Save our planet
Climate ChangeScientists agree the Earth's climate is being directly affected by human activity, and for many people around the world, these changes are having negative effects. Records show that 11 of the last 12 years were among the 12 warmest on record worldwide. Warmer surface temperatures over just a few months in the Antarctic can splinter an ice shelf and prime it for a major collapse, NASA and university scientists have reported. The process can be expected to become more widespread if Antarctic summer temperatures increase. Above: The Larsen B ice shelf, which collapsed in 2000. Photo credit: NASAThe just-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers — the first volume of the IPCC's 4th Assessment Report — states that scientists are more than 90% confident that human industrial activity is driving global temperature rises. (add your thoughts on the report at RealClimate.org)Carbon dioxide levels today are nearly 30 percent higher than they were prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution, based on records extending back 650,000 years.According to NASA, the polar ice cap is now melting at the rate of 9 percent per decade. Arctic ice thickness has decreased 40 percent since the 1960s. The current pace of sea-level rise is three times the historical rate and appears to be accelerating.The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. The IPCC 4th Assessment Report said that this trend would likely continue.Droughts in the Sahel during the 1970s and 1980s were found to be caused by warmer sea surface temperatures, and the current drought in the Amazon is suspected to be a result of rising ocean temperatures.Poverty and food insecurity has also been tied to climate variability. We've got to Save Our Planet Earth!Oh, No! Our earth is in trouble, and we've got to save it! Oh, No!: Bad Facts about our earthIf you throw away 2 aluminum cans, you waste more energy than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) of the world's poorest people use a day. Making a new can from scratch uses the uses the energy equal to half a can of gasoline. About one third of what an average American throws out is packaging. More than 1,000,000,000 (one billion) trees are used to make disposable diapers every year. In one minute, 50 acres of rainforest are destroyed. Some rain has a pH of 3 or 4. (which is pretty acidic, considering 7 is neutral, not acidic, and battery acid has a pH of 1). Some fish, such as lake trout and smallmouth bass, have trouble reproducing at a pH of 6, which is only slightly acidic. Some clams and snails can't survive at all. Most crayfish are dead at a pH of 5. You can see how bad this is for the environment. On average, a person in the US uses energy two times more than a person in Japan or West Germany does, and 50 times more than a person in India. About 90% of the energy used in lighting a standard (incandescent) light bulb is lost as heat. Air conditioning uses 10 times more energy than a fan, therefore, it creates 10 times the pollutants. It takes half the output of the Alaskan pipeline to heat the air that escapes from all the homes in the US during a year. Cars and pick-up trucks are responsible for about 20% of the carbon dioxide released into the air. There are about 500 million automobiles on the planet, burning an average of 2 gallons of fuel a day. Each gallon releases 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. About 80% of our trash goes to landfills, 10% is incinerated, and 10% is recycled. Since there is little oxygen underground, where we bury our garbage, to help bacteria eat the garbage, almost nothing happens to it. Scientists have dug into landfills and found ears of corn still intact after 20 years, and newspapers still readable after 30. The average American makes about 3.5 pounds of trash a day. In a year, the average American uses as much wood in the form of paper as the average resident of the developing world burns as fuel. 26 things we can do to help:Turn off lights. Turn off other electric things, like TVs, stereos, and radios when not in use. Use rechargable batteries. Do things manually instead of electrically, like open cans by hand. Use fans instead of air conditioners. In winter, wear a sweater instead of turning up your thermostat. Insulate your home so you won't be cold in winter. Use less hot water. Whenever possible, use a bus or subway, or ride your bike or walk. Try to buy organic fruits and vegetables if you're concerned about pesticides. (Organic food is grown without man-made fertilizers and/or pesticides). Don't waste products made from forest materials. Use recycled paper and/or recycle it. Reuse old papers. Don't buy products that may have been made at the expense of the rainforest. Support products that are harvested from the rainforest but have not cut down trees to get it. Plant trees, espessially if you have cut one down. Get other people to help you in your cause. Make and/or join an organization. Avoid products that are used once, then thrown away. Buy products with little or no packaging. Encourage your grocery store sell environmentally friendly cloth bags for people to use when they shop, or bring your own. REDUCE, REUSE, & RECYCLE. Compost. Buy recycled products. Don't buy pets taken from the wild. If you have a good zoo nearby, (if the animals are healthy and the zoo takes care of them), support it! Espessially if they help breed endangered animals. Don't buy products if animals were killed to make it. Cut up your six-pack rings before throwing them out.