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Copyright 2010 by David R.

Golding All rights reserved


The author would like to express his gratitude to the followng individuals for their contributions to this project: Caroline Leavitt (for assistance with an early draft); Sandy Tayts (for the cartoons, graphics and page layout); Matt Bearson (for iPad development); and, most importantly, my family -- Charlene, Caroline and Millicent -- who inspired me to undertake this labor of love. Finally, special thanks to Clinton Trahant and his family for sharing the eyewitness images from New Orleans after Katrina. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system other than the Apple iPad, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without the prior written permission of the author. Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the authorhas used his best efforts in preparing this document, he makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this document and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The advice and vendor references provided do not represent endorsements or guarantees, and readers are strongly urged to do their own thorough research before taking actions or making purchase decisions related to the content in this document. Please contact the author via http://www.climatea2z.com to request specific permissions relating to this document.

A2Z on Global Warming:


A kid's guide to saving the planet Table of Contents
Why this Book? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 How This Book Works . . . . . . . . . . 7 Global Warming Explained . . . . . . 11
What is Global Warming? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Global Warming Illustrated. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 A is for AUTOMOBILES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 B is for BIOFUELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 C is for CHINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 D is for DEFORESTATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 E is for ENERGY EFFICIENCY . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 F is for FOSSIL FUELS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 G is for GREENHOUSE GASES . . . . . . . . . . . 56 H is for HURRICANES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 I is for INSECT-BORNE DISEASES . . . . . . . . 64 J is for JETS & TRANSPORT. . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 K is for KYOTO PROTOCOL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 L is for LIVESTOCK & LANDFILL . . . . . . . . . 76 M is for MONSOONS & FLOODS . . . . . . . . . . 80 N is for NUCLEAR POWER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 O is for OCEAN CHANGES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 P is for POLAR WARMING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92\ Q is for QUOTAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 R is for RENEWABLE ENERGY . . . . . . . . . . 100 S is for SEA-LEVEL RISE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 T is TREES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108 U is for UNITED STATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112 V is for VOLUNTARY OFFSETS . . . . . . . . . . 116 W is for WILDFIRES & WATER CRISES . . . . 120 X is for eXTINCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124 Y is for YOU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Z is for ZERO EMISSIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Global Warming A2Z

Become a Super-Cool Family

. . . .136

(How You Can Help) Bronze Level - Save $ & the Planet . . . . . . 140 Silver Level - Spend Little, Save a Lot . . . . 146 Gold Level - Go Carbon-Neutral . . . . . . . . . 152

About the Author

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162

INTRODUCTION
Why this Book?
Why another book on global warming? Because, as youll soon find out, this ones really different. Because my two daughters inspired me to answer one of the biggest questions of our time: why is the weather changing and how can we stop it? It is written from the perspective of a father of a typical American family of four. And, while I wrote it for my daughters and other kids, it is appropriate for students of all ages. Even parents can learn a thing or two!

Three events shaped this book.


First was Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of New Orleans in August 2005 and is a frightening example of extreme weather becoming more frequent because of global warming. My family had an intensely personal experience with Katrina, by sharing our home in California with a New Orleans family who lost everything in that disaster. For six months, we witnessed the grief and pain experienced

Our friends New Orl destroyed b eans home was comple y Hurricane tely Katrina.

destruction ane Katrinas Louisiana rric the photos of Hu Eyewitness ns. In the background is umanitarian h in New Orlea enduring image of the . Katrina ome, an Superd followed disaster that

by this family as they tried to rebuild their lives in an entirely new community, working new jobs, going to new schools, trying to make new friends. A brief salvage trip back to New Orleans confirmed that Katrina had wiped out everything they had owned; pictures from that visit documented in heartbreaking detail the complete destruction of their home and community. Sharing this experience was incredibly eye-opening for my family: we learned firsthand that natural disasters like hurricanes dont just happen in the movies and TV but are real-life catastrophes that take a lasting toll on real human beings with real lives and real families.

INTRODUCTION
Why this Book?
Second was the summer heat wave of 2006. As I started my research in July 2006, our community was hit with a terrible heat wave. Our home in normally cool and comfortable Northern California became a furnace, with the thermometer breaking 110 F! Things were much worse in central California, where temperatures hit 118F and the broiling weather was responsible for over 160 deaths. In fact the summer of 2006 broke many temperature records in both North America and Europe, with hundreds of people dying as a result of excessive heat. An even deadlier heat wave had struck Europe in the summer of 2003, causing the deaths of 35,000 people! As I soon learned, the increased incidence of these searing heat waves is another likely result of climate change. And in this case -- unlike Katrina -- my family experienced the discomfort and distress first-hand, as we were forced to stay indoors trying to remain cool and hydrated to avoid heat stroke. We started to take this climate change thing very

NASA satell ite showing ab image of Europe in the n ultimately c ormally high tempera summer of 2003 tures (in red laimed the liv ) warming w ill increase es of 35,000 people. that the frequen Global cy these dange rous heat w and intensity of aves.

personally indeed! Third was Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth. When I saw the movie with my family in that fateful summer of 2006, it proved to be our final wake-up call for what Gore calls the planetary emergency of global warming. Both the movie and the book that preceded it deliver some urgent news: if we dont act immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, our future weather will consist of more and more Hurricane Katrinas, heat waves, floods, and other extreme meteorological events. And guess who really suffers the consequences if we dont act now? Its not todays moms and dads, but their children and their childrens children in fact all future generations will pay the price for our inaction. Thats why I started and finished this book: as a roadmap for my daughters and all the other kids out there; a practical book that gives the next generation the knowledge and tools to actually

INTRODUCTION
Why this Book?
forced to live with the decisions good and bad -- made by us, their parents and grandparents. If we make bad decisions about the environment today, our children will have to deal with even worse consequences later. In the case of global warming, these consequences are likely to be disastrous. So all of us parents owe it to their kids to get involved now, before its too late. This book helps families -- both kids and their parents make better decisions about the environment. Each family can do its best to live in harmony with our planet in a green, environmentally friendly way. Saving our planet can happen one family at a time! David R. Golding Palo Alto, California

do something about this global crisis. So what exactly can kids do about such a huge planetary emergency? Isnt this the kind of thing that parents and other grown-ups are supposed to fix? Arent kids supposed to be going to school and having fun with their friends? After all, children cant run for political office or even vote, for that matter. Since when did saving the planet become part of a kids job description? What youll learn in this book is that kids with the help of their families, schools, and communities can do a whole lot to stop global warming as they go about their daily lives. Its important that all of us -- old, young, middle-aged, or adolescent become part of the solution now. The climate crisis isnt waiting for kids to grow up: the planet is already living with global warmings early consequences and things will only get worse over time -- unless all of us take concerted action now. And parents, guess what: your kids will grow up remarkably fast. Theyll actually be running this planet before too long,

II inspiorld War efeated W ed ration: w threat by a global ogether. t working

HOW THIS BOOK WORKS


This is not a textbook. It's meant to be interesting, engaging and fun - a book to be shared among family and friends. It's chock-full of photos, cartoons, and graphics that bring the issues of global warming to life. In the case of climate change, a picture is definitely worth a thousand words! This book uses an alphabet format to break down the huge mega-problem of global warming into its discrete causes, consequences and solutions. The alphabet pages are evenly divided among these three color-coded categories:
Letters with pages mar ked RED describe a CAUSE of climate change : one of the big reasons why global warmin g is happening.
E deLetters with pages marked BLU ate scribe a CONSEQUENCE of clim ults change: one of the unfortunate res of global warming.

CAUSE

CONSEQUENCE

TION Letters with pages mark ed GREEN scribe a SO deLUTION to climate cha one of the a nge: ctions we ca n take, or se technologies t of we can use, to reduce glo al warming bE

SOLU

IS FOR FOSSIL FUEL S


FO S SIL F UEL S

CAUS

SE CAU

over 80% of the Fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas provide cause of global worlds energy needs and constitute the primary prehistoric plant and warming. Formed over millions of years from the Earth via mines animal matter, these fuels are extracted from currently in the atmoand wells. Most of the planet-warming gases sphere came from burning fossil fuels.
famsil fuels. The gasoline in your oil, ily cars tank is made from crude petroleum. Some of also known as nces the electricity for your applia from and lighting probably comes plants. And theres coal-fired power e that a good chance that the furnac winter keeps your home warm in the l gas. This means is fueled by natura turn that every time you ride in a car, o stat on a light, or turn up the therm

Each alphabet section starts with a short summary, followed by a more detailed explanation of the topic. The color coding makes it easy for you to find specific pages in each category. Every page has at least one graphic that illustrates the topic in living color. You can also jump to any colorcoded letter by simply clicking on the iPad icon in the lower righthand corner of every page

Is that a saber tooth tiger in your tank?

term Fossil fuels are an odd-sounding gas, hyfor coal, crude oil and natural formed naturally drocarbons that have years inside the Earth over millions of l matfrom prehis toric plant and anima that your gasoter. While its possible a saber line may once have been part of much tooth tiger or other dinosaur, its from tiny mamore likely to have come isms that were buried in anrine organ
cient sea beds.

you are burning fossil fuels, creating

CO 2 spells troub le

greenhouse gas emissions.

