Ten Ways You Can Make A Difference
Climate Change is the shift in the average weather conditions – such as temperature and rainfall – in a place over many years. Earth’s climate is always changing; however, scientists have recorded unusual and accelerating temperature increases over the past 150 years. The world is now about 1.2°C warmer than it was in the 19th Century, leading to heatwaves, melting ice, rising sea levels, and extreme storms, flooding, droughts, and wildfires.
There are several factors that contribute to changes in Earth’s climate; however, scientists agree that recent global warming in the past 50 to 100 years is due to human activity. Simply stated, human activities- such as burning fossil fuels to manufacture products and power our factories, homes, and cars- cause greenhouse gases which trap more heat and lead to a warmer earth.
As the Earth warms, the typical weather patterns change. Arctic ice melts leading to sea level rise and coastal flooding. Warmer temperatures create more evaporation over both the ocean and land. As more water evaporates over the ocean, it creates larger storms which turn into hurricanes as well as inland storms which cause flooding and tornados. Increased evaporation over land leads to droughts, water shortages, and more frequent wildfires.
Extreme weather events are already evident- from this year’s unprecedented freeze in Dallas, TX to the record-breaking heatwaves in the Northeast and Midwest. Hurricanes, flash floods, and wildfires have become more frequent and more intense, threatening lives and livelihoods and destroying property as well as habitat for wildlife. Once fertile farmland is turning to desert and water reservoirs are drying up. Rising ocean temperatures are threatening coral habitats and marine life.
There are hundreds of ways that you can help combat Climate Change in your own daily lives. Andy Chabassol, Co-Chair of The Climate Reality Project Miami-Fort Lauderdale Chapter, suggests these ten ways you can personally make a difference:
1. Educate yourself about Climate Change issues and help educate your friends and family. (If you want a Climate Reality member to deliver their Climate Story to a group of your friends, just contact [email protected])
2. Invest in Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG) companies. Align your money and wealth and shopping habits with companies that have high scores for excellence in ESG research, integration, and product design.
3. Offset your personal carbon footprint. Lead by example by knowing your carbon footprint and offset it; but make sure that your offset leads to a measured reduction in carbon emissions.
4. Volunteer with Climate Change initiatives. There are hundreds of environmental organizations that can use your help, like Flamingo Gardens or www.volunteercleanup.org
5. Look after your health and well-being. As you become more informed, climate change knowledge can be troubling. You must take care of yourself if you are to help others.
6. Modify your diet to eat less meat and less processed foods. Locally grown, organic food is better for your health and its production emits less carbon.
7. Respect and protect green spaces as they are important for carbon sequestration and wildlife.
8. Conserve energy and water at home and work.
9. Minimize your car use by walking, biking, or using ride sharing or public transportation instead.
10. Talk about it! Tell people about the “changes” you make to help combat Climate Change and how it makes you feel!