Climate Change: How can we stop it, how much worse can the problem get, why we need to stop this now, why I care about action and more!

Climate Change: How can we stop it, how much worse can the problem get, why we need to stop this now, why I care about action and more!

How much worse can the problem get?

What we can do: Conserving Water

Conserve water at home.

Conserve water at home. Wasting water is one of the biggest ways individuals impact the health of the planet. Taking measures to use less water is something you can start doing right away. If you live in an area with a water shortage, this is even more important for the health of your region’s environment. Try to check off as many items as possible from this list:

  • Check and fix any water leaks. A leaky faucet can waste a lot of water.
  • Install water-saving devices on your faucets and toilets. A low-flow showerhead could be a good start.
  • Don’t wash dishes with the water running continuously. Use a method that requires less water to get the dishes clean.
  • Turn off washing machine’s water supply to prevent leaks. It doesn’t need to be on all the time.
  • Replace old toilets with new ones that use a lot less water.
  • Wash and dry only full loads of laundry and dishes. Doing a half-load wastes water.
  • Don’t use too much water to water your lawn.
  • Don’t leave the faucet running while you brush your teeth.
Use fewer chemicals.

Chemicals used to wash our bodies, homes, cars and everything else get washed down the drain or absorbed in the grass, and eventually, end up in the water supply. Since most people use heavy-duty chemicals for all sorts of things, chemicals are doing real damage to waterways and aquatic life. The chemicals aren’t good for humans, either, so do your best to cut back on them. Here’s how:

  • Learn about alternatives to household cleaning items that do not use hazardous chemicals. For example, using a solution of 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 waterworks as well as most commercial cleaners for basic cleaning jobs. Baking soda and salt are cheap, non-toxic cleansers, but should be used in moderation.
  • When no good alternatives to a toxic item exist, determine the least amount required for an effective, sanitary result and use a minimal amount each time you clean. Paying close attention to the requisite amount will help you reduce and also save money.
  • Instead of using chemical-laden shampoos and soaps, try making your own.
  • Instead of using pesticides and herbicides, find natural ways to get rid of weeds and pests.
Dispose of toxic waste the right way.

Paint, motor oil, ammonia, and a host of other chemicals should not be poured down the drain or directly into the ecosystem. They’ll soak into the earth and end up in the groundwater. Contact your local sanitation department to find out about best practices for disposing of hazardous waste and toxic chemicals.

Help identify large-scale water polluters.

Individuals can only do so much when it comes to keeping water clean. Businesses and industries are often the culprits when it comes to water pollution. In order to protect the earth’s water, concerned citizens should speak up and find ways to stop pollution at its source. [2]

  • Join a local environmental group that works to clean up the water in your area, whether it’s a river, lake or ocean.
  • Contact your local representative to speak up about your views on keeping water chemical-free.
  • Volunteer to help clean up beaches or riverbanks.
  • Help others get involved in efforts to clean up the water in your area.

What we can do: Preserving Air Quality

Use less electricity

Use less electricity. Coal and natural gas are the most common sources of energy that gets turned into electricity. The burning of these substances is a major factor in world air pollution. Reducing your reliance on electricity is a great way to play a part in saving the planet.
Here’s what you can do:

  • Use solar power for home and water heating.
  • Shut off electrical equipment in the evening when you leave work.
  • If you have central air conditioning, do not close vents in unused rooms.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120.
  • Turn down or shut off your water heater when you will be away for extended periods.
  • Turn off unneeded lights even when leaving a room for a short time.
  • Set your refrigerator temperature at 36 to 38 and your freezer at 0 to 5 .
  • When using an oven, minimize door opening while it is in use; it reduces oven temperature by 25 to 30 every time you open the door.
  • Clean the lint filter in your dryer after every load so that it uses less energy.
  • Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
  • Turn off lights, computers and other appliances when not in use.
  • Use compact fluorescent light bulbs to save money and energy.
  • Plant trees to shade your home.
  • Replace old windows with energy-efficient ones.
  • Keep your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter when you are away.
  • Insulate your home as best as you can.
Drive and fly less often

Another big source of air pollution that has led to global warming is emissions from cars, trucks, planes and other vehicles. The manufacture of the vehicles, the gas needed to run them, the chemicals they burn, and the production of roads all play a part. If you can drive and fly less often, you’ll be doing a lot to help save the planet.

