“WHAT global warming?!? We’re buried in snow!”

blizzThis comment would NEVER come from me… but I’ve heard it (at least 20 times from family and friends over the past three months).

Each time I want to scream.  I desperately want to get in arguments and pull out all the facts.  My husband pleads with me to “let it go” and brings me down to (our undeniably snowy) earth.  But I do have to share the reality with them….

I understand how this is a quick, easy argument from anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming or climate change.  It seems logical, but it’s not supported by science.  The fact:  hotter air can hold more moisture and this, in turn, creates and releases massive amounts of snow when the temperatures are below freezing. This is the same reason hurricanes have become so destructive… warming waters, rising sea levels and an increase in the intensity obliz radf the storm.

We could all argue the point until we’re blue in the face (and yes, the naysayers would tell you you’re turning blue because you’re freezing your a$$ off!) but the evidence of the earth’s temperature rising is factual. It’s on record. The 11 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 13 (and that record dates back to 1880!)

We can debate (until we’re BLUER in the face) if a portion of that is caused by human behavior, activity and INaction, but that’s another huge conversation.

Take a look at this quick interview with a physics professor to prepare your defense to family and friends.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Call it global warming, climate change, global swings, whatever… but the fact is undeniable… we’re heatin’ up, baby, and yes, that means lots of snow too!

Global warming: why “one degree” matters…

Global WarmingThere are so many naysayers when it comes to global warming.  I happen NOT to be one of them, obviously (although I did get quite a laugh when my local news weather forecaster made this little snafu!).

In all reality though, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how one simple degree matters.  Can it really change our world?  Can it really change the composition of something and create a calculable alteration? Can it really make a difference?

The next time you wonder, consider this:

At 32° F a popsicle stays solid enough to take a bite; at 33° degrees it melts and falls off the stick.grn pops

This is the perfect example to share with our children.  It certainly put it into perspective for me and the example left me wide-eyed and wondering.

Besides all of the most familiar effects of global warming (melting polar ice caps, weather extremes, changes in species and geography, and even our health) someone also compiled a rather extraordinary list of 600 ways global warming is changing our planet.

But the next time someone you know questions global warming, invite them over for a popsicle… serve it at 33 degrees and tell them you didn’t think it would matter.

Are you “going green” just to be a “show off”?

t-shrtOkay, first of all, this is not my implication but this comes from an article I just read from author Steve Martin (no, not THAT Steve Martin!)… but it’s very interesting in that it refers to research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology as tested by Vladas Griskevicius from the University of Minnesota along with Joshua Taylor and Bram Van den Bergh from the University of New Mexico and the Rotterdam School of Management.

It seems their research suggests that  “making environmentally conscientious purchase decisions can be seen as altruistic and as a result publicly enhance people’s status”… hmmm?… kind of interesting…

It made me stand back for a second and evaluate myself. And this is what I discovered:

  • Recycling – everyone has a blue recycling can in my neighborhood.  Every “trash night” EVERYONE has the can at the curb.  No one knows if it’s full or contains just a dozen items… or one.
  • Water & energy – no one knows except me… although the Cleveland Division of Water seems to want to tell me I’m a “super consumer” and I have yet to be compared to the “Joneses”… but only I know I’m conservative.
  • Appliances – all of our appliances are energy and water efficient, but I have never introduced anyone to my appliances with a “look at these ‘green’ things!” announcement.
  • Car – admittedly, I drive an SUV.  No, it’s not the greenest thing on the planet, but it’s what others “see”. I do my maintenance to keep it as efficient as possible and “it is what it is”.  I’m not in a position or a mind set to replace it and it doesn’t have bumper stickers announcing my stance on anything.eco bg
  • Products – I buy lots of eco-friendly stuff, from body products to detergents, but they don’t really seem to attract any attention!
  • Food – again, no one knows except me, the clerk at the grocery store or the guy who fulfills our CSA order, but I know that I neither stand in line at the store, waving my purchase, yelling “this is organic!” nor do I mill around the CSA pick-up hoping someone will notice me.
  • Clothing – I try to buy organic cotton as much as I can, but I do admittedly have a number of tee’s that announce my “greenness” too… hmmm… show-offy?
  • Shopping in general – well, I never accept plastic bags and always (ALWAYS!) tote my own reusable bags (but not THIS one!), so I guess that’s a little indicator of my “greenness”.

