Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Citizen-environmentalist gives tips on how to combat climate change

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David Morton with his wife
Dr. Morton is a regular speaker on environmental issues at City Council meetings. He's both activist and advocate.  You can watch him speak at Regular Council meetings on Redmond City T.V. at 7:35 pm every other Tuesday. Below is his talk from last week:  

By David Morton, PhD

By signing an initiative called the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda in June 2017, Mayor Marchione affirmed Redmond’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement goals to combat climate change.

Here are some ideas everyone can consider:

74. Push your city to support 100 percent clean energy. Switching to 100 percent renewable power may seem like a lofty goal, but it’s not as far off as you think. Many cities have started pledging to switch to renewables, joining the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Campaign. By making the commitment, mayors and city leaders have started to change transportation, planning, and energy policies, embarking on the long road to cleaner air. And, as many who have signed on have discovered, renewables will save significant money in the long run.

75. Come together to combat climate change. Villagers in the rural English town of Ashton Hayes didn’t need government help, special technology, or extra funding to fight climate change. Over the last decade, neighbors there have achieved a 24 percent reduction in emissions by collaborating and changing everyday behaviors, sharing tips on weatherproofing, and reducing energy usage.

76. Listen to the best climate podcast, Warm Regards, which features a big-picture, science-focused look at climate change, from glaciology to green energy. It’s hosted by meteorologist Eric Holthaus.

77. Read a book. Some great books for learning more about climate change and how to get involved include Merchants of Doubt, which looks at scientists who dispute evidence of climate change; Climate Change, What Everyone Needs to Know, a great Q&A-style overview; The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History; and Heat: How to Stop the Planet From Burning.

78. Get your kids on board. You’re never too young to take climate action. 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World and George Saves the World by Lunchtime offer everyday ways for children to be mindful about the planet, while NASA’s Climate Kids provides a solid introduction to the science of global climate change. See climate.nasa.gov.

79. Support a carbon tax. A carbon tax is a fee imposed on the burning of carbon-based fuels, like coal, oil, and gas. It’s a way for users of carbon fuels to pay for the climate damage caused by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and an incentive that motivates companies to switch to noncarbon fuels and energy efficiency.

80. Find out where your representatives stand. It wasn’t just Trump who decided to back out of the Paris accord: There are 22 Republican senators who pushed the U.S. to withdraw. There are plenty of tools that can show how your representatives have voted on recent climate and science issues. If you don’t agree with their decisions, get in touch.

81. Re-watch An Inconvenient Truth. You may have seen Al Gore’s climate change documentary back when it debuted 12 years ago. In many ways, its message has never been more urgent. Host a viewing party, and see the sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.

82. Support publications reporting on climate change. Great journalism makes us all better citizens and helps us learn more about the issues (for example, how climate change is hurting food production).

83. And map local air pollution. The Environmental Defense Fund teamed up with Google to build a remote sensing tool that can help map air pollution in cities. Neighborhoods can use the data to reduce emissions and target communities most at risk for health issues.
More tips next time.

By David Morton, PhD

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