  • Walk or ride your bike instead of driving, whenever possible. Find bike routes in your town and use them!
  • Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work if biking or walking isn’t an option.
  • Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
  • Maintain your vehicle properly. Purchase radial tires and keep them properly inflated for your vehicle. Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
Buy local goods.

Buying local helps combat air pollution in two ways. You don’t have to travel as far to get what you need, and products don’t have to travel as far to get to you, either. Making smart choices about where your food, clothes, and other goods come from can help make a dent in air pollution.

  • Shop at farmer’s markets and buy food that was produced as close to your home as possible.
  • When you’re online shopping, pay attention to how far the items you order will travel before they arrive. Try to find items that won’t have to travel long distances.
  • Pay attention to where your clothes, electronics, home goods, and other possessions were made. As much as possible, buy items that were made in your region.
Eat vegetables and locally-sourced meat.

Industrial farming practices are not only harmful to individual animals, but they’re also unsafe for the planet itself. Factory farming produces a lot of air and water pollution. You can address this issue in a personal way by doing the following:

  • Eat more vegetables. This simple change is a way of opting out of the factory farming industry.
  • Question where your meat comes from. Learn to hunt responsibly for a more natural source of animal protein.
  • Buy only locally-sourced meat from a small farm.
  • Avoid eating beef. Cows emit lots of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, and other pollutants. Try to reduce your beef intake and opt for other types of meat.
Become an air pollution activist.

Local groups working to combat air pollution, and find a way to get involved. By educating yourself and others about the problem, you can have a greater impact than you’d have by simply making lifestyle changes.

  • Join a group that plants trees to help clean the air.
  • Become a bike activist. Work to have safe paths built in your city.
  • Contact your local representatives to speak up about issues particular to your region. If there’s a factory spewing pollutants into the air, for example, get politically active to put a stop to it.

What we can do: Protecting the Health of the Land

Produce less waste.

Everything you throw in the garbage, tie up and take out to be collected is going to end up in a landfill. Plus, all that trash - plastic, paper, metal, and whatnot - was likely manufactured using unsustainable practices that hurt the health of the earth’s land. By making less trash, you can reduce your impact. Try making these changes:

  • Buy products that you can reuse. Get glass containers instead of flimsy plastic ones, for example.
  • Don’t use plastic bags - use cloth.
  • Maintain and repair durable products instead of buying new ones.
  • Avoid products with several layers of packaging when only one is sufficient. About 33% of what we throw away is the packaging.
  • Use reusable plates and utensils instead of disposable ones. Use reusable containers to store food instead of aluminum foil and cling wrap.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
  • Copy and print on both sides of the paper.
  • Reuse items like envelopes, folders and paper clips.
  • Use e-mail or texting as a substitute for paper correspondence.
  • Use recycled paper.
  • Mend clothes instead of buying new ones.
  • Buy used furniture - there is a surplus of it, and it is much cheaper than new furniture.
Make your own stuff.