Self-evaluation?  I think I’m doing okay – green for all the right reasons, I’d say.  Nothing “too flauty”, nothing “look-at-me”… okay, except the tees… and my bags… oops…. and this blog! 🙂

So… how about you?

Is climate change affecting your HEALTH?

Global WarmingThat’s a question I had always wondered about.  When we think about climate change, or global warming, we often visualize an image like a polar bear precariously balanced on a small floating patch of ice but, in the bigger picture, can it affect our own health?

The answer is absolutely.

Unfortunately, there are many ways that are often overlooked and never even discussed when we consider climate change.  The change in global temperature can have long-term effects on human health because it affects the food we eat, the diseases we get, the disorders we develop, the air we breathe and the water we drink… all the things essential to a healthy body.

Here are just a few concerns to consider if anyone ever thinks this is only an environmental issue:

  • Greenhouse gasses can cause respiratory issues and more severe problems for asthma suffers because plants will actually produce more allergens when temperatures increase.
  • Extra heat creates more ground-level ozone, and increases pollution, which creates added stress for our heart and lungs.childhealth
  • Rising temperatures can increase the range of infectious parasites and therefore increase the rate and severity of infectious diseases.
  • Weather extremes will increase, resulting in intense heat waves or bouts of bitter cold, resulting in cardiovascular and respiratory disorders.
  • Crops can become compromised, decreasing the yield and reducing their nutritional quality.
  • Water supplies are reduced along with the quality of water, coupled with an increase of water-borne illnesses.

Research has shown that bugs, plants, animals are all literally moving closer to the poles to escape the increases in heat.  Tropical fish have even been found off the coast of Long Island, New York, because of the rise in water temperature.

The next time someone rejects the idea of climate change affecting their lives, remind them that our environment can’t change without changing us too!

Environmentalists = communists.

Let me say, very loudly, that this is not my opinion, nor my comment.  This was a statement made by a speaker at the International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by The Heartland Institute, currently taking place in New York.

Global WarmingIt was pointed out to me by a family member who knows my passion, knows about my blog and seems hell-bent on disproving everything about global warming.  (From here I will refer to the “family member” as “FM”) but “FMs” case is based on a belief that “all of you nut-jobs think we should get rid of cows.”  Wow.  It is so much bigger than that.

If you want to read the article, I will attach it here, but it’s infuriating… and I hate to even link to it.  Czech Republic President, Vaclav Klaus, was the speaker claiming that “global warming ‘alarmists’ are propagating hysteria like communists, with the goal of controlling the public”, while he also believes that the planet actually needs to be saved from us (environmentalists).   Another keynote speaker also suggested that physicists and scientists have subscribed to the belief of global warming simply to save their jobs and get funding for research.

I don’t like to get too political in my views and the topics that I blog about, but this stuff boils my blood.

I wish I had 5 minutes to stand before their conference and say:  “Let’s presume that man-made global warming does NOT exist in any way, shape or form – that there is nothing, at all, we can do to prevent it.  Now ask yourselves:”

  • What is WRONG with simply taking steps to reduce energy-waste?global-warming-bear
  • What is WRONG with efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
  • What is WRONG with striving to reduce pollution?
  • What is WRONG with recycling?
  • What is WRONG with protecting our food and water supply?
  • What is WRONG with protecting rainforests, oceans, animals and their habitats?
  • What is WRONG with taking steps to insure that if global warming IS real, we aren’t sitting idly by, letting the problem worsen?
  • If we take all of these actions, even if they are unnecessary, how will it HURT? Answer: it won’t.

I choose to “err on the side of caution.”  If I can take free or low-cost steps to see that I’m not personally worsening the world that I will eventually leave to my kids, WHY WOULDN’T I? I have lost nothing. Do they really believe that industrialization has NOTHING to do with it, even though the past 50 years have seen the highest rate of emissions, as well as the highest rate of warming?  The way I see it, those opposed to making simple adjustments just don’t want to change their ways, sacrifice a little, rethink common practices and give up the overindulgent conveniences of modern life that are spread out before us.

I love “FM”, but my mind is made up.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “I refuse to be a part of the problem.”  We’ll have to agree to disagree.