You are fossil fueled!

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

arChemists call fossil fuels hydroc almos t bons because they consis tent en atoms (H) and entirely of hydrog with carbon atoms (C). When mixed heated, oxygen (O2) from the air and arbons burn, producing these hydroc carbon energ y and hot gases including green dioxide (CO2), the most common the CO2 now causing house gas. Most from problems in our atmosphere came burning these hydroc arbons. your You may not know it, but you and of fosfamily are huge consumers

World Oil and Gas Consumptio


Oil (Mtoe) 4,000

Gas (Bcm)

2,800

3,000 1,500

1989

1990

over 60% na and l gas supply and from Chi Oil & natura needs. Dem of US energy ia is growing fast Ind

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

HOW THIS BOOK WORKS


The second page of each alphabet section also features a striking full-page graphic that conveys the key concepts or messages behind that particular cause, consequence or solution. Even if you dont plan to completely read this book youll learn a lot about global warming just by flipping through the pages, looking at what catches your eye. Also be sure to look out for four special icons that will help you get the most out of these pages:

e oil C r ud nc e otos): energy. O d o f ph te t row Americas transpore and rs it is olin e oil (fi % of Crud s over 40 e groundd into gas for our lie from th nver te ting oil . supp p e d co ea jets pum neries andvehicles, h e for our n to refisel for our nd kerose die omes, a h

C oal (sec one-quarond row of phot ates over ter of all US en os): C oal provid es er our ho one-half of th gy needs an about burns m mes and power e electricity th d generat lights uch less s our ap plia clea ing prop or tionat nly than oil an nces. C oal ely more d CO2 em gas, causissions.

N N a t u a t u ra l g ra as of l gas a (third wells America ccounts row of p pipe then s supp for abo hotos): elect line to h transpo ly, pum ut one rt fi e r p lowe icity. Amat our ho ed via ta ed from f th s t C O ong n m 2 em fossil es and gker and mos issions fuels it enerate t e x p bu t ensiv is als has the o the e.

IS F OR F

O S SI L F U

EL S

CA

US

FUELS

Fossil fu el ac tually s account for ov gr er 80% US, Chin owing by almos of the w or t 2% pe a accoun r year. As lds energy su more th pp an doub ts for le ss than th led ever 9% of w e second larges ly, and total de y year fo or mand is r the last ld demand rig t oil consumer ht now, af 10 year but its oi ter the s. l use ha s When el ec Texas, ro tric utility TXU announ ck st ar ce Sh concer t tour acro er yl Crow and d plans to build m raising 11 new general ss Nor th Texa ovie producer s and th Laurie D coal -fired power awaren scrub pl es s of gl e avid laun pl ans for obal war Gulf st ates to ched a tw ants in 8 of the ming. TX fig original Us owne ht TXUs prop o-week plants. os rs subs equently al while agreed to

The Cold Facts icon flags a particularly important or startling fact or figure relating to the topic. The Star Power icon shows you how some of your favorite celebrities are involved. The Hotline icon offers useful suggestions for what you can do to help. The Connect icon shows you where to look on the Web for more information.

Combust Hydro Renewablible es 2.2% & Waste 10% Nuclear 6.3% Other 0.5% Coal 25.3% Oil 35.0%

Natural Gas 20.7%

What el se can your fa elec tric mily ity More th generated from do beyond co an 44 st nser ving renewab at local po wer com es in the US no le source s lik energy ? Buy gr pany or availabl e wind, w of fer e in yo use the solar an een power gr ur st at Depar tm een power to d geothe ing_ pow e: ht tp homeo er.shtm ent of rmal! ://w w w l .eere.en Energys Web wners. Call yo ur ergy.gov site to se /greenpo e wer/buy whats Visit the ing/buyGreen- e out how Web site yo at at the of ur family can pr ht tp://w w w. gr fice, an d in the omote renewab een- e.org/to fin penden produc ts t no le energy d ergy prov n- profit organi yo at home, zation th u buy. Greenider s an e an inde d user s. at certifi Look fo es rene r their gr wable en een logo .

by source World Enegry in 2005 Fossil fuels Choking on total 1,436 Mtoe

And dont miss the original cartoons on the fourth page of each section featuring two sisters, Aly (16 years old) & Zoe (13 years old), as well as Deuce, their German Shepherd dog. These A2Z characters are patterned after my own real-life family!

FOSSIL

F O S SI L F UEL S

HOW THIS BOOK WORKS


Youll also find some useful and interesting sections before and after the alphabet pages. If youre new to the subject of climate change dont miss the Global Warming Explained sections that immediately follow this roadmap. What is Global Warming explains the underlying science and natural phenomena behind climate change in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Global Warming Illustrated, provides three vivid, time-lapse illustrations of climate changes dramatic impact on a fictional city, Village-bythe-Sea, over a 200-year period.

What if you get tired of just reading about climate change and want to do something about it? Thats where Become a SuperCool Family comes in, to be found immediately after the alphabet pages. This section is loaded with practical tips and recommended actions to help your family dramatically reduce its carbon footprint the amount of atmosphere-warming gases emitted through daily actions.

HOW THIS BOOK WORKS


Youll discover that fighting climate change begins at home your home to be exact and that every family can do its part to fight global warming, even on a very limited budget. In fact youll find that the first steps to reduce your carbon footprint will actually save your family money through lower monthly energy bills! And dont forget the fine print! This book is loaded with additional resources for readers who want to become true experts on climate change. Look for references throughout the book to my favorite Web sites, books, movies and other media focused on explaining and fighting global warming. If you want to go even deeper on a certain topic, check out the Web links that you can jump to by touching the iPad icon in the lower right-hand corner of each page.

Oh, and one last thing: dont forget to visit our Web site at: http://www.climatea2z.com. We look forward to seeing you on the Web!

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


The greenhouse effect
Weve all had the experience of getting into a car thats hot from being parked in the sun. Or how about the time that you were stuck in a hot and stuffy room at school, with the sun shining directly through closed windows? These are both examples of how global warming works. In both cases, sunlight passes freely through transparent windows and clear air, heating up interior objects like seats, walls and floors. As these objects get warm, they radiate some of their heat to the surrounding air, raising the inside temperature and making you feel hot. And unlike the sunlight that entered freely, much of the suns heat remains trapped inside, absorbed by certain molecules called greenhouse gases -- that are part of the air we breathe (see G is for Greenhouse Gases). This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect because it works on the same principle as an all-glass greenhouse that keeps plants warm during cold months.
2

It turns out that the Earths atmosphere the thin cushion of air between outer space and us acts as a gigantic greenhouse for the planet. Just like the examples of the car and the classroom, sunlight shines through the largely transparent atmosphere, warming the surface of the Earth, which radiates heat back into the air, warming the lower atmosphere. Its the mechanism that keeps the planet warm enough to support life. Because of the greenhouse effect, the Earths average temperature is a relatively balmy 57F (14C). Without greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, Earths average temperature would plunge to 0F (-18C), making much of the planet uninhabitable by humans!

Too much of a good thing


So this makes greenhouse gases a good thing, right? The answer is yes and no. Yes, over the ages, the small amounts of naturally occurring greenhouse gases in our atmosphere have kept our planet at just the

Some of the suns radiation is re ected back into space by clouds and re ective surfaces like snow and ice.

3 1
Much of the suns rays pass through the atmosphere and are absorbed by the surface

Greenhouse E ect: Solar radiation that would have been re ected back to space is trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The trapped heat warms the Earths surface and air.

Ef ouse reenh The G

fect

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


380

CO2 Concentration in Atmosphere (ppm)

mperatu Average Te
330

mer Earth CO 2 = War0.75C Since 1850 Higher re is up

Temperature Change vs. 1961-1990 Average (C)

+0.5

-0.5

280

1850

1900

right temperature. More recently, however, excessive amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases are starting to cause the Earth to overheat. Global warming is a case of too much of a good thing, caused by the sharp increase in concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earths atmosphere; its a problem that we humans have created during the past 250 years of industrial and agricultural development. The main culprits have been fossil fuels coal, oil, and natural gas that generate greenhouse gases when burned in power plants, cars, furnaces and machinery. (see F is for Fossil Fuels) The chart above illustrates the connection between higher concentrations of greenhouse gases and higher surface temperatures on Earth. The blue Earth thermometers show the change in average temperature from 1850 to present; the orange line shows the corresponding change in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent greenhouse gas. As you can see,

Year

1950

2000

Earths average temperature increased by about 1.33F (0.75C) during this period while the amount of CO2 increased by over 35%. While 1F may not sound like much of a change, it turns out to be a big deal when it happens on a planetary scale, with significant consequences for Earths ecosystems. And things are getting worse: as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise rapidly, scientists believe that Earths temperature could rise by 9F (5C) or more by the end of this century, with catastrophic consequences for all of us. Much more on this later; but first lets learn about those pesky greenhouse gases and where they come from.