When you make your own dinner from scratch or mix up your own cleaning supplies, you naturally make less waste. Single-sized TV dinners, shampoo bottles and the like can really add up in the trash can! Here are a few things you can make on your own:

  • Food. If you’re really ambitious, grow or hunt for your own! Otherwise, do your best to make as many meals as possible from scratch. Buy ingredients in bulk to cut back on packaging.
  • Body products. Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, etc. - you name it, you can make it! Try replacing a few things at first, then work up to making most of what you use. Hint: coconut oil is a brilliant replacement for lotion, deep conditioner and face wash.
  • Cleaning products. Everything from window cleaner to bathroom cleaner to oven cleaner can be made using all-natural supplies.
Compost

This is an excellent way to cut back on waste and improve the health of the land you’re living on at the same time. Instead of throwing your food scraps in the trash, compost them in a bin or a pile. After tending the pile for a few weeks, you’ll have rich soil you can spread on your grass or use to make a delicious vegetable garden. The land around you will be healthier and more vibrant for your efforts.

Plant trees and don't cut them.

Trees protect the land from getting eroded, and they’re an integral part of the ecosystem. In saving trees you’ll be protecting not only land but water and air, too. If you have room in your yard, consider planting a few trees to invest in the future of your neighborhood.Do research to figure out what trees will be most beneficial to the environment where you live. Plant native species.Aim to plant trees that will grow tall and provide shade.

Work to stop clearcutting and mining.

These practices raze and gut the land so that it’s no longer healthy enough to provide a home for plants and wildlife. Join up with a group working to protect your region from industrial practices that damage the land.

What we can do: Helping to Protect Animals

Make your property a haven for wildlife.

All types of animals, from birds to deer to insects, have lost some of their habitat to human developments. You’ve probably seen birds bathing in oil-tainted water and deer wandering through suburbs because they have nowhere else to go. If you have space, try to be welcoming to animals who could use a helping hand. You can make your property hospitable in the following ways:

  • Plant shrubs, flowers, and trees that attract wildlife.
  • Put out a bird feeder and birdbath stocked with clean food and water.
  • Let beneficial snakes, spiders, bees, bats, and other creatures live. Having these animals around is a sign your ecosystem is in good health.
  • Install a beehive if you have the room.
  • Use cedar chips or aromatic herbs instead of mothballs.
  • Don’t use chemical pesticides.
  • Use humane traps instead of rat and mouse poisons and insect killers.
  • Use an electric or manual lawnmower instead of a gas-powered one.
  • If you hunt deer, squirrels, or other animals for their meat, respect the animals whose lives have been ended for your nutritional sustenance. Do not let any of the meat go to waste
Try a vegetarian, pescetarian, or vegan diet.

Not only does this reduce the number of greenhouse emissions, but it also respects animals. Did you know that globally 3 billion animals are killed in industrial farms every day? The easiest way to respect animals worldwide is to have a meatless diet.

  • If you are buying eggs opt for cage-free and certified humane and organic eggs. Make sure the eggs you are buying have the Certified Humane stamp on the carton. (The stamp is a rectangle with blue text at the top reading “Certified Humane”. There are green hills at the bottom that have white text reading “Raised and Handled”.) Brands of cage-free and certified human eggs include Nellie’s and Vital Farms. These can be found at most grocery stores, but especially Whole Foods.
Eat sustainably-caught fish

The oceans are being depleted of large fish populations due to overfishing and pollution. Up to 90 percent of the ocean’s large fish are now gone. You can do your part to protect marine life by only eating fish that is in season and caught using sustainable practices

Respect animals.

Many animals that are thought of as pests are not causing real harm. Other animals that live in wild places aren’t usually in the human view, so we tend to forget about their needs. With dozens of animal species going extinct every day, they need all the help they can get. Try being more mindful in the following ways:

  • Let creatures like moles and groundhogs live instead of trapping and killing them. They may cause a little inconvenience in your garden, but they have a part to play in your region’s ecosystem.
  • Don’t disturb wild places like forests, beaches, wetlands and other areas where animals make their homes. When you visit such areas, stay on trails so you don’t accidentally cause damage to an animal’s habitat.
Regulate your pets.

