Sunday, April 15, 2007

Step It Up 2007

All photos (C) Justin Serpico 2007

The first annual "Day of Climate Action" swept across the nation on April 14th, with over 1350 rallies to urge congress to enact sweeping changes to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

While the rally was aimed at affecting national policy change, there was a tremendous emphasis on micro change. Farmers and activist spoke about the benefits of buying food grown by local farmers and ranchers.

It's well known that people don't feel like they have an individual impact on reversing global climate change, and Step It Up 2007 was aimed at changing this feeling.

Little things like switching from incandescent light bulbs, insulating a house properly, switching to alternative energy to at least partially power a house, buying locally grown produce and meats are all ways to reduce carbon emissions.

While in urban areas completely powering a house using green energy might be impossible, it is possible to reduce carbon consumption. Using solar energy to heat the homes hot water supply is a simple and prove approach. In some areas entire housing communities are using geothermic hot water. This water still needs to be heated but it is already much warmer coming up from the ground then traditional incoming water. This reduces energy cost and carbon emissions.

The future of home energy consumption, which puts more carbon into the air then an SUV per year, is reducing grid obtained energy and making each home more energy efficient so that each little bit of energy the homeowner can produce, whether it be solar, wind, geothermal, or other sources will have a greater impact.

Food is another example of carbon pollution with a simple fix. The fact that it takes 36 calories of fossil fuel to transport 1 calorie of lettuce across the US is an example of how much carbon is emitted to feed this country. Most people probably never considered the impact of buying foods trucked in from far away on global warming.

Buying local foods reduces the amount of fossil fuels required to transport food, as well as supporting local growers, and keeping open space in your region.

The majority of our foods are trucked in from central locations, or from places with long growing seasons like California or Florida. Small farmers in the northeast are under extreme pressure to sell their land for development, while the nation has moved to more of a big box food supply economy.

In a push to show the quality and diversity of local foods, the Honest Weight Food Co-op of Albany, sponsored a free picnic in Washington Park prior to the march to the New York State capitol. The picnic was a showcase of local growers, with everything from free range BBQ chicken and tofu, to local produce and dairy available.

Following the march to the capitol local farmers, politicians and activist spoke about the individuals role in global climate change while pushing for national policy change.


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Friday, April 13, 2007

Does April Snow Mean Global Warming Is a Hoax

Most people appear to be under the impression that a cold spring means the scientist are nuts. Whats important to remember is that global warming doesn't mean it NY will become Florida and England will become Morocco.

What will happen is bizarre weather patterns and an overall world pattern of climate change. We will see faster melting of the global ice caps, glaciers and permanent snow fields.

On the other hand, some places might even see increases in snow fall.

For instance the Northeast might see later snow falls, and Nor'easters that would normally drop 10 inches of snow might drop 30inces.

What won't change is the fact that weather will become increasingly unpredictable and overall the world will see warmer average temperatures.

And in the battle of global warming it's not the day to day appearance, such as a few weeks of bitter cold, but the long term average temperatures, which over the last decade has had the bulk of the highest temperatures on record.

Look no further then the fact that over the last 20 years the permanent snow line of all the worlds major mountains has increased in altitude. Since the temperature drops approximately 3.5 degrees per every 1000 feet over 2000ft it is very simple to extrapolate that the air temperature is increasing.

Looking at the image at the start of the post you can see the difference in the Greenland snow cap from 1992 and 2005.


In Great Britian:

My photos are ‘wake-up call' on climate change, Joe Cornish tells BBC

Renowned landscape photographer Joe Cornish has spoken of his concern for climate change which he says is evident from recent pictures of the UK he has captured for the National Trust.Picture credit: Joe Cornish/NTPL

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Step It Up 2007: National Day Of Climate Action

Australian Students stand up to fossil fuels!

Photo: (c)

Saturday April 14th is the first National Day Of Climate Action.

It's the first step in a national movement to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

It's the first step in national awareness of the rapid warming of the planet. Similary to the first Earth Day in 1970 it's designed to promote awareness and action.

Despite holes and oversimplification in Al Gore's, Inconvenient Truth, the documentary served as a main stream education to the masses of the reality of climate change. Now it's time to take it a step further and push for enaction of national energy policy change and break the nations addiction to foreign fossil fuels.

There is certainly a rally in your area. And if not it might not be too late to put something together to bolster awareness, and show your elected officials that this isn't something you are willing to sit back and watch them twiddle their thumbs on.


