Climate change is an emergency. NASA reports that Carbon dioxide levels in the air are at their highest in 650,000 years and that nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000. The global temperature rise in addition to the shrinking ice sheets and the global sea level rise are all occurring at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years. The European Commission on Climate Action reports that each of the past three decades have been warmer than any preceding decade and that the world's leading climate scientists believe human activity to be the main cause of the warming.
We are already seeing the effects of climate change on the daily lives of people around the world. In the last 30 years, floods have affected more than 5.5 million people and caused direct economic losses of over $95 billion. Even for those of us who do not depend on the natural environment like our neighbors in developing countries, the heat waves, forest fires, droughts, floods, and wildfires will continue and become more frequent around the world. Why are we at fault? Yes, greenhouse gases occur naturally. However, human activity is rapidly increasing the concentrations of them in the atmosphere by burning coal, oil and gas, by deforestation, and by increasing livestock farming.
What in the world do we do?
1. Reduce energy use using by adopting energy-saving habits.
2. Reduce your carbon footprint by walking, biking, and using public transit.
3. Insulate your home to ensure that heat stays in or out depending on the season.
4. Conserve water by fixing drips and leaks, and by installing low-flow shower heads and toilets.
5. Wash clothing in cold water and hang clothing to dry outside, or indoors on a drying rack.
6. When replacing appliances, look for high efficiency units.
7. Switch to "green power" and, if possible, switch to a company offering power from renewable resources.
9. Repurpose old clothing and household goods by donating, selling, & re-using.
10. Plants trees and other plants that require minimal watering.
This list comes from Canada's Action on Climate Change. Read more here.