If you have a cat that goes in and out of doors, try to keep them with you. This means if you are inside, keep the cat inside. If you are outside, take the cat outside. Regulate your cat’s location because our feline friends are the leading cause of death for billions of small animals. Of course, it is natural for cats to kill mice, birds, and etc., so don’t punish them if they do so, just try to be more aware of the small wildlife around your house, especially if there are any endangered species.

  • You can also help ebb cats’ killings by working with local animal shelters to get feral cats off the streets.
  • Never punish your cat for killing an animal, it’s part of their natural instincts.
  • If your cat is an outdoor cat, consult this article if you want them to be an indoor cat.
Work to protect animal habitats.

Whether there’s a particular type of animal you want to work to save, or you’d like to work for the health of all of the planet’s endangered species, there’s an animal rights group out there that could use your energy and time.

What we can do: Conserving Energy

Use a solar-powered outdoor light.

These lights come with rechargeable batteries that are charged by the sun during the day.

Use the sun to heat your hot water.

Search and consult with local appliance centers, this technology is more available than most think.

Install a low wattage motion sensor night light for the bathroom.

The bright light will only wake you up, so using low wattage is best and you’ll save energy too.

Install a shower water recycler.

This water will be filtered and fill your toilet for flushing.

Save energy at school.

Your school building and equipment can use a lot of energy; there are many ways to help reduce this, including by leaving signs to switch off lights when not in use, holding talks about ways to save energy together, finding ways to reduce heating and cooling usage, etc.

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Help-Save-the-Earth

But wait! That’s not all! You can rise money, start a protest and so much more! Share your ideas!

Thanks @jurga_li for adding:

Consume less

Buy things only when necessary.

Also added by @jurga_li:

Evaluate impacts of politics and attitudes of politicians

When they noisily support new taxes on gasoline and promote biofuels and renewable energy, but increase forest cutting and do not mention ecological dangers of “renewable” hydroenergy or impact of biofuel plants.

Thank you to @earthknight for adding:

Vote

This includes voting, obviously, but it also a short of short-hand for all that goes with it, group-level advocacy being part of that as that is essentially a process of making your “vote” clear. By “vote” what’s meant is to use the power of people in groups to sway public action and effect changes in policy and subsequent enforcement of that policy… which is exactly what voting is aimed at.)

Why do I care about stopping climate change?
I care for our lives. I fear for kids. There is still hope to stop #ClimateChange before it’s too late! Climate change should be all over the news but it’s not. Why? When this issue gets so bad that everyone is talking action it will be too late. Humans have gone thought many things: 2 world wars, the Spanish Flue and now Covid and so much more. We got thought all of that but now our hope is going down. I can’t use words to show how much I care about stoping this. I go on the roads almost daily asking people to support this. Many people go by but not a lot listen. Kids are the ones who will have do deal with this and what did they do? We started this. They deal with it. Don’t feel bad. You can still help. It’s not too late to do something but we can’t just just talk about this. We need action. One time when I was on the roads with my sing I saw some kids with sings. #SchoolStrike4Climate they said. For more then half-hour they said “We want action. When do we want it? We want it now!” I joined in and that day over 10 people got inspired to join the climate movement. I hope you will join the movement NOW, not later today.

**

50 years of Failed Climate Change Predictions. Can you find me some that were actually CORRECT? Thank you.

https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/50-years-of-failed-doomsday-eco-pocalyptic-predictions-the-so-called-experts-are-0-50/)

Are you with me?

  • Yes!
  • No.

0 voters

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Wow, this is like an epic crossover of all the epic markup features to make something epic

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While these are all good and important suggestions, the single most effective and important one is missing:

VOTE (second edit: this includes voting, obviously, but it also a short of short-hand for all that goes with it, group-level advocacy being part of that as that is essentially a process of making your “vote” clear. By “vote” what’s meant is to use the power of people in groups to sway public action and effect changes in policy and subsequent enforcement of that policy… which is exactly what voting is aimed at.)

