Monthly Archives: November 2007

Personal Impact: Does It Really Matter What You Do?

This post is by Sheryl Canter, an Online Writer and Editorial Manager at Environmental Defense.

Have you ever been on weight-loss diet, gone to a function with delicious-looking desserts, and told yourself, "One cookie isn’t going to make me fat"? One cookie may not make you fat, but how many "cookie moments" occur during your day, your week? If your answer is always that this one little cookie can’t hurt, you will not lose weight.

Conserving energy is sort of like going on a group diet where every person, dozens of times a day, has a "cookie moment". Does it really matter if I leave on the lights in my home when I go out? Does it really matter if I don’t recycle this container? Does it really matter if I keep my chargers plugged in when not in use?

The short answer is yes, it matters. There are a myriad of things you can do to conserve energy and fight global warming. Each action by itself is small and painless, but taken together the effect can be huge. Here’s a list of easy things you can do that will make a big difference.

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Posted in News / Read 10 Responses

Extinctions Increase with Global Warming

This post is by Lisa Moore, Ph.D., a scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense.

Earth is home to millions of species. This rich biodiversity isn’t just beautiful, it’s also tremendously valuable. As just one example, consider coral reefs. They support fisheries that are the main source of protein for a billion people, and bring billions of tourist dollars into local economies.

Scientists have warned that climate change puts a large fraction of Earth’s species at risk for extinction. Most of these predictions are based on comparisons between species’ apparent climate requirements to projections of future conditions. A new study [PDF] in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B looks at the relationship between climate and biodiversity from a different perspective: the Earth’s deep past. The study found a long-term correlation between global temperature and extinction.

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Posted in Plants & Animals / Read 1 Response

New Poll: Independents Overwhelmingly Support a Mandatory Cap on Carbon Emissions

This post is by Tony Kreindler, Media Director, National Climate Campaign, Environmental Defense.

Environmental Defense commissioned the Republican polling firm Ayres, McHenry & Associates – who no one could accuse of a left-wing bias – to survey voters in 49 swing congressional districts about their views on climate change (view full survey results [PDF]).

Notably, independent voters – who could have a big say in which party controls the Congress after the next election – think that Congress should stop bickering and pass legislation that requires cuts in carbon emissions.

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Posted in Climate Change Legislation / Read 7 Responses

Public Health Professionals are Catching the Fever

This post is by John Balbus, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Health Scientist at Environmental Defense.

Damage to public health from climate change is already occurring around the world, with over 160,000 extra deaths occurring annually from malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, and flooding.

Public health professionals are taking notice, and looking for solutions.

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Posted in Health / Read 2 Responses

Save Energy by Saving Water – and Vice Versa

This post is by Mary Kelly, Attorney and Co-Director, Land, Water, and Wildlife Program at Environmental Defense.

If you’ve been watching the news, you know we have a climate problem, and you may also know we have a drinking water problem in some parts of the country. What you may not realize is that these two problems are related. Yes, global warming can impact rainfall, but that’s not all. The water supply sector uses large amounts of energy to transport, treat, and deliver water. On the flip side, vast quantities of water are required to generate power.

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Posted in News / Read 6 Responses

Rise of Atmospheric Carbon is Accelerating

This post is by Lisa Moore, Ph.D., a scientist in the Climate and Air program at Environmental Defense.

Last month, Michael explained why we need to cut emissions as soon as possible. A new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences adds even more urgency. It says that:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use have accelerated since 2000, and
  • Earth’s oceans may be taking up an increasingly smaller fraction of the extra CO2.

This paper received coverage even before it was published. Now that it’s out, let’s take a closer look.

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Posted in News / Read 4 Responses