A little goes a long way


Greenhouse gases make up only a tiny fraction of the air we breathe. In fact, three non-warming gases account for over 99.9% of airs volume: nitrogen (78.084%); oxygen (20.947%); and argon (0.934%). This means that less than 1/10th of 1% of the atmosphere consists of greenhouse gases including carbon

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


Other 11% Ozone 12% Nitrous oxide 5% Methane 16% Carbon Dioxide 56%

Earth. Excluding water vapor, three gases account for over three-quarters of all global warming impact: carbon dioxide (56%); methane (16%); and nitrous oxide (5%).

There goes the neighborhood


Despite being a miniscule minority in the atmosphere, these greenhouse gases pack an oversized punch when it comes to warming power. The mix of gases in our atmosphere is determined largely by the carbon cycle -- the flow of carbon-based compounds among the atmosphere, the oceans, vegetation, and soil. The carbon cycle plays an important role in global warming because the carbon molecule is the key building block of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent greenhouse gas; in other words, where carbon goes, so goes CO2. The chart below shows how human actions have altered the carbon cycle. As we see, only a small fraction (less than 2%) of the planets carbon actually resides in the atmosphere. The vast majority is held in the oceans (93%) and in soils and
Earths Chang ing
Atmosphere 2,951
(Billion tons y early CO2 equivalen t)

Earths Mix of ases Greenhouse G

dioxide (0.0380%), methane (2 parts per million), and nitrous oxide (0.5 parts per million). The other greenhouse gas not counted in this mix is water vapor (H2O), which can account for up to 5% of air volume, depending upon climate conditions. Unlike other greenhouse gases water vapor is not long-lived, but instead cycles in and out of the atmosphere frequently via evaporation and precipitation (rain, snow, etc.). Moreover, while water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas, its role in global warming is not well understood, as it is also responsible for cloud formation, which counters the greenhouse effect by reflecting sunlight away from the

Carbon Cycle

6
Deforestation & Other Land Use Changes

481
Natural Balance

356

29

-12

485

364

Forests, Soils & Vegetation 8,084

Oceans 153,589

Fossil Fuel Use & Other Industrial Gases

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


vegetation (5%). Huge volumes of carbon flow among these carbon sinks every year as part of the Earths natural processes. Vegetation absorbs CO2 as part of photosynthesis; soils trap carbon stored in dead plant matter. The oceans absorb large amounts of CO2 as sea winds and waves mix water with air. Carbon flows in the other direction as well -- into the atmosphere -- when these processes are reversed; for example when trees burn in a forest fire or soil is plowed, causing organic matter to decay more rapidly. For many thousands of years in the absence of human activity, the carbon cycle stayed in balance. In an average year, the atmosphere might lose a little more carbon than it gained, but this shortfall would then be offset by extraordinary events such as volcanoes and large forest fires that injected large quantities of CO2 into the air. While the actual mix would fluctuate slightly over time, the Earths atmosphere and its climate -- remained in equilibrium. Over the past 250 years, however, human actions have altered this delicate carbon balance, largely as
Highest Atmospheric Concentrations in 650,000 Years
400

a result of deforestation and burning fossil fuels including coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas. We now push almost 9 billion tons of additional and harmful carbon equivalent to 35 billion tons of CO2 gas -- into the atmosphere every year!

Nowhere to go but up
The massive emissions from human activities have overwhelmed the atmospheres natural vacuum cleaners the ocean and forest carbon sinks. As a result, concentrations of all three of the major greenhouse gases have risen sharply since the 1800s, as the Industrial Revolution got underway, powered by burning fossil fuels first coal, then oil and natural gas. The hockey stick chart below left illustrates the shocking increases. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen from a preindustrial equilibrium of about 280 parts per million (ppm) to over 380 ppm today, primarily from burning fossil fuels for energy and from clearing forests to create cropland and pasture (see D is for Deforestation). Methane (CH4) levels have risen even faster, from about 600 parts per billion (ppb) to 1,774 ppb, primarily from landfill emissions and large-scale cultivation of livestock (see L is for Livestock & Landfill). Nitrous oxide (NO2) began its sharp rise a little later, spiking from 270 to 319 ppb, mainly from intensive fertilizer use in agriculture and adoption of gasoline- and diesel-powered engines in cars and trucks (see A is for Automobiles). All of these greenhouse gases are setting

The Big 3 Greenhouse Gases

2,000

CO2 (ppm) & N2O (ppb)

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Methane (CH4) Nitrous Oxide (N2O)


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WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


new records, reaching the highest levels recorded in last 650,000 years!
1,500 Average of 2,000 Meters Lost since 1750

Melting Glaciers

Too hot to handle


So, you may be thinking, more and more of these greenhouse gases are building up in our atmosphere and the Earths warming up a bit: whats the big deal? If you live in a colder climate you might even like the thought of warmer weather year-round. Unfortunately, seemingly small changes in the Earths temperature have a huge impact on the planet and all of us living on it. Consider, for example, that Earths average temperature is no more than 9F (5C) warmer today than during the last glacial period about 20,000 years ago, when ice sheets blanketed much of North America, Europe and Asia! What happens if we take the Earth from the proverbial freezer to the frying pan by pushing the average temperature up another 9F? Unless we quickly reduce greenhouse gas emissions were on a path to answer to this frightening question by the end of the century. But we dont have to wait for decades to see the impact of global warming: the first ominous changes have already been observed.

Length Relative to Year 1950 (meters)

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sphere, and in Arctic sea ice. Less ice and snow has begun to alter alpine and arctic ecosystems, threatening wildlife including the polar bear and arctic fox (see X is for eXtinction). Warmer alpine temperatures are also affecting mountain sports: many ski areas in Europe have recently struggled with inadequate snow coverage. Last but not least, there is evidence that melting ice and snow is contributing to rising sea levels (see S is for Sea-Level Rise).

Year

Ahoy, rising tides!


As the chart below indicates, the planets average sea level has risen steadily since the early 1900s, with the overall increase estimated to be about 7 inches (17 cm) during the 20th century (see S is for
Ocean Levels Have Risen by 17 cm since 1900

Rising Seas

As the world melts


You probably wont be surprised to hear that a warmer climate is causing mountain ice to melt. As shown in the chart above right, scientists have documented that mountain glaciers in non-Polar regions have shrunken dramatically since 1850. A similar decline has occurred in overall snow cover in the Northern HemiSea Level vs. 1961-1990 Average (centimeters)

10 5 0 -5 -10 -15 -20

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1940 Year

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WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


H reco ot summ sand rd heat er day in P s of wav kille lives. C e in Eur aris: in o 2 r he at w limate c pe claim 003 a aves han e mor ge is d thoue fre mak quen ing t.

lives. The 2006 heat wave in North America set temperature records and killed hundreds of people. July 2006 was the warmest month ever recorded for much of Europe. The heat is definitely on!

Hot + dry = fire


It should come as no surprise that all this hot weather is causing more droughts, and these water shortages have become more severe and persistent since the 1970s (see W is for Wildfires & Water Crises). The tropical and subtropical regions those areas near the equator have been the hardest hit, but few parts of the world are immune. Since 2003, for example, Australia has been struggling with drought conditions that have destroyed much of its rice crop and threatened its sheep farms. The bone-dry conditions caused by climate change are also leading to more wildfires such as the largest one ever to strike Greece in the summer of 2007, which destroyed over 670,000 acres of forests, farmland and home sites about 5% of the entire countrys landmass. In October and November of 2007, a series of wildfires in Southern

Sea-Level Rise). Most of this rise can be attributed to warming seawater, since the ocean absorbs about 80% of the additional heat from global warming. As water molecules warm up, they expand, causing the overall volume of seawater in ocean basins to increase. In addition, as mentioned above, recent evidence suggests that melting glaciers and ice caps are small but growing contributors to the sea-level rise. Even more ominously, scientists believe that melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could dramatically raise sea levels in the future if global warming is not held in check (see P is for Polar Warming).

