Written and submitted by Jim Devries, NE MN YES! Coordinator
Climate Change is something that is on our minds these days. Record breaking temperatures, storms that are larger than normal, an increase or decrease in animal populations are all signs that things are changing. Climate conditions are often the understood reason for these changes. Many ask “why is this happening?” “What can we do to correct it?” is maybe an even better question.
In November 2017 the COP23 (Conference of the Parties) took place in Bonn Germany. COP27 is a global climate conference where nations from countries around the globe come together to address the problems and develop solutions. The current target is to keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Currently the rise over the last century is just over 1 degree Celsius and citizens of the world are taking steps to keep it below 1.5.
What are they doing and what can you do? The first and most important step is to reduce your carbon emissions. When carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, a “blanket” forms over the planet allowing heat to be trapped, causing temperatures to rise. This is a simplified version of what is actually happening, but for this post it will be our definition.
Some simple things that will help keep our global temperatures down include: Drive less, walk more. Turn off lights and electric devices when they are not in use. Turn down the heat in your home by as little as one degree. Eliminate the “phantom loads” (phantom loads are electric appliances that use electricity when they are not in use) such as cell phone chargers, TV’s, computers in sleep mode to name a few. Smart Power Strips assist in this process by automatically shutting down when they are not needed.
One other thing that you can do is attend one of the Climate Convening’ that Youth Energy Summit (YES!) teams are hosting around the State. These convening’sill be taking place in the spring of 2018 and will be a good place to learn about Climate Change and the cause and effects that have been noticed. Each convening will also have practical advice on what the citizenry can do to lessen their impacts on the global problem. Stay tuned to this blog to find out when and where these convening’ will be held and make an effort to attend one held near you. Make your impacts even greater by filling your car with friends and family members as you attend the convening.