GREEN GUIDESCHELSEA
CLIMATE
CHANGE
SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO
TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Jon Clift & Amanda Cuthbert
ChelseaGreenE...
Media Inquires
contact:
Taylor Haynes at:
thaynes@chelseagreen.com
For more information
go to:
http://www.chelseagreen
.co...
CLIMATE CHANGE
Simple things you can do
to make a difference
Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 1
ChelseaGreenE...
Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 2
ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissionon...
JON CLIFT & AMANDA CUTHBERT
Climate
Change
Simple things you can do
to make a difference
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
...
First published in 2008 by Green Books, Foxhole, Dartington, Totnes, Devon
TQ9 6EB, UK (www.greenbooks.co.uk)
Copyright © ...
CONTENTS
Introduction 7
Home heating 15
Hot water 19
Lighting 23
Cooking 27
Keeping things cool 33
Washing dishes 37
Washi...
Introduction
Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 6
ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwit...
INTRODUCTION
What is climate change?
“Climate change” is the changing of the world’s climate as a
result of what we, the h...
when and how much it snows, and the frequency and
strength of storms.
What causes it?
The main cause of climate change is ...
What proof is there?
We have all been experiencing more extremes of weather
recently. Ever since the world’s scientists re...
but things could change far more rapidly than many people
expect. The pleasant notion that our winters will just become
mi...
What can I do about it?
Now for the good news — there’s lots you can do
Most of the world’s climate scientists believe we ...
Simple actions can considerably reduce our energy consump-
tion and our energy bills, and help reduce climate change: the
...
The theory of carbon offsetting is based on the concept of
allowing CO2 to be emitted now, and then reducing it at a
later...
Home heating
Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 14
ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwi...
HOME HEATING
What does heating my home have to do with cli-
mate change?
• When coal, gas, or oil are burned to warm your ...
• Turn down the thermostat when you are going away;
40ºF will prevent pipes from bursting in cold weather.
• Set the timer...
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Chelsea Green Guide to Climate Change Preview

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Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference
by Amanda Cuthbert, Jon Clift

You know that the ice caps are melting, the seasons are changing, sea levels are rising, storms are on the increase, but what can you do about it? Plenty!

This book puts the power back into your hands in the face of the doom and gloom of climate change. You don’t have to wait for someone else to sort it out; rather than worry and feel helpless, you can get up and do something.

Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference is packed with ideas for action, from simple everyday things that cost nothing to bigger projects that involve more time and money. For example:

Get on your bike • Buy local food • Turn off your TV • Insulate your attic • Recycle and compost • Take the train • Turn down the heat • Install solar panels

Do your part and protect the planet for today and tomorrow.

This is a pre-publication preview.

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Transcript of "Chelsea Green Guide to Climate Change Preview"

