Mitigation involves reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting forests to reduce the overall magnitude of climate change. Mitigation is the most effective approach to protecting future generations from catastrophic impacts.
The problem is, we need drastic and immediate cuts in emissions to avoid the most serious impacts in the future.
Adaptation includes actions that reduce our vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change. Adaptation is needed because emissions already released into the atmosphere today cause further climate change for approximately 30 years.
The choice between mitigation and adaptation is a false one. We have to do both.
Over 1000 people participated in Rogue Climate’s event to call attention to climate change using art, youth, and the environment to gain support.
There are many groups that are working at the local, state, and federal level to create economic, social, and policy solutions. Here are a few of our favorite groups that are national in scope:
Be sure and let your elected leaders know your position on policy that affects greenhouse gas emissions. Call them often.
Solar panels are cheaper than they have ever been, and many state and local rebates are in place to make them even cheaper. Electric cars are now affordable and there are many models to choose from. Public transportation is becoming more widely available. Telecommuting and teleconferencing technology have revolutionized remote communications. It is easier than ever make positive choices that support the local economy, save money and time, and take fossil fuels out of our daily lives.
Find many household, school, and workplace tips on the EPA’s website.
Climate change may be a global phenomenon, but many of the solutions need to be implemented at the local level. Let your local decision makers know that you are concerned and want to see action.
Community Energy Plans – Many cities and towns are coming together to create Community Energy Plans – collaborative and regional blueprints for greening our energy sources. For step-by-step guidance on how to develop and implement such a plan, go to the U.S. DOE’s “State and Local Solution Center.”
Community Resilience – Many communities are increasing their resilience to protect citizens from increasing extreme events, such as floods, droughts, and wildfires. Community resilience planning addresses a variety of stressors to vulnerable populations and natural resources so that communities can withstand extreme events while protecting economic, social, and environmental well-being. Get more information on developing community resilience in a highly collaborative manner..
Although we cannot control the increase in severe storms, we can take steps to analyze the risks and prepare. Here are three steps toward that goal:
(from the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/road.html)
There are now a wide range of more fuel-efficient vehicles that produce less greenhouse gas pollution. Before buying or renting a vehicle, check out EPA’S Green Vehicle Guide and the EPA/DOE Fuel Economy Guide Website. The Green Vehicle Guide describes emissions of air pollution and greenhouse gases for each model, and the Fuel Economy Guide focuses on fuel efficiency, including side-by-side fuel economy comparisons.
(from the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov/climate/climatechange/wycd/downloads/wycd-office.pdf)
Office equipment and electronics use energy even when idle or on stand-by. To save energy and reduce greenhouse gas pollution, activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords when not in use, and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you’re finished using computers, printers, wireless routers, etc.
(from the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/school.html)
Visit the EPA’s Climate Change Kids website and their Climate Animations to explore the science and impacts of climate change. The site has games to help students, parents, and teachers learn about the science of climate change and what they can do to reduce greenhouse gases.
(from the EPA at: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/wycd/home.html)
Change a lightbulb, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR logo and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every U.S. household took this one simple action, we would prevent greenhouse gas pollution equal to the emissions from 10 million cars.
Receive the latest news from ClimateWise
ClimateWise grows its programs through the generous support of caring people who believe we can and must do a better job addressing climate change for our children and those who will follow.