Visit: Step It Up 2007 for more information

Aengus and Tom Gillespie

Tom Gillespie, right, and his son, Aengus, show off their banner
urging action against global warming Tuesday in Albany.
(Steve jacobs / Times Union)

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New York Welcomes Global Warming Change

Aengus and Tom Gillespie
Tom Gillespie, right, and his son, Aengus, show off their banner
urging action against global warming Tuesday in Albany.
(Steve jacobs / Times Union)

While nothing in science is generally ever 100% agreed upon, the fact that the ma
jority of the worlds scientist don't contest the fact that the earth is warming is a bit scary.

Sure they differ on what the results will be, how far we can go before the inertia of nature is shifted, but they don't contest it's happening, or that we are better off stopping it before finding out what the results will be.

We know that coastal areas will be devastated. If the ice caps melt it will at the very least increase water volume and erase some of the coast. It will affect growing seasons, rainfall, jetstreams, and gulf streams. The results of which are modeled but uncertain at best.

The ocean temperature is largely responsible for our global climate as long as it stays within a range that doesn't vastly differ (and that range could be just a few degrees or less) we should be able to correct our climate change. If it changes too much we will lose our inertia and lose the battle on global warming.

However, shifting the inertia of the ocean in any direction is hard to do. The reason is the ocean is a huge amount of the earths stored heat. It averages 13,000ft deep and to heat or cool all that water will take some time. If we shift the direction of that heating or cooling too much we will be in serious climatic trouble.

Inertia is a key word in "Global Warming" once we shift it so far off it's course it will be impossible to correct it. There is no definite degree of temperature increase that would be the point of no return at this point, but scientist agree that we don't want to find that point.

Right now the environments, and oceans, inertia is still in our favor according to most scientist. If we act now and act fast we can keep it from shifting in a direction that we will not be able to fix

The scariest part of all of this to me is the fact that in the US we don't care, well, not enough to change.

Congress is completely inept. Not in the usual way, but in the fact that they are lawyers and politicians and simply don't understand the things scientist are telling them. If you watch the C-Span congressional hearings of scientist, and even Al Gore, it's clear that congress has not a clue as to what to do. The only question they know to ask is "how much will it cost".

Our national lawmakers seem completely confused even as the scientific dogma is sliced so thin that even a child with a 8th grade education could easily digest it.

Weaning the nation from wasteful ways, and an addiction to fossil fuels will be tough and expensive, but a more effecient energy plan will save money. Ultimately less dependence on foreign oil will save money in both real dollars, global security, and will eliminate the speculative uncertainty of the price of foreign energy which unfortunately has more to do with energy cost then the actual value of the fuel we use.

Higher effeciency will mean lower cost and more stable economies. In a nation where the bottom dollar is the most important thing that will be the most influential argument to facilitate changing our policies.


To take part in the fight against the "do nothing and hope for the best" policies of our government on April 14th (and beyond), visit:

Step It Up 2007: A National Day Of Climate Action

And Remember That Uncle Sam Loves Fossil Fuel So If You Do Nothing, Nothing Will Happen.


Scientists turn up the heat in climate debate
Global warming rally planned for Troy is one of 1,300 across the U.S.

By BRIAN NEARING, Staff writer
First published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

"Scientists are being treated as the authorities for this issue," said Bystroff, who is among 20 RPI scientists involved in planning the Troy rally.

"Let me dispel any notion that scientists all think alike. They like to argue among themselves, and that is why the convergence of opinion on climate change is quite astounding. That there is real controversy remaining over the science behind the climate change has been exaggerated."


"A decade ago, McKibben wrote "The End of Nature," the first general-interest book on global warming by an American.

Last year, his family ate only food grown near his home in the Champlain Valley of New York and Vermont as a way to reduce the transport of food across vast distances.

McKibben said 36 calories of fossil fuel energy are consumed to transport one calorie of nutrition from iceberg lettuce from California fields to East Coast supermarkets.

"The reality that we are faced with now is that our government has been reluctant to get involved to fight global warming," said David Yarrow, director of the Regional Farm and Food Project.

"Since we live in a democracy, it is only the voice of the citizens that can provoke the government into action," he said.

"This is our first attempt to make this a national issue. We need to stop contributing to climate change, then we can figure out how to adapt to the changes that are already coming."

Albany, N.Y.: - Print Story

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