  1. 1. GREEN GUIDESCHELSEA CLIMATE CHANGE SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Jon Clift & Amanda Cuthbert ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  2. 2. Media Inquires contact: Taylor Haynes at: thaynes@chelseagreen.com For more information go to: http://www.chelseagreen .com/bookstore/item/ climate_change: paperbackPub Date: April 2009 $7.95 US, $9.95 CAN • PB 9781603581066 43 /4 x 61 /2 • 96 pages • Color photos Environment • Green tips of the day found on chelseagreen.com Jon Clift has a master’s degree in sustainable e freelance environmental consultant and lives in works as a freelance writer and lives in Devon Green Guides: Greening Your Office; Water: Less–Save More. You know that the ice caps are melting, the sea are on the increase, but what can you do abou This book puts the power back into your hand change. You don’t have to wait for someone els helpless, you can get up and do something. Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to action, from simple everyday things that cost n time and money. For example: Get on your bike • Buy local food • Turn off yo compost • Take the train • Turn down the heat Do your part and protect the planet for today a CLIMATE CHANGE Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert The 7th in the Chelsea A pocket guide for personal global warming. •••Other b 9 You know that the ice caps are melting, the seasons are changing, sea levels are rising, storms are on the increase, but what can you do about it? Plenty! This book puts the power back into your hands in the face of the doom and gloom of climate change. You don’t have to wait for someone else to sort it out; rather than worry and feel helpless, you can get up and do something. Climate Change: Simple Things You Can Do to Make a Difference is packed with ideas for action, from simple everyday things that cost nothing to bigger projects that involve more ANGE Can Do ce nda Cuthbert The 7th in the Chelsea GREEN Guide series A pocket guide for personal action that will combat global warming.
  3. 3. CLIMATE CHANGE Simple things you can do to make a difference Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 1 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  4. 4. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 2 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  5. 5. JON CLIFT & AMANDA CUTHBERT Climate Change Simple things you can do to make a difference Chelsea Green Publishing Company White River Junction, Vermont Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 3 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.PROOF.
  6. 6. First published in 2008 by Green Books, Foxhole, Dartington, Totnes, Devon TQ9 6EB, UK (www.greenbooks.co.uk) Copyright © 2008 Green Books All rights reserved First Chelsea Green printing February, 2009 Printed in Canada Text printed on 100-percent postconsumer-waste recycled paper 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 09 10 11 12 13 DISCLAIMER: The advice in this book is believed to be correct at the time of printing, but the authors and publishers accept no liability for actions inspired by this book. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Clift, Jon. Climate change : simple things you can do to make a difference / Jon Clift & Amanda Cuthbert. p. cm. ISBN 978-1-60358-106-6 1. Climatic changes. I. Cuthbert, Amanda. II. Title. QC981.C5C55 2008 640--dc22 2008053491 Chelsea Green Publishing Company P.O. Box 428 White River Junction, VT 05001 (802) 295-6300 www.chelseagreen.com Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 4 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  7. 7. CONTENTS Introduction 7 Home heating 15 Hot water 19 Lighting 23 Cooking 27 Keeping things cool 33 Washing dishes 37 Washing and drying clothes 41 Electrical appliances and electronic gadgets 45 Trash 49 Travel 59 Shopping 63 Water 67 Gardening 73 Renewable energy and your home 79 Resources 87 Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 5 ChelseaGreenGreenE-Galley.E-Galley.E-Galley.E-Galley.NotNotNotforforforcopyingcopyingcopyingordistribution.distribution.distribution.distribution.QuotationQuotationQuotationQuotationwithwithwithpermissionpermissionpermissionpermissiononly.only.only.UNCORRECTEDUNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  8. 8. Introduction Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 6 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDUNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  9. 9. INTRODUCTION What is climate change? “Climate change” is the changing of the world’s climate as a result of what we, the humans on this planet, are doing. It’s a massive problem, and in many people’s eyes the single biggest problem ever to face humankind; because if we carry on behaving as we’re doing now, we face large rises in global temperatures and also in sea levels, which will have disas- trous consequences. There’s plenty we can all do to slow it down. Yes, it is a mas- sive challenge, and a topic that’s surrounded by loads of gloom and doom, but fortunately we still have time. This is not one of those scare stories that pop up now and again in the papers — this is real. So much so that ever since 1988 the United Nations has had a team of about 3,000 scien- tists from all over the world monitoring what is happening, researching what to do about it, and advising the world’s gov- ernments. “Climate change”and“global warming”both refer to the same thing, although “climate change” is a better description because the warming up of the earth changes our whole cli- mate, including how much it rains, the strength of the wind, Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 7 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  10. 10. when and how much it snows, and the frequency and strength of storms. What causes it? The main cause of climate change is carbon dioxide, a gas that is produced whenever we burn fossil fuels like oil (in the form of gasoline or diesel), natural gas, or coal. We use these fuels to give us the energy that we need every day. Power plants burn fuel to make electricity for our homes. We burn fossil fuels to move our cars, buses, trains, and planes, to warm our houses, to manufacture our goods — the list is vir- tually endless. When fossil fuels are burned, carbon dioxide (CO2) goes into the atmosphere where, as we burn more and more fossil fuels to feed our ever-increasing demand for energy, the amount of CO2 gas increases. CO2 has always been in the atmosphere, trapping just enough heat for life on earth. Now the excess of CO2 has upset this delicate balance, and not enough heat can escape back into space. Consequently the temperature of our world is slowly but surely rising, and will continue to do so unless we do some- thing about it. 8 C l i m a te C h a n g e According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), our homes produce 21% of the total of U.S. CO2 emis- sions, behind the transportation (33%) and industri- al (28%) sectors and ahead of the commercial (18%) sector. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 8 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.E-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  11. 