The heat is on
And then theres our everyday climate: scientists have been able to confirm what many of us have already felt: our weather is getting warmer, with the number of hot spells increasing and the number of cold spells decreasing. Since 1995, the world has experienced 11 of the 12 warmest years on record. Most troubling has been the increased frequency of dangerous heat waves across the globe. The European heat wave in 2003 saw the highest summer temperatures recorded since the year 1500 and claimed thousands of

7. o in 200 an Dieg acres and in S wildfire ,000 battling destroyed 500 king wildfires hters ma Firefig of wildfires ange is series es. Climate ch and severe. A om equent 1,500 h more fr

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


California destroyed over 500,000 acres and 1,500 homes.
The Heat is On
CO2 Concentration in Atmosphere (ppm equiv.)

More Greenhouse Gases = Higher Temperatures

The warmer climate is also increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events including hurricanes and heavy rainstorms. The average number of hurricanes in the North Atlantic near the US Gulf coast has increased since 1995 (see H is for Hurricanes). Warmer ocean waters are also increasing the destructive power of these tropical storms, as tragically demonstrated by Hurricane Katrina, which killed almost 2,000 people and destroyed much of New Orleans in August 2005. Similarly, severe rainstorms have grown more frequent, as evidenced by 2007 summer floods in the United Kingdom that caused $4 billion of damage, the result of the wettest threemonth period, May through June, ever recorded in Britain (see M is for Monsoons & Floods).

+6 +5 +4 +3
Current Level = 430 ppm

+2 +1

Just warming up
As we can see, global warming has al-

NASA image of Hurricane Katrina heading toward the US coast in 2005. Category 5 storms like Katrina are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

ready begun to hurt our planets ecosystems. Unfortunately, the climate is likely to get much warmer -- and much worse -- unless we sharply cut global emissions of greenhouse gases. Just how hot could it get by the end of this century? The chart above provides a range of answers depending on the future concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, measured in parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), a unit of measurement that converts the warming power of the various greenhouse gases into a single, comparable amount of CO2 gas. The current level is 430 ppm CO2e and it is expected to reach 550 ppm by 2035, which implies a total increase of about 3.6F (2C) over pre-industrial temperatures. Even more important, unless we start making sharp emissions reductions soon, greenhouse gas concentrations in this century will probably exceed 850 ppm almost double todays level. In this do nothing case where we do

Earths Temperature vs. Pre-Industrial Level (C)

Who'll stop the rain?

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


little or nothing to limit emissions -- the planet has a 50:50 chance of warming up by more than 9F (5C) over pre-industrial levels by 2099.

A matter of degrees
Life on Earth has always been a matter of degrees. The ice-covered world of the last glacial age 20,000 years ago was only 9F (5C) cooler than todays planet. The last warming period caused by differences in Earths orbit was about 125,000 years ago; temperatures then were only 5-9F higher than today, but sea levels were probably 4-6 meters higher! It follows that every degree counts, with global impacts rising sharply as the worlds thermometer edges upward. The chart below highlights a number of the negative consequences of a rapidly warming world. In the case of another 3.6F (2C) increase in average temperature, all of the negative impacts described previously sea-level rise, extreme weather, wildfires will get much worse. But, as if this isnt bad enough, temperature increases beyond this point
Impact of Global Warming by 2100
Higher Temperatures = Bigger Impact Average Temperature in 2090-2099 vs. 1980-1999 (C) +1 +2 +3 +4 +5
Tropics and higher altitudes get wetter, lower altitudes get drier Hundreds of millions of people face shortages of clean water Up to 30% of species at risk of extinction Signi cant extinctions occur globally Widespread coral deaths occur globally

Gree nlan dM NA S eltin A im g: ern tip. age of area L G of g ight bl reenla reat ue c nd's es t ice l olor ind southoss icat es

begin to raise the risks of true global catastrophes.

Arctic melting, ocean flooding


The biggest catastrophe from an overheated planet would be a major rise in sea levels, by a meter (39 inches) or more (see S is for Sea-Level Rise). This happened during the last prehistoric warming period and could happen again if Greenlands ice shelves were to melt. Only Antarctica holds more ice than Greenland; if all of Greenlands ice melted, the worlds sea levels would rise by about 7 meters! Some melting of Greenlands ice sheets has already begun and scientists believe that this will accelerate at temperature levels above 3.6F (2C) over pre-industrial levels (see P is for Polar Warming). At the higher estimated warming levels, its possible that enough of Greenlands ice could melt to cause a one-meter rise in sea level in this century. This would cause widespread flooding of coastal areas around the world, displacing millions of people. Much of the planets coastal wetlands would also be lost, and surviving coastal communities would be vulnerable to flooding every year during monsoon and cyclone seasons (see M is for

0 Water

+6

Ecosystems

More coral bleaching

Most corals bleached

More wild res, loss of species habitats

Ocean conveyor belt weakens, alters coastal ecosystems

Food

Global yields on cereal crops like wheat, corn & rice decline due to heat & drought

Increased damage from oods and severe storms

Coasts
Millions face annual ooding About 30% of coastal wetlands are lost

Health

Millions a ected by insect-borne and water-related diseases Millions threatened each year by severe storms, heat waves, ooding & drought

+1 +2 +3 +4 +5 Average Temperature in 2090-2099 vs. 1980-1999 (C)

+6

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


Monsoons & Floods).

Titanic ocean problems


A rising sea level is not the only threat to our ocean environment from climate change (see O is for Ocean Changes). Warmer seawater is likely to affect the oceans powerful currents, which in turn influence regional weather conditions. Of particular concern is the impact of climate change on thermohaline circulation in the Atlantic, which acts a global conveyor belt, that pulls warm tropical waters into the Arctic north while pushing icy waters southward. As our planet continues to warm in this century, its likely that this conveyor belt will slow down, possibly changing weather patterns on the Atlantic coasts of North America and Europe. The oceans are also getting more acidic as they absorb higher concentrations of CO2 from the atmosphere. Warmer, more acidic seawater appears to be causing widespread coral bleaching and death; other shellfish are also stressed by ocean acidification,
Polar bear with cu b in Arctic. the bears sea ice Global warming is melting hunting grounds.

Bleached c the Indian oral in the Maldiv es M Oc waters th ean. Warmer and oofushi reef in reaten co more acid ral reefs across th ic ocean e globe.

which inhibits shell growth. Destruction of coral and other shellfish threatens all other marine organisms that depend on reef ecosystems. Covering 70% of the Earths surface and absorbing 80% of excess heat and CO2, our oceans face titanic challenges on the front lines of climate change.

Wildlife in peril
Wildlife on both sea and land are facing a harsher world as a result of climate change (see X is for eXtinction). Warmer waters and melting sea ice are shrinking the hunting grounds of Arctic predators including the polar bear, Arctic fox, walrus and penguin. Alpine lakes and streams are drying up as mountain snow pack disappears, endangering freshwater fish like the trout. All sorts of animals, from birds and butterflies to grizzly bears, must work harder and travel farther to find food as warmer weather disrupts their fragile ecosystems. Warmer weather is allowing some invasive species of plants and animals to thrive in areas previously off limits, crowding out native species that are forced to move upslope or migrate to higher latitudes. The threat to wildlife is global: scientists estimate that up to 30%

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


Ticks and mosquitoes are able to range farther due to global warming. Their bites can spread Lyme Disease and other infectious maladies.

they face a variety of new dangers from insect-borne diseases, violent storms, malnutrition from crop failures, and respiratory illnesses from poor air quality.

Where do we go from here?


Scary stuff, huh? But even though climate change is frightening, it is not inevitable. We have the power to stop global warming during our lifetimes. We dont need any miracles or yet-to-be-invented technologies: it simply requires an all-out effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each of us can do our part by sharply cutting our personal carbon footprint the emissions that we create, directly or indirectly as well as our familys footprint. Since most greenhouse gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels, the key to stopping climate change is using less gasoline, natural gas, oil, and coal. This means finding alternatives to driving gas-guzzling cars. It means finding ways to use less natural gas, heating oil or electricity to heat and cool our homes. It means generating more electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind,
Coal-fired plants are the #1 source greenhouse gas of emissions in the world.

of all plant and animal species on Earth are at an increased risk of extinction because of climate change.