Individuals taken en-masse are absolutely a significant contributing factor to climate change problems, but the fact is that individual actions are low impact when it comes to making any significant changes (still important though, and they need to be taken). It is the larger corporations and government agencies bearing the largest responsibilities.

Just on the CO2 front alone, transportation is a major contributor of greenhouse gasses, but energy production, and industrial activities each contribute about the same amount, and agriculture contributes the same amount as the commercial and residential sectors do.

When it comes to methane, the fossil fuel industry and animal husbandry combined make up more than 50% of the emissions.

When it comes to nitrous oxide emissions fully 3/4 of the emissions come from agriculture and soil management practices.

These are largely aspects of the global societal-economic web that individuals have little influence or impact in, unless you vote (edit: assuming you live in a country where voting actually means you’re electing your leaders rather than rubber stamping the pre-selected choice… which is the case in the country I’m currently working in).

By voting you have the opportunity to choose people, both at the local level and at the national levels, who will enact and enforce laws and policies that will make a substantial difference in how we deal with the large scale emissions producing sources.

That doesn’t mean that individuals should not do their individual parts, but that’s mainly a “feel good about yourself” approach.

The whole “You individually are responsible for changing your life to fix climate change,” narrative is something that benefits corporations greatly.

It’s a surprisingly small number of individual companies and investors that are responsible for 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions. We have to target these agencies rather than our neighbors.

Here’s a source for some of the numbers in the first few paragraphs.

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Here in the UK, the Government and most local authorities have declared a “climate emergency” with many fine-sounding mealy-mouthed statements about the need for carbon reduction, but with inadequate targets and none of the urgency that a real emergency requires.

My own local council (Hinckley UK) declared a climate emergency in 2019 but has done nothing but a bit of tinkering and planting a few trees (mostly whips that won’t make a dent in carbon sequestration for decades yet). They mow parks and green spaces edge-to-edge and use summer bedding of non-native plants raised in heated greenhouses. They continue to encourage motorised traffic into town with car park price reductions and they have re-opened previously pedestrianised streets. They are promoting a grant scheme to help residents install gas-fired central heating.

I started a protest group and we had a couple of town centre demonstrations before Covid, but there were only a handful of us and we were mostly ignored.

In next week’s County Council elections there are no Green Party candidates and none of the candidates has even mentioned the ecological and climate crisis. None of them is worth voting for.

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I read this post about an half hour ago and have gone from enthusiastic to depressed to pissed off. Global warming is a problem. Something needs to be done. But then so is plastic is the sea, human drugs finding their way into rivers, pesticides getting into rivers, rat killers getting into birds of prey, urban sprawl taking away natural land, … It seems like each of these problems gets their day in the press then everyone forgets about them and worries about the next crisis. Voting would be good, if there were a big enough block of voters who give it any priority. As I recall from the last major public opinion poll, climate change came slightly behind knowing what the Kardashians are up to.

Personally, I think the only real solution is to rethink the decision we made when we embarked on the Neolithic Revolution. Industrial humans clearly can’t be trusted with a planet.

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Looking at these problems primarily from the standpoint of personal responsibility, as Myles678 suggests, may actually not be the most effective approach. A recent book review in the London Financial Times (27/28 February 2021), reviewing a book by Michael E. Mann titled “The New Climate War: The Fight To Take Back Our Planet,” notes: “…some research suggests a focus on personal behavior creates an illusion of progress that can erode support for more effective collective policies…”

But it’s even more insidious than that: “Dwelling on individual behaviors is also a ‘particularly devious’ deflection strategy, Mann argues, because it breeds divisive finger-pointing among campaigners and attempts to render leaders as elite hypocrites… Mann shows attention on personal action did not happen in a vacuum. Oil companies were early promoters of the personal carbon footprint calculator and there is a well-thumbed playbook for industries seeking to divert attention from their own activities to individuals using their products.”