11. What proof is there? We have all been experiencing more extremes of weather recently. Ever since the world’s scientists realized that the world was warming, they have been monitoring what has been going on, and the proof is now staring us in the face: • The average surface temperature of the earth, together with air and sea temperatures, is rising. We can see this because glaciers are retreating, and in some cases disap- pearing altogether. • The ice caps at the North and South Poles are melting. • Snow and ice, which for millennia has covered large areas of frozen land, is now rapidly melting. • Eleven of the last twelve years have been the warmest years ever since records were kept. • Storms and floods are increasing in intensity and ferocity, with disastrous consequences. Weather patterns are much less predictable than they used to be. • Flowers are blooming earlier, and some migratory birds have stopped flying toward the tropics in the wintertime. How will climate change affect me? The world’s scientists predict that, unless we dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions, the temperature of the earth will spiral out of control. This is not going to happen overnight, I nt ro d u c t i o n 9 Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 9 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  12. 12. but things could change far more rapidly than many people expect. The pleasant notion that our winters will just become milder and our summers a little warmer is, unfortunately, not what is in the cards. Summer temperatures will continue to rise, becoming life- threatening at times. Seriously heavy rainfall and conse- quently extensive flooding is also expected. Flooding and storm damage will also become more frequent in coastal communities, as sea levels rise and storms increase in ferocity. In the longer term, as the ice sheets continue to melt, we could face large sea-level rises. The ice sheets melting on Greenland alone will probably raise sea levels anywhere from 19 to 23 feet, with obvious huge repercussions for many cities and areas by or near the coast. Water supplies will be under duress, with water shortages becoming acute in some parts of the world. This lack of water to both drink and grow crops will, combined with the flood- ing, create food shortages and force people to move. Large- scale migration is expected, placing huge social and political pressure on the host countries. 10 C l i m a te C h a n g e With the ice melting and the sea warming, sea levels are rising at a rate of about 3 millimeters (0.1 inch) a year. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 10 ChelseaChelseaGreenE-Galley.E-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  13. 13. What can I do about it? Now for the good news — there’s lots you can do Most of the world’s climate scientists believe we have time to prevent climate change spiraling out of control if we act now. Within the next ten years we all need to dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions in order to minimize the impact of climate change. It won’t be easy — we will need to change our lifestyles — but it is very achievable. Little things that we can do every day can produce large results. If we all turned off our TVs and other gadgets that are kept on standby, for example, we could shut down seventeen power plants in the U.S., with huge reductions in CO2 emissions. We are all using more and more energy: keeping our houses so hot that we walk around in short sleeves in the winter, driving the car just around the corner to get the Sunday paper, pop- ping on a plane for a long weekend abroad in the sun, buying grapes in January that have been flown in from Chile — the list is endless. We need to be more efficient in the way we use energy. I nt ro d u c t i o n 11 Our electricity consumption has gone up 70% since 1970. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 11 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.distribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  14. 14. Simple actions can considerably reduce our energy consump- tion and our energy bills, and help reduce climate change: the less energy we use, the less CO2 is released, which benefits us all. Once we are aware of what’s happening, most of the things we need to do are just common sense. We don’t have to shiver in unheated houses with no modern appliances, or sell our cars and go back to horses and carts; we just have to reduce our carbon footprint. Climate change terms Carbon footprint Your carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of carbon dioxide your activities add to the atmosphere. Surprisingly, many items — from apples to cars — can have a carbon foot- print too, especially if they have been flown thousands of miles or if energy has been used in their production.Your pur- chasing choices can make a big difference to your overall car- bon footprint. Carbon offsetting Can’t I simply pay for somebody to plant a few trees to cancel my CO2 emissions? While in theory this may seem like a good idea, this process, known as “carbon offsetting,” is unfortu- nately not the way out of the problem. 12 C l i m a te C h a n g e Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 12 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  15. 15. The theory of carbon offsetting is based on the concept of allowing CO2 to be emitted now, and then reducing it at a later date. Carbon offsetting generally involves paying a com- pany either to invest in renewable energy projects that may reduce CO2 emissions in the future, or to plant trees that will possibly take CO2 out of the atmosphere at some future date. But the problem of excess CO2 is here today: we can’t afford to wait, and need to work in the present. The setting up of these “offsetting” projects creates the per- ception that we can carry on polluting at the rates we current- ly do. I nt ro d u c t i o n 13 Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 13 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  16. 16. Home heating Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 14 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDUNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  17. 17. HOME HEATING What does heating my home have to do with cli- mate change? • When coal, gas, or oil are burned to warm your house, carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere; this is the main cause of climate change. • Coal, gas, or oil are burned in power plants to produce the electricity used to warm your home. Less energy used for heating = less CO2 What can I do about it? NOW . . . • Take charge of your heating — how about turning down the thermostat by 2ºF — this can reduce your energy con- sumption by 10%. • Turn radiators off or down in rooms you only use occa- sionally. We spend up to one-half of our household energy bills on keeping our homes warm in winter. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 15 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissionpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.
  18. 18. • Turn down the thermostat when you are going away; 40ºF will prevent pipes from bursting in cold weather. • Set the timer for your heating system to come on about 30 minutes before you get up or come home in the evening, and to go off about half an hour before you leave in the morning or go to bed. • Put on more clothes rather than turning up the heat. • Draw curtains over windows at night: they provide insu- lation and help to keep the heat in the room. Avoid cover- ing radiators with curtains — they will funnel the heat out through the glass of the windows. LATER . . . • Buy weatherstripping for your doors and windows. It won’t cost much and will make a big difference. You may not want to do this in your bathroom or kitchen if you have problems with condensation. Make sure you still have sufficient ventilation. 16 C l i m a te C h a n g e WARNING — If you are elderly or infirm, try to keep your room temperatures at 65ºF at least, and your living room and bathroom at about 70ºF. WARNING — Don’t block up air vents or grilles in walls if you have an open gas fire, a boiler with an open flue, or a solid-fuel fire or heater. These need sufficient ventilation to burn properly, as otherwise highly poisonous carbon monoxide gas is released. Climate Change final pgs 1/21/09 2:36 PM Page 16 ChelseaGreenE-Galley.Notforcopyingordistribution.Quotationwithpermissiononly.UNCORRECTEDPROOF.

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