CaN: Carbon Reduction
What is the Climate Crisis?
Climate science is crystal clear that to sustain a habitable planet humans must cut carbon emissions by 20 billion tons by 2030. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are the main drivers of global warming. While we cannot stop climate change, we can slow down and mitigate its worst consequences by reducing the emissions that we are pouring into the atmosphere. We see the effects of climate change and global warming daily: Hotter summers, more severe storms, drought, damaging winds, rising sea levels and catastrophic weather events across our country, including unprecedented wildfires. This will only get worse as the planet continues to heat up and there is an urgent need to reduce our carbon output now.
For many years we spoke about climate change. However, now we speak about the climate crisis because the rate of warming is accelerating and the subsequent impact is becoming catastrophic.
What are the effects of the Climate Crisis?
After World War II the use of fossil fuels has gone up rapidly. Each molecule of CO2, on average, stays in the atmosphere for about a hundred years and it traps heat for all of that time. Burning fossil fuels is the single largest cause of the climate crisis and that is where we need to focus.
Seventy percent of our planet is covered by the ocean. Scientists tell us that 93 percent of the extra heat caused by the greenhouse effect is being absorbed by the Earth's oceans. Oceans circulate heat around the world through massive surface and deep-water currents which help regulate global climate and weather. Warming oceans have consequences, including devastating the world’s coral reefs and playing havoc with our weather systems. Climate change is disrupting how oceans regulate global temperatures.
The effects of the climate crisis are all around us. From more severe hurricanes and typhoons, to record breaking fire seasons and devastation. The severe drought of this summer is an effect of climate change, as are our warmer winters and hotter and drier summers. This is, unfortunately, the new normal. We can see the weather is changing and each year we are seeing more signs that things are heading in the wrong direction. Even in our little Village we are seeing severe weather. Just think about the effects of some of the recent strong storms we’ve experienced.
What CAn We Do?
In 2015, by signing up to the Paris Agreement on climate change, nearly every country pledged to keep global temperatures “well below” 2C above per-industrial levels and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C” during the 21st century.
Limiting global warming to 1.5oC requires rapid, far-reaching
and unprecedented changes in
all aspects of society to reduce emissions.
Government, businesses and organizations all have an important role to play, but so do we. And so we are focusing on us - an important part of the solution.