Hazards to your health


Climate change is also hazardous to your health (see I is for Insect-Borne Diseases). Disease-carrying mosquitoes, ticks and other insects love warm weather and are ranging into higher altitudes and latitudes as the temperature rises. The spread of mosquitoes is particularly dangerous, as their bites can transmit a variety of serious tropical diseases including malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever and yellow fever. Already, more than 1 million people die from malaria each year, with about three-quarters of them being African children. Ticks can transmit Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis, and the incidence of both diseases has been increasing in northern latitudes. Flooding and drought conditions caused by climate change will also increase the occurrence of diseases including cholera and dysentery, serious illnesses contracted from drinking contaminated water. Overall, scientists estimate that climate change will adversely affect the health of millions of people as

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


Fight climate chan ge at hom your familys en e by reducing ergy use.

solar, biomass and geothermal, replacing existing power plants that use coal, oil and gas. We also need to help our planet clean its atmosphere by restoring Earths natural carbon sinks our oceans and rainforests. Finally we need to join with people across the world and commit to international agreements, including the successor to the Kyoto Protocol (see K is for Kyoto Protocol), that impose global limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

as well as your homes heating and cooling requirements. Even better, improved energy efficiency also lowers utility bills, saving your family money every month. Finally, youll discover that seemingly small actions by individuals or families can add up to huge carbon savings when they multiply across an entire community or country. Thats why YOU are so important in the battle against climate change (see Y is for YOU). It has been estimated that about one-fifth of all required emissions reductions can be achieved through simple energy efficiency measures like those contained in this book. Youll discover that -- with enough determination, effort and creativity -- you and your family can achieve zero net emissions in your daily lives (see Z is for Zero Emissions).

Don't be a gas-guzzler
Cars are the other big targets for emissions reductions, accounting for roughly one-half of a typical US households daily emissions (see A is for Automobiles).

The fight starts at home


Your home is the best and easiest place to start the fight against global warming. Residential and commercial buildings consume about 40% of Americas energy more than any other sector (see E is for Energy Efficiency). That makes your home a big fat target for energy savings that can add up to large reductions in your familys carbon footprint. The checklists in the back of this book (see Become a SuperCool Family) are a great place to start. Youll find that its easy to cut your electricity use

A hybrid car or other low-emissions vehicle will greatly reduce your familys carbon footprint.

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


Every year, the average American passenger vehicle generates the equivalent of 6.7 tons (13,400 pounds) of CO2 emissions. Every gallon of gasoline used by a car creates about 20 pounds of CO2. It follows that even small cutbacks in car
E85 bu r because ns cleaner than its 85% ga ethanol soline biofuel.

use will generate big carbon savings; for example, a 5-mile walk or bike ride will save 10 pounds of CO2 on each roundtrip. Families can cut automobile use even further by commuting to work or school via mass transit or carpooling. For your familys next automobile purchase consider a low-emissions or zero-emissions model such as a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. Also consider buying a flex-fuel car or truck that can burn E85 instead of gasoline. E85 is cleaner-burning biofuel containing 85% plant-based ethanol.

bon footprint than gasoline because it is made from plant feedstock that regrows and reabsorbs some of CO2 that was emitted when the car engine originally burned the E85. Biofuels take advantage of the planets natural carbon cycle to continuously recapture CO2 through plant photosynthesis (see B is for Biofuels). Just as bioethanol in E85 replaces gasoline, biodiesel from soybeans, oil palm and other crops is a lower-emission alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel used by trucks and other transport. (See J is for Jets & Transport). And biofuels arent just for transportation: biomass from organic waste and garbage is being used to generate electricity as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. Next-generation liquid biofuels are being developed from nonfood crops including wood chips, switch grass, jatropha seeds -- even algae and microbes (bacteria). These new biofuels promise even lower net carbon emissions without requiring valuable food crops as feedstock. By replacing gasoline, diesel and other liquid fossil fuels with low-carbon alternatives, these biofuels will play a critical role in fighting climate change.

Here comes the sun


Just as biofuels can replace the gasoline and diesel fuel used by cars, trucks and other transport, other clean energy sources can replace power plants that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. These renewable alternatives include solar, wind and geothermal power (see R is for Renewable Energy). Right now, over

Growing biofuel alternatives


Biofuel-based E85 has a smaller car-

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


a single, 250-mile square of solar panels located in the Texas Panhandle!

Clean but not green


There are several other important lowcarbon power sources, but each has its own drawbacks. Large hydropower facilities generate electricity by using gravity to drive dammed river water through giant electric turbines. Almost 20% of the worlds electricity comes from hydropower, and it is particularly popular in China, Canada, Brazil and the US. Though large hydro plants generate very little greenhouse gases, the giant dams they require can have a devastating impact on the environment, destroying aquatic ecosystems and displacing communities. Another clean electricity source is nuclear power, which uses radioactive material uranium or plutonium to generate enormous heat that drives large turbines. About 16% of the worlds electricity comes from nuclear reactors, mainly in France, Japan, and the US. While nuclear power generates no carbon emissions, it creates highly toxic radioactive waste and has been subject to danger-

Clean wind pow ply up to 20% er can supof Am energy by 20 ericas 30.

80% of the worlds energy comes from burning fossil fuels, and 43% of all electricity is generated from coal, the dirtiest hydrocarbon (see F is for Fossil Fuels). For the worlds two largest emitters, coalfired power plays an even larger role, accounting over 80% of total electricity generation in China and over 50% in the US. Fortunately, renewable sources particularly solar and wind -- have the potential to replace most or all of this dirty power in the future. A recent government study concluded that wind turbines could provide up to 20% of Americas electricity by 2030, reducing CO2 emissions by over 900 million tons each year. Solar powers future is also bright, as millions of photovoltaic panels have been installed on rooftops thanks to declining prices and generous government subsidies. In addition, large-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) plants that provide utilityscale electricity are being built in the southeastern US, southern Europe and the Middle East. The potential for solar power is huge: in theory, enough sunlight hits the Earth each hour that all of Americas energy needs could be supplied by

Nuclear p ower ge ates dan nerates no CO e gerous r adioac2 ivmissions but cre t e was te

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


and other vegetation, particularly the rainforests near the equator (see T is for Trees). Trees act like the Earths lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide and expelling oxygen through photosynthesis. Together with the oceans, these forests and their soils are the planets main carbon sinks, keeping carbon dioxide locked out of the atmosphere. Deforestation -- the destruction of rainforests to create cropland or pasture is a major cause of global warming (see D is for Deforestation). Dead trees no longer absorb fresh carbon dioxide, while burning or decaying trees release their stored carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. About one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to deforestation. It follows that preserving our forests particularly the lush, fast-growing tropical jungles near the equator is critical to stopping global warming. And even if you live in a city far from the equator, do your part by planting a few urban trees that provide cooling shade that will reduce your homes electric bill. Also consider making a donation to tree-planting and reforesting programs in the Amazon: many of these programs allow you to purchase carbon credits to offset your unavoidable everyday carbon emissions (see V is for Voluntary Offsets).

Planting trees -- espec our planet abso ially in tropical zones --hel ps rb excess CO 2 in the air.

ous accidents in the past (see N is for Nuclear Power). Finally, the coal industry is working to develop Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS), which would reduce or eliminate emissions by pumping them deep underground or deep in the ocean. Unfortunately, while CCS has been used in oil and gas fields, it is still in the experimental stage for power generation. Until CCS has been proven to work on a large, commercial scale, there is unfortunately no such thing as clean coal.

It's a world war


If theres good news in the fight against global warming, its that were all in this together climate change threatens every human being and living thing on Earth. This means that all countries and all peoples of the world must join together to dramatical-

Save the rainforests


Beyond using cleaner energy sources, one of the best ways to fight climate change is to protect and expand the planets trees

WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?


ly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Fortunately this effort is already well underway: in 1997, the United Nations adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions in industrialized countries through 2012 (see K is for Kyoto Protocol). Over 180 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, agreeing to cap their emissions during the treaty period. As a result, much progress has been made to reduce emissions, particularly in Western Europe, where billions of dollars have

an race , 1917. The hum ugh opaganda poster World War I pr al challenges thro against other glob climate change. has triumphed we can stop history. Together

been invested to comply with Kyotos quotas (see Q is for Quotas). Unfortunately, the United States, the worlds second largest emitter, did not ratify Kyoto and has not agreed to emissions limits (see U is for United States). In addition, the worlds largest and fastest-growing emitter, China, is not subject to any emissions limits under Kyoto because it is classified as a developing country (see C is for China). For these and other reasons, the world community needs to develop a successor treaty to Kyoto that imposes quotas on all major emitters. Negotiations for this new agreement are already underway, most recently at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference that was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. Make sure that your family, your community and your country are all doing what they can in this world war against global warming.

