Earth Day 2013: Bringing Climate Change Back Home

What will more intense rain, rising seas and other vagaries of a changing climate mean to you?

Today is the 43rd annual Earth Day celebration and this year’s theme is the Face of Climate Change. Your first thought of climate change might be about its impacts – drought and deluge, warming temperatures, rising sea levels and acidic oceans, among many others – which are happening now. While it’s certainly distressing to think about the problems associated with climate change, Earth Day presents us with the opportunity to show off a little. The environmental movement has worked incredibly hard to achieve a lot over the last 40 years when it comes to cleaning up land, water and air, not to mention simply pushing environmental concerns into the national conversation.

How was this done? Just as the Earth Day Network suggests with this year’s theme, it was by making environmental consequences more concrete and personal, and by illustrating that everyone has a part to play. Today, by understanding the personal experiences of others and how they are dealing with climate challenges, we can bring the message home in an effort to affect positive change in our own corners of the world. To add your face as inspiration, go to the Earth Day Network to upload your own photos and see the “faces of climate change” from around the world.

What has Ecocentric blog had to say about climate change over the past couple of years, and the people who are trying to make a difference today? Here are eight archival posts from our unique food, water and energy perspective.

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Our Hero: Chris Gobler, Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Recently, Ecocentric's Kyle Rabin interviewed Dr. Chris Gobler of Stony Brook University. They discussed threats to Long Island's drinking water supply, harmful algal blooms like brown tide and how a local shellfisherman's personal story inspired Chris's path as a scientist and professor.

Connecting the Dots on Climate Change – and Food
Last year, the folks at 350.org and others around the world participated in a global event designed to demonstrate that climate change is no longer a shadow looming on a distant horizon. It’s evident in an upsurge in extreme weather – how do you connect the dots?
   
Superstorm Sandy Demands We Pay Attention to Climate Change – and the Nexus
From New York to Ohio and beyond, Superstorm Sandy brought climate change and the nexus into millions of our homes and lives like never before. As the cleanup and recovery efforts continue, we're thinking about how to pitch in - and how food, water and energy play big roles.
   
Drought or Deluge: Different Threats, Same Problems
Whether it’s the flooded Northeast or drought-stricken Texas, the threats are different, but the problems are the same: Farms are devastated, power plants shut down and water supplies are threatened.

Climate Change and Insurance...Are We Headed in the Wrong Direction?
With climate change we'll get more droughts, floods, wildfires, hurricanes and tornadoes. With home owner’s insurance we'll get higher rates, exclusions on coverage and denial of coverage altogether. Where are we headed?

Taking Moonshots at a Low Carbon Future
There are a lot of proposals to wean the world off of fossil fuels and move towards 100 percent renewable energy. But are any of those ideas feasible?

Keep Fighting: The Last Mountain (A Film Review)
The Last Mountain, a scathing documentary about mountaintop removal mining, details the many injustices bestowed by the coal industry upon the very people it claims to support.

No More Sea Shells by the Sea Shore – New Evidence of the Impacts of Rising CO2 Levels
Clam and scallop shells show detrimental effects from increasing levels of carbon dioxide, and even when grown under current levels. It turns out carbon dioxide could have a major impact on shellfish.

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