 25, 2009

My jaw dropped and I couldn’t stop shaking my head when the commercial came on. It was touting clean coal, and it was featuring President Obama. I don’t know what to say other than clean coal is not real. First of all, the technology to make coal “clean” doesn’t exist. Secondly, the mining of coal is not only detrimental, it’s polluting in and of itself.

To learn more about why coal can never be clean (save a miracle), go to This Is Reality.