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - PAST


Village-by-the-Sea, early 1900s
The last section summarized global warmings causes, consequences and solutions, and you learned about some of the important science, facts and figures. Thats all really important stuff, but a picture is worth a thousand words. This section does just that, by creating three time-lapse snapshots of a fictional town, Village-by-the-Sea, showing the potential impact of climate change over the course 200 years in the past, present and future. We first see Village-by-the-Sea in the early 1900s. It is a typical fishing village living in harmony with nature, nestled between the ocean coastline on one side and tall mountain ranges on the other. The numbered items in this picture describe the important elements of the ecosystem and how they interact with greenhouse gases. The elements in red emit greenhouse gases, and the elements in green ) or bad ( ) effect absorb these gases. The symbols on the right indicate a good ( ), neutral ( on the climate. 1 A bountiful ocean supports a thriving fishing industry, evidenced by the large number of fishing boats and whales. The ocean absorbs carbon dioxide. Majestic green mountains feature large ice caps that release fresh water in summer months. Cold mountain temperatures cause water vapor to freeze and precipitate. The village center contains a small cluster of homes heated by coal- and wood-burning fireplaces. Gas and oil lamps provide lighting for street and homes, respectively. Horses and mules provide transport. Fireplaces and lamps generate carbon dioxide. Horses and mules generate methane and nitrous oxide. The village grows its own vegetables and fruit in a nearby field. The gardens green vegetation absorbs carbon dioxide. Animal waste used as fertilizer emits nitrous oxide. Cows, sheep and horses graze in lush pasture along the banks of a river. The cows and sheep provide milk, butter, cheese and meat to the village. The pastures green vegetation absorbs carbon dioxide. Livestock expel methane and exhale carbon dioxide. A pristine river, fed by the mountain icecaps (#2) provides fresh water to the village for drinking, cooking, bathing, as well as irrigation for the pasture and fields. A large forest grows from the foothills of the mountains to the banks of the river. The green foliage from the trees absorbs carbon dioxide. OVERALL IMPACT ON GLOBAL WARMING As you can see from the balance of red and green items, Village-by-the-Sea is part of a sustainable eco-system where all of the environmental elements balance each other. Now lets see what happens over the next 100 years as industrialization comes to the village.

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - PAST


Village-by-the-Sea, early 1900s

Majestic green mountains feature large ice caps that release fresh water in summer months.

The village grows its own vegetables and fruit in a nearby field. The village center contains a small cluster of homes heated by coal- and wood-burning fireplaces. Gas and oil lamps provide lighting for street and homes, respectively. Horses and mules provide transport.

A large forest grows from the foothills of the mountains to the banks of the river.

A pristine river, fed by the mountain icecaps (#2) provides fresh water to the village for drinking, cooking, bathing, as well as irrigation for the pasture and fields. Cows, sheep and horses graze in lush pasture along the banks of a river. The cows and sheep provide milk, butter, cheese and meat to the village.

A bountiful ocean supports a thriving fishing industry, evidenced by the large number of fishing boats and whales.

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - PRESENT


Village-by-the-Sea, circa 2010
Now lets fast-forward to what Village-by-the-Sea would be like today, in 2008, showing the impact of industrial development. As you can see from the facing picture, modern industry has allowed the village to grow into a large city supporting many more residents, with a big impact on the environment. Lets look at the main elements of the ecosystem and how they have been affected by population growth, industrialization, and, most importantly, global warming.. The symbols on the right indicate a good ( ), neutral ( ) or bad ( ) effect on the climate. 1
The ocean environment has changed for the worse. Shifting currents and over-fishing have depleted the waters of marine life, requiring longer and more dangerous fishing voyages. Subtle changes in ocean temperature and currents have occurred. A warmer ocean emits more water vapor and absorbs less carbon dioxide. Fishing boat engines generate more carbon dioxide from longer voyages. Mountain icecaps have shrunken a lot due to warm summer temperatures and inconsistent precipitation during the year. The once-green slopes of the hillsides have turned brown as the trees receive less run-off from the icecaps. Because of the warmer temperatures and less precipitation, the mountains capture less water vapor The once-small village is now a city serviced by utilities providing electricity, gas and oil. Horses and mules have been replaced with gasoline-powered cars and trucks as transportation. The cars and trucks generate large amounts of carbon dioxide. Expansion of the city has completely wiped out the vegetable/fruit field. New city buildings require large amounts of electricity, requiring an expansion of the power plant. A large coalfield has been dug out of former pasture to fuel the power plants generators. The city now must import all of its vegetables and fruit, generating greenhouse gases from truck transport. City buildings generate large amounts of water vapor from heating/cooling. The coalfield leaches large amounts of methane into the air. Only a few livestock remain in a small pasture area that has been reduced by a flooding river on one side and the electric power facilities on the other side. A smaller pasture absorbs less carbon dioxide. The electric power plant generates huge amounts of carbon dioxide from burning coal. The once-tranquil river has flooded because of excessive melting of the mountain icecaps (#2). Pasture along the riverbank has been destroyed, reducing the number of horses, cows and sheep that can be supported by the land. Fewer livestock make the city more dependent on imports, generating greenhouse gases from truck transport. The flooding river generates increased amounts of water vapor. Much of the forest has been destroyed to create cropland. Trees are cut down and sent to paper mills. The remaining tree stumps and underbrush were burned. New crops were planted using chemical fertilizer. A smaller forest absorbs much less carbon dioxide. Transport of trees to paper mill generates carbon monoxide. The manufacturing process of converting tree pulp to paper generates carbon dioxide. Burning tree stumps and underbrush creates a variety of greenhouse gases. Use of chemical fertilizer releases nitrous oxide.

OVERALL IMPACT ON GLOBAL WARMING


What a huge change for the worse! As you can see, Village-by-the-Sea becomes less friendly to its environment -- generating more and more greenhouse gases -- as it grows from a small fishing village to an industrial city. Now lets see what happens in the next 100 years if we dont take action.

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - PRESENT


Village-by-the-Sea, circa 2010

Expansion of the city has completely wiped out the vegetable/fruit field.

Mountain icecaps have shrunken a lot due to warm summer temperatures and inconsistent precipitation during the year. The once-green

Much of the forest has been destroyed to create cropland. Trees are cut down and sent to paper mills. The remaining tree stumps and underbrush were burned. New crops were planted using chemical fertilizer.

The once-small village is now a city serviced by utilities providing electricity, gas and oil. Horses and mules have been replaced with gasoline-powered cars and trucks as transportation.

Only a few livestock remain in a small pasture area that has been reduced by a flooding river on one side and the electric power facilities on the other side. New city buildings require large amounts of electricity, requiring an expansion of the power plant. A large coalfield has been dug out of former pasture to fuel the power plants generators.

Shifting currents and over-fishing have depleted the waters of marine life. Subtle changes in ocean temperature and currents have occurred.

The once-tranquil river has flooded because of excessive melting of the mountain icecaps (#2). Pasture along the riverbank has been destroyed, reducing the number of horses, cows and sheep that can be supported by the land.

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - FUTURE


Village-by-the-Sea, circa 2110
The last illustration shows what could happen to Village-by-the-Sea if nothing is done to stop the destruction of the environment and the uncontrolled release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. As you can see, the old village can barely be recognized anymore. Lets look at the same elements of the ecosystem and how theyve been transformed -- or in some cases destroyed by global warming. The ) or bad ( ) effect on the climate. symbols on the right indicate a good ( ), neutral ( 1
The ocean environment has become unpredictable and often unfriendly. Warm surface temperatures feed storm fronts, increasing the occurrence of hurricanes and tsunamis. Warm gulf currents have become unpredictable, eliminating the fishing industry completely. Low-lying portions of the village have been flooded from the rising sea levels caused by melting polar icecaps. The absence of a fishing industry forces the city to import all its seafood, generating greenhouse gases from truck transport. A warmer ocean emits more water vapor and absorbs less carbon dioxide. The mountain icecaps have completely disappeared. The slopes, only faintly visible through the smog, are now completely brown because the trees and vegetation died due to lack of water runoff. Because of the warmer temperatures and less precipitation, the mountains capture less water vapor. Less carbon dioxide is absorbed due to the absence of trees and vegetation on the slopes. The once-little village is now a large industrial city that covers the entire valley from the ocean coastline to the riverbanks. The citys growth has increased demand for electricity, causing the electric utility to add additional power plants. Many more cars and trucks are on the streets due to population growth. The additional coal-burning power plants generate large additional amounts of carbon dioxide. The increasing number of cars and trucks generates large additional amounts of carbon dioxide. The old coalfield was flooded from the rising sea level, forcing the utility to create a new coal facility that destroyed remaining pasture. The enlarged coal facility emits an even larger amount of methane. The small pasture area was destroyed to make room for the new coalfield. The city no longer supports much farming and must import virtually all of its meat, dairy, and vegetable products. Fewer farm products force the city to import these items, generating greenhouse gases from truck transport. Destruction of pasture eliminates vegetation that absorbs less carbon dioxide. The once-strong river has slowed to a trickle in winter, and is dried up completely in the summer because it is no longer fed from mountain icecaps. This leads to a critical shortage of fresh water for the city, which is forced to divert from other sources inland. Cropland on the opposite side of the river suffers from drought conditions due to lack of irrigation. Struggling cropland vegetation absorbs less carbon dioxide. The once-abundant forest has been completely destroyed to create more cropland. Lack of water for irrigation creates dust bowl conditions for the cropland. The absence of trees releases even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The dust bowl conditions prevent the cropland from doing the job that the forest trees once did. Extreme weather events become more commonplace at Village-by-the-Sea, as illustrated by a tornado approaching the city. Warmer air temperatures and no natural windbreaks create ideal conditions for storms.

