#4- Energy poverty.
Caption to background photo: Indian village women make cow dung cakes in Allahabad, India. In India, where Hindus have long worshipped cows as sacred, cow dung has been used for centuries as fuel for fires - whether for heat, cooking or in Hindu ritual fires, where it's a necessity. Now, online vendors like Amazon, ShopClues and eBay are selling cow dung patties to India's ever-increasing urban population, especially those who grew up in villages. (AP Photo / Rajesh Kumar Singh, File)
700 million Indians cook with biomass, otherwise known as cow dung cakes. Eventually, India hopes to change that -- and it will put a huge toll on the environment.
Why is this important?
The shift to sustainable energy in the United States is imperative as developing nations build their energy architecture. The U.S. is center stage, together with other high population and energy-producing countries like China. And we can't tell the world to implement sustainable energy alternatives unless we raise the bar, and set the standard ourselves.
VIDEO: The above video shows how World Bank has gone into India to attempt to help a very specific demographic mitigate hindered educational development from the energy poverty issue internationally. Note: this is a PR video for World Bank, but shows some of the direct health implications that come with energy poverty, the developmental and security risks that can result from energy poverty, and the burning of carbon-producing extremes that Indian people have to resort to just to stay warm.
Miami isn't the only place seeing direct impacts from sea-level rise.
Caption to background photo: David Giulian, 12, watched flooding in the streets of Stone Harbor, N.J., on Sunday. The southern part of the Jersey Shore had the most severe flooding in the state during the weekend storm. (Credit: Mark Makela for The New York Times)
Caption to background photo: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), right, with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in 2007. Smith has hacked away at climate change funding but doesn't want to say so. (Alex Wong / Getty Images)
97% isn't enough?
A full 97% of researchers taking a stance on climate change say it’s man-made, as do 97-98% of the most frequently-published climate scientists. But according to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, they’re all wrong. (Words: MSNBC.com) (Photo: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Caption to background photo: Fiberglass Batt Insulation – Fiberglass batt insulation is a cost effective way to add R-value to wall cavities, and attic deck spaces. While mostly used in new construction, fiberglass batt can be used in some retrofit scenarios as well. (Photo: greenmyhomenow.com/insulation)
Air that leaks through your home's envelope − the outer walls, windows, doors, and other openings − wastes a lot of energy and increases your utility costs. A well-sealed envelope, coupled with the right amount of insulation, can make a real difference on your utility bills.
- Increase Comfort.
- Sealing leaks and adding insulation can improve the overall comfort of your home and help to fix many of these common problems:
- Reduced noise from outside
- Less pollen, dust and insects (or pests) entering your home
- Better humidity control
- Lower chance for ice dams on the roof/eves in snowy climates
Most Homes Will Benefit.
Most homes in the United States don't have enough insulation and have significant air leaks. In fact, if you added up all the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home's envelope, it would be the equivalent of having a window open every day of the year!
VIDEO: Tips for buying an energy-saving programmable thermostat.
Why this is important:
Insulating your home means a ton of energy saved, which will help lighten the load of energy needing to be produced from the start.
Caption to background photo: Though your retro appliances may still work (and some may even look cool), an easy way to dramatically cut down your energy usage is to go down to your nearest home improvement store and invest in Energy-Star Certified appliances. (Photo: bigchill.com)
VIDEO: A quick look at how much electricity and water is used in a non-Energy Star vs. Energy Star washing machine.
Why this is important:
It might not be the most inexpensive option up front, but it can save you a ton of money yearly. Plus, you might get a rebate for turning in your old stuff, and it can help you get on your way to becoming an energy-saving climate change advocate.
#3- "It's LIT" when you use LED bulbs instead.
Caption to background photo: LED technology is becoming more accessible because of technology advancements making it less expensive to invest in energy-saving lights. (Photo: inhabitat.com)
- Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient lightbulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
- Typically use about 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money
- Otherwise lost heat-energy is reduced by as much as 60% in LED technology
- LED's can last 3-25x longer.
#2- Eat locally-produced, organic food.
Caption to background photo: An area of the Amazon rain forest inside the Jamanxin National Forest that was burned to clear land for cattle. (Photo: Lalo de Almeida for The New York Times)
"Eat locally-produced and organic food. It has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels, and many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based."
"Cut the beef and dairy. It takes a lot of resources to raise cows, and it’s especially bad if you buy beef from somewhere like Brazil, where it was grazed on land that used to be tropical forest but was cleared for agricultural use. Deforestation is a top contributor to carbon emissions and thus climate change."
#1- Carpool, utilize public transit, or drive a hybrid.
Caption to background photo: Traffic clogs the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles. (Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)
- Between 1990 and 2006, emissions in the transportation sector increased by more than 25%, representing almost half of the total national growth in greenhouse gas emissions during this period.
- Approximately 85% of transportation sector emissions are related to the surface transportation system.
- An effective strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must include improved fuel economy, reduced carbon content in fuels, and reductions in the growth of vehicle miles of travel.
Those who choose to ride public transportation reduce their carbon footprint and conserve energy by eliminating travel that would have otherwise been made in a private vehicle.
The result is fewer vehicle miles of travel and reduced emissions. A single person, commuting alone by car, who switches a 20-mile round trip commute to existing public transportation, can reduce his or her annual CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year, equal to a 10% reduction in all greenhouse gases produced by a typical two-adult, two-car household.
By eliminating one car and taking public transportation instead of driving, a savings of up to 30% of carbon dioxide emissions can be realized.