So I’d argue the most effective course of action is not personal responsibility (not even voting), but rather building widespread advocacy – through local, regional, national, and international government; in corporations where we might have influence; through education of children and adults; through media influencing; through organizing; or using whatever skills you have.

My two cents worth. But I might suggest this discussion actually has demonstrated Mann’s point about deflection and finger-pointing… so don’t mourn, organize.

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One (and most important) point is missing here: consume less, buy things only when really necessary.
Another: evaluate impacts of politics and attitudes of politicians: when they noisily support new taxes on gasoline and promote biofuels and renewable energy, but increase forest cutting and do not mention ecological dangers of “renewable” hydroenergy or impact of biofuel plants.

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People have told me this before. The governments and the big corporations are not talking a lot of action which leaves us as the one who will have too. I’m doing my best to get the governments to listen. There is hope but only if we act now and in a good way. We can’t live on Mars plus every human would have to get there. Let’s just take care of what we have!

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It’s okay. My feelings about this are all a big puzzle. I like how you think!

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I think one answer is just “all of the above”. Meeting the challenge will require both personal and systemic change (by voting, divesting from certain companies, whatever).

In your personal life, take the lowest hanging fruit with the biggest impacts based on your personal life situation (these are going to vary by age, wealth, job, living situation, whatever - there’s no one best answer).

And while there are some issues with pushing personal responsibility as the answer (as others have noted), I think it is important in another way: Being able to take personal steps can make people feel engaged and like they have some agency. One of the biggest challenges in dealing with climate change is a feeling of powerlessness/hopelessness; that the problem is too big for us to tackle. For some people, being able to make changes in their own lives can make them feel more hopeful and keep them in the game.

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I was about to say the same thing, but more bluntly - don’t buy shit. As rich consumers, we have come to expect (and demand) low priced goods, and something new all the time. Consequently, factory farms, shipping goods from overseas where people will work for less money, next day delivery, the inability to cook…I could go on. This - computers, phones the internet - is also a big contributor. These are also good, but perhaps the makers of the products could forgo some profit to extract materials they need from discarded products instead of buying cheap rare metals mined by desperate people. End of rant.

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Personally, I am of the opinion that our own personal consumption choices don’t matter much. We can do it if it makes us happy, but unfortunately that’s not where the problem lies. Everything lies in the hands of the government. Aside from voting for politicians that prioritize a speedy but just transition to clean energy along with environmental justice and conservation(!!! Don’t tell me you’re going to convert an entire Joshua tree forest or Native American cultural site into a solar farm when there’s tons of pavement and rooftops ripe for the picking), one of the best ways you can actually make an impact is by joining a campaigning organization, such as Sunrise Movement, or Fridays for the Future. Some organizations even mob those big companies in developed countries that fund destructive extractivist projects in other countries against the wishes of the local populace, leading them to lose their funding. In this way, you can make a personal action that, if effective, could force politicians to be more ambitious in tackling climate change and lead to less environmental destruction.

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Individual choices do make a difference, just not so much you ought to bend over backwards or spend more money than you can comfortably afford for the sake of environmental causes. As has been said, the most important thing is to reduce overall consumption and to be an activist for change – force the megacorporstions and the government to change their behaviour and recognize that their actions/inaction is dooming everyone to mass suffering and preventable death. Voting, by the way, does include voting with your consumer choices. Unfortunately most companies ONLY care about what will make or lose them profits. Even more unfortunately, it is impossible to totally avoid the worst of them even if you had the time and energy to do all the research that would be involved.

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I always wonder when someone says “clean energy”. Which one it is? Meaning totally clean, no impact on nature?

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I mean solar, wind, geothermal, etc. Obviously there will be an impact on nature, but proper siting (i.e. avoidance of old growth forests or biodiversity hotspots) can avoid the consequences associated with their development, and for production, proper mine avoidance of critical habitats (and find ways of efficiently recycling our own e-waste to get the necessary metals to lessen the amount of mines required). I don’t count hydroelectric power in that because it’s objectively bad for the environment and no proper siting can change that; the sheer amount of mass ecological death required for a single reservoir leads to that reservoir emitting the greenhouse gases of all the stuff that was killed during its construction, ultimately making it an emitter anyways.