OVERALL IMPACT ON GLOBAL WARMING


In 100 years time, global warming leads to major disasters in Village-by-the-Sea: flooding; drought; extreme weather. We also see that greenhouse gas emissions continue to get worse and worse something that experts call positive feedback. Lets make sure it doesnt happen! We have the power to prevent this if we act now!

GLOBAL WARMING ILLUSTRATED - FUTURE


Village-by-the-Sea, circa 2110
The once-little village is now a large industrial city that covers the entire valley from the ocean coastline to the riverbanks. The citys growth has increased demand for electricity, causing the electric utility to add additional power plants. Many more cars and trucks are on the streets due to population growth..

The mountain icecaps have completely disappeared. The slopes, only faintly visible through the smog, are now completely brown because the trees and vegetation died due to lack of water run-off.

Extreme weather events become more commonplace at Village-by-the-Sea, as illustrated by a tornado approaching the city.

The small pasture area was destroyed to make room for the new coalfield. The city no longer supports much farming and must import virtually all of its meat, dairy, and vegetable products.

The once-abundant forest has been completely destroyed to create more cropland. Lack of water for irrigation creates dust bowl conditions for the cropland.

The ocean environment has become unpredictable and often unfriendly. Warm surface temperatures feed storm fronts, increasing the occurrence of hurricanes and tsunamis. Warm gulf currents have become unpredictable, eliminating the fishing industry completely. Low-lying portions of the village have been flooded from the rising sea levels caused by melting polar icecaps.

The old coalfield was flooded from the rising sea level, forcing the utility to create a new coal facility that destroyed remaining pasture.

The once-strong river has slowed to a trickle in winter, and is dried up completely in the summer because it is no longer fed from mountain icecaps. This leads to a critical shortage of fresh water for the city, which is forced to divert from other sources inland. Cropland on the opposite side of the river suffers from drought conditions.

is for Automobiles
A is for Automobiles

CAUSE

Cars are the 2nd largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S., creating almost 1.5 billion tons of CO2 every year. For every 6-pound gallon of gas a car burns, it releases about 19 pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Big, low gas-mileage vehicles like SUVs and trucks do the most harm.

big Cars, big Problems


Everyone, it sometimes seems, has a big car or truck. Youve seen those commercials with big SUVs running up the side of a mountain or driving across the globe, and everyone in the car is having a fine old time. Nothing could be more natural and outdoorsy, right? Bigger is better when it comes to cars, right? Wrong. Those big, boxy cars guzzle gas, and spew out heattrapping gases into the atmosphere.

roads than anywhere else on the planet. This makes it easy to jump in the car and drive somewhere for almost any reason, however small. To save time or effort we often drive to school or to go shopping, when we could have easily walked. Thats why almost one-quarter of all US emissions of CO2 come from motor vehicles. In fact, US vehicles combine to emit more CO2 each year than all but 3 other countries TOTAL greenhouse gas emissions!

A burning issue
Cars burn gasoline, which is made from crude oil, a fossil fuel that is chock full of carbon atoms. When your family cars engine burns gasoline for power, the heat releases the carbon atoms into the air in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary global warming gas. The bigger your family car or truck, the bigger your engine. The bigger your engine, the more gasoline it burns. The more gasoline it burns, the more CO2 released into the atmosphere.

American Car-Nation
We love driving our cars. In America we have built more freeways, highways and

Gasoline 1 Gallon

s. s, Texa in Dalla ay es a freew tomobil jam on nets au c f e pla g traf fi e 45% o % of th Mornin generat e to 30 iving s. is hom eavy dr se gase The US rs and h eenhou of gr large ca issions but our hicle em lds ve the wor

A is for Automobiles ArCtiC wArmiNg

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A is for Automobiles

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People Power!
But we still need cars to get to work, to go on vacation or to get to other places. We cant expect everyone to give up driving, but we also cant afford to let all these gassy vehicles get a free ride, either. So what can we do? Dont have your parents drive you anywhere you can walk -- take the bus or subway or bike instead. Youll save fuel, and you will put a little less pollution into the air. If you must drive somewhere, see if you can carpool with friends it makes the ride more fun and keeps that second car in the garage.

The Tesla Roadste r: an all-electric spor ts car that was introduced in 2009

ArCtiC wArmiNg

good, better & best


Small, fuel-efficient cars are much better for the planet than those huge SUVs, and they can be fun too! Cars like the MINI Cooper compact and the Honda Fit station wagon will squeeze over 30 miles from a single gallon of gasoline. Even better are the hybrid cars, like the Toyota Prius, which can drive over 45 miles on a single gallon of gas! These hybrid cars combine a gas engine with a clean electric motor to greatly increase energy efficiency. Even better, a new class of allelectric cars like the Tesla Roadster were introduced in 2009, and these cars will have zero emissions!

tar of the rianka Kilcher (s 007, actress Qo In March 2 da FCX, a hydrold) leased a Hon Wor el cell film The New el cell vehicle. Fu ro-emissions fu nverting gen-powered, ze te power by co the FCX genera vehicles like to water vapor. hydrogen gas in

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Emission Equation: 1 Chevy Suburban = 3 Toyota Priuses

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Did you know that the average American household with two mid-size cars emits more than 10 tons of greenhouse gases from driving each year? Cut a 20-mile car trip every week and reduce your emissions by 1,200 pounds each year plus your family will save big on gas costs too!

A is for Automobiles

Hollywood stars are going electric! Actor George Clooney was one of the first owners of the Tesla Roadster, an all-electric vehicle that accelerates faster than a Ferrari! And the Toyota Prius hybrid has many Hollywood fans including Cameron Diaz and Leonardo DiCaprio.

GAS

Are your parents planning to buy a new car? Ask them to consider a hybrid or other high-mileage vehicle. Hybrids combine a super-clean electric motor with a small gas engine to get great mileage and lower emissions. If buying a conventional car remember that small is beautiful!

How green are your family cars? Find out at the EPAs Web site: http://www.fueleconomy.com . Find your car by clicking on the Web links and learn about its gas mileage, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Share the results with your parents they may be surprised!

is for biofuels
N SOLUTIO
Cars and trucks can use biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel as a cleaner alternative to oil-based gasoline and diesel. The best biofuels are made from sustainable plant and organic sources including agricultural waste, wood chips, switch grass, and jatropha seeds. Today most biofuels are still made from food crops like corn, sugarcane, soybeans, and oil palm, raising serious environmental and economic questions. In the future, exciting new technologies promise to produce biofuels efficiently from nonfood sources.

want fries with that biodiesel?


Biofuels are made by converting organic matter from plants or animals into another form of stored energy. Biofuels can be solids, liquids or gases. The most popular biofuel, ethanol, is a gasoline replacement presently made from mainly corn and sugarcane through a process called distillation. Biodiesel, which can power large trucks and trains, is another important liquid biofuel currently produced from vegetable oil crops including palm, soybeans and rapeseed (canola). Biodiesel can also be made from animal fats or even leftover French-fry oil!

Do you smell opportunity?


Animal waste like cow manure can also become a biofuel either burned as a solid (called biomass) or converted into methane, a clean-burning gas used to generate heat and electricity. And even the stinky garbage that makes you hold your nose can be used as fuel. Many towns burn

Viva flex-fuel! brazil leads the way


With its fertile soil and tropical climate Brazil produces sugar-based ethanol at prices often cheaper than gasoline. Ample supplies of cheap, clean-burning ethanol have led Brazilian drivers to buy flex-fuel cars that can run on ethanol, gasoline, or gasohol, a mix of both. In 2006 over 80% of cars sold in Brazil were flex-fuel capable. As a result, today over 40% of Brazilian car tanks are filled with ethanol. biofuel s

With a tropical climate ideal for growing sugarcane, Brazil has become the worlds most efficient biofuel producer. Brazilian plants produce ethanol at an average cost of $1.10 per gallon and supply 40% of the countrys liquid fuel needs.

the rom irectly f a dd aste r w burne ed as e s th be o u an -oil and ets uring c or bio s pell t e. ood anufac o bioga dditiv W m a t sel er d in mb verte biodie lu on or c

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Wood Pellets

Switchgrass

Jatopha plant

Corn stover

The inedible seeds from the droughtresistant Jatropha curc as plant contain up to 40% oil that can be turned into biodiesel w hen crushed and processed. The re maining plant waste and residue can be burned as biomass to generate ele ctricity.

