Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change

[Please excuse lack of images. I should have nicked them rather than using the ones on the Blogactionday site as that accounted has been suspended. I suspect it is only resurrected/hosted during the campaign's active life (around October each year)]

This year's theme for Blog Action Day is Climate Change. Previous themes have been Poverty and Environment and my previous posts on these are also relevant to Climate Change: poverty; environment.

As far as climate change itself is concerned, I can do no better than direct your attention to a number of tools for understanding the issue which are cited on the Blog Action Day site.

1. Google has built a site where you “explore the potential impacts of climate change on our planet Earth and find out about possible solutions for adaptation and mitigation, ahead of the UN’s climate conference in Copenhagen in December.” They’ve got a Google Earth mashup, a introductory video featuring Al Gore, and more. Visit: Climate change in Google Earth

2. Climate change is a human issue. It isn’t just about saving the planet and communities around the world face serious threats from the climate crisis. The TckTckTck campaign has created a great tool for learning the stories behind the human face of climate change. It’s called the Climate Orb and it is an animated interactive tool housing first-hand stories searchable by country, keyword and timeframe. Explore the Climate Orb. If this does not load properly you may need to update your Flash Player from here. I must admit, however, that I just can't get this link to work no matter what I do.

3. There’s a lot more to solving the climate crisis than just sitting back and leaving it to world leaders and policy wonks to figure everything out. Need inspiration? Meet Alec Loorz, the creator of Kids vs. Global Warming. He describes it as “group of kids that educate other kids about the science of global warming and empower them to take action.” The site shows that everyone really can play a role in tackling climate change.

4. Just the facts, that’s what some people want—as long as there are lots of cool charts, graphs and clear explanations of course. That’s what’s great about the Pew Center for Global Climate Change’s “Facts and Figures” site, it is filled with all the charts and graphs you need to get a much clearer picture of what causes climate change and what effects it has. If you want even more information you can also check out their entire Climate Change 101 series.

5. At this point you’ve probably heard of “carbon footprints” and you might have even used an online calculator to figure out what yours is (and thus what your impact is on climate change). The problem is that there are just so many calculators out there now it can be hard to figure out which one to use. Thankfully you can learn about your options from MNN’s 15 Best Carbon Calulators survey.

6. OK, but how will climate change affect you? What are the consquences that are mostly likely to impact your day-to-day life? Take a look at this list of The Top 100 Effects of Climate Change. From “Say Goodbye to Pinot Noir” to “More Bear Attacks” to “Malaria Spreading in South America” to “More Stray Kitties” it seems like climate change is going to have a lot of consequences, some big, some not so big.

7. On the other side of the coin, you might want to be a little more optimistic and review the science behind “10 Solutions for Climate Change” which details what we can actually do to solve these problems personally and as a larger society.

8. Finally, don’t forget that people all around the world are getting involved and taking action. Next week, on October 24, is organizing the International Day of Climate Action. You can visit their site and see what people all around the world are planning to do next week to demonstrate their commitment to stopping climate change.

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