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Another strategy is to do individual action and convince other consumers to do the same. With enough momentum it can drive down demand for certain products, and this effects corporations directly. But the choice of what actions to focus on that would have the most impact, not sure.

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How come the high tide levels are the same as they were 100 years ago? Why was Greenland farmed 1000 years ago because it was green but today is ice? Global warming is a lot of hot air. Consider for a moment who is driving this agenda. Need I use the M word? Of course it is a given that people must decently treat the environment but the amount of energy expended and the greenhouse gasses emitted in building windmills is obscene!

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Please provide factual evidence from a credible source. Considering that your position is one held by the very small minority of scientists.

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I try to make choices that reduce my personal negative effect on the planet as I think it’s important, makes me feel better, and I think it can influence others. But I agree that it’s a bit of a distraction - pushing for larger systemic changes is the only way to make a sizable positive impact on climate change. That involves organizing, advocacy, and voting for people who will do something.

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I’m afraid our cultural focus on climate change is a bit of a distraction, and one that may lead to more harm than good. Does anyone here seriously think we are going to solar panel and wind turbine our way out of this mess? Let alone that our entire economy as it presently exists can function without a drop of oil? For anyone wondering, not only do most forms of “clean energy” require the destruction of huge areas of wild land, but also rely on oil, coal, natural gas, etc. for their production and transportation. Then you have the implications of disposing of this infrastructure once it wears out (which is a lot sooner than most people realize). Solar panels and wind turbines are not made of magical fairy dust (they are not benign); their production requires intensive mining, refining, and assembly processes, and when they break, even if parts of them are recycled, there is still a significant amount of potentially toxic waste that is entering landfills.

Then we have the issue of massive habitat loss from “clean energy” production facilities. For whatever reason, we don’t seem to want to look at solar panels over parking lots, on our convenience stores, etc., so we place them instead in useable agricultural land or wild lands. And in the case of wind farms, we don’t hesitate to destroy sensitive alpine or montane ecosystems (some of which are old growth forests, and/or home to threatened and rare species). I, for one, don’t want to see wind farms replacing some of the wildest, most pristine lands in the New England landscape. Let’s also not forget that a lot of “renewable energy” is in fact biomass harvested (often very unsustainably) from forests (including some old growth areas).

I could go on, but I think you’ve probably gotten my point by now. This is an industry with a whole lot riding on the “fact” that solar fields, wind farms, etc. are “green” and good for the planet. We could debate what the least polluting means of electricity production is, but my point would still be the same: industrial energy production and consumption is always going to be bad for human and ecological health, regardless of where it comes from and what technologies we use to harness it. I’m only growing more pessimistic that we will ever find a technological savior that will truly benefit us in any significant way. This issue can’t be solved by buying the latest, fashionable “green” items, rather by rethinking everything we think we know about ourselves and actually changing our behavior (not speaking of changing our behavior, as we do so well and often). And before you call me a climate denier because I’m not onboard with killing orchids, three-toothed cinquefoil, Bicknell’s thrushes, etc. to supposedly save polar bears, or criticize me for typing this on a computer (which uses electricity, and will soon be yet another toxic item in an unnecessary landfill), please do realize that in absolutely no way am I saying we should just go on with using fossil fuels. I don’t pretend to have any answers here, just a lot of questions and concerns.

Don’t mind me here. I’m just livid about the 400-acres of forest and farmland a few towns away from where I live about to be destroyed for a new solar installation which will provide absolutely zero benefit to the local community, all just so that someone can have a more powerful television, leave their lights on all night, etc., at the expense of the wonderful and wild beings I love.

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