Corn s straw tover (p ictu , and wast othe red), wh e now from gr r inedible eat bein ain pla cellu g used a harvests nt losic s fee are etha nol p dstock f o rodu ction r .

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Most of Americas biofuel is corn-based ethanol, which consumed over 2 billion bushels in 2006: about one-fifth of the entire US corn harvest.

garbage as biomass to produce electricity for power plants, eliminating fossil fuels and reducing the need for landfills and trash dumps.

ing your cereal bowl and filling your tank? By one calculation, using all of Americas corn to make ethanol would only replace 12% of the gasoline we use! What does that mean for our morning boxes of corn flakes? So far its meant higher prices: corn, soybeans and sugar all cost more, largely as a result of biofuel demand. Even more troubling: recent studies have questioned whether biofuels can be made from food crops including corn and soybeans on sustainable basis, without indirectly destroying fragile ecosystems such as rainforests that currently act as huge carbon sinks.

How biofuels help the planet


When produced on a sustainable basis, biofuels recycle much of the greenhouse gases they emit: carbon emitted by plants used for biofuel is re-absorbed by replacement seedlings as they grow. Plants grow through photosynthesis, using sunlight to combine CO2 and water into sugars, powering natures carbon cycle. This renewable biofuel cycle is considered sustainable if the planting done for biofuels does not cause deforestation or land-use degradation by destroying existing forests, peatlands or other carbon sinks.

bacteria, bugs & goo to the rescue!


Good news: it turns out that biofuels can also be made from inedible plant matter like cornstalks, sugarcane waste, wood chips, grasses, jatropha seeds, and even gooey algae! Ethanol and other biofuels can be made from plant fiber (cellulose) that is broken down by high-tech enzymes -- including some extracted from termite guts -- or even synthesized directly by designer microbes (bacteria). Cellulose- and algae-based feedstocks do not require cultivation and eliminate the incentive to clear forests to create more cropland. The emerging new biofuel technologies will greatly reduce biofuels demands on our food supply providing a clean, sustainable alternative to gasoline and other liquid fossil fuels.

biofuel s

Hey, i was going to eat that!


You may have noticed that some biofuels are made from many of the things you eat, like corn, sugar and soybeans. In the future will you have to choose between fill-

Future Biofuels: from Bacteria, Bugs and Goo!

a enlab: bacteri g from the es, extracted emergin l enzym ologies are iofuel techn el compounds; power fu l production; and g new b Excitin ate fu ethano sel. directly cre t cellulosic s into biodie gineered to s, enabling lower-cos O 2 emission rt C e from termit ated algae that conve cultiv specially

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Ethanol and biodiesel made from food crops such as corn, soybeans, and oil palm have become controversial. In February 2008 two studies published in Science magazine concluded that these crop-based biofuels actually increase CO2 emissions versus fossil fuels by causing deforestation and the destruction of other rich carbon sinks including peatlands, savannas and grasslands. As a sustainable alternative the studies endorsed biofuels made from organic waste or plants grown on non-arable land.

While on tour, rock stars including John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Willie Nelson travel on buses powered by biodiesel. Willie Nelson is so committed to biodiesel that he created his own brand called BioWillie!

Looking for a new family car? Gas-electric hybrids are a good choice, but ask your parents to also consider flex-fuel vehicles that can use both regular gasoline and E85, a mix of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Learn more about flex fuel vehicles and E85 fuel by visiting the Web site of the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition at http:// www.e85fuel.com/. Learn more about biofuels by reading Wikipedias excellent summary at: http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biofuel. Want to understand more about the controversy over using food crops for biofuel? Read an interview with Nature Conservancy scientist Joe Fargione at the Nature.org Web site: http://www.nature.org/initiatives/climatechange/features/art23819.html.

biofuel s

is for CHiNA
China is the worlds largest source of greenhouse gases or will be the top emitter soon. By one estimate China passed the US in 2006 with 21.2% of all global CO2 emissions versus Americas 19.6%. Nearly 70% of Chinas power comes from coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, and Chinas coal use is growing fast

CHiNA

made in China: almost everything!


Did you know that 80% of the toys sold in America are made in China? Own an iPod? Thats made in China too! In fact, China is now the worlds top manufacturer of televisions, refrigerators, cameras, bicycles, motorbikes, desktop computers, microwave ovens, DVD players, cell

phones and many other consumer products. Check out your own home: its a good bet that most of the gadgets and appliances that you find were made in China, the worlds factory.

CHiNA

China's addiction to coal


It should come as no surprise that it takes lots of power to keep all these Chinese factories running. Unfortunately for our planet, most of Chinas power comes from burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel. With coal cheap and plentiful, China opens a new coal-fired power plant every week! Even worse, one-fifth of these Chinese plants are operating illegally since the government did not approve their construction.

the hina is now s to coal, C Thank O emitter orlds top C 2 w

exporting products and pollution


The atmospheres jet stream blows a lot of Chinas coal smoke across the Pacific to the western US, adding to the smog problems there. One scientific study found that almost 80% of particulatebased smog on the US west coast came from China. For the Chinese people the pollution problem is much worse: by one

Coal provides 70% of Chinas energy

China is the worlds largest steel maker

CHiNA

China is the fastest-growing car market

New buildings = new power plants

China : worlds #1 manufacturer

China makes half of the worlds cement

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estimate, only 1% of Chinas 560 million city dwellers breathe healthy air.

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China didn't create the problem


Its important to acknowledge that the US, Europe, Japan and other well-off nations are responsible for 75% of CO2 emissions that were released between 1950 and 2002. While Chinas emissions have become huge since then, so has its population of over 1.3 billion, most of whom live in poverty. Compared to the average American, the average Chinese person emits only one-fifth of the greenhouse gases and uses oneseventh of the energy!

watch out for cars!


As if this werent bad enough, China is becoming car-crazy, putting 24,000 new cars, trucks and buses on the road every day. China is now the fastest growing car market in the world, and the second biggest overall after the US. More vehicles and more burning coal add up to huge and growing CO2 emissions from China. CHiNA

wealthy countries must lead the way


To improve living standards, Chinas economy must continue to grow, requiring more energy and generating more emissions. As a result Chinas greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase. This means that the wealthy countries like the US -- who created most of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere today must lead the way by actually reducing their emissions while helping China to slow their emissions growth through green technologies.

o containers e: most carg oyag One-way v ty to China return emp

Hazy skyline of Shangh ai,

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Chinas smog harms its own citizens as well as the planet: by one estimate, outdoor air pollution in China causes up to 400,000 deaths each year! And in southeastern China, acid rain from coal emissions causes damage to crops and buildings spanning 30 percent of the Chinese land mass.

CHiNA

Having experienced first-hand the devastation of the Indonesian tsunami in 2004, action movie star Jet Li formed the One Foundation in Beijing to provide future disaster relief, with special emphasis on young people. To learn more, go to the Web site: http://www.onefoundation.cn/html/en/introduction.htm

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Every time we buy a Chinese product particularly large, heavy items like bikes, computers, refrigerators, and furniture -- we are indirectly adding to Chinas greenhouse gas emissions. Think twice about that new purchase: do you really need it? Is a locally made product available?

Learn more about Chinas huge environmental challenges at an interactive Web site developed by the New York Times, called Chinas Environmental Crisis; found at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2007/08/26/world/asia/20070826_CHINA_ GRAPHIC.html.

D is for Deforestation
Deforestation

Deforestation the destruction and burning of the planets native forests and jungles accounts for 20% of all CO2 emissions, more than the combined emissions from all vehicles, airplanes and ships. About half of the worlds forests have already been destroyed, and another 1% is lost each year.

earth's air purifier


Forests cover about one third of the earths surface and play a crucial role in cleaning the air we breathe. Through the process of photosynthesis, trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. As trees grow, they store more and more CO2 in their leaves, trunks and roots, vacuuming carbon molecules from the atmosphere. When trees are cut down and burned, the plug is pulled on this carbon vacuum, causing the stored CO2 to be released back into the atmosphere.

a burning issue
The World Bank estimates that 22 million acres of rainforest are burned every year, and these fires create about 20% of all global warming emissions. One expert estimates that, at the current rate of destruction, 40% of the Amazons rainforests will be destroyed by 2050. One recent example: a satellite photograph of Brazil showed over 76,000 separate fires burning in the Amazon. Half of the trees burned are used as fuel, to heat homes, cook food and power factories. In poor countries, wood is often the only fuel available.

Where's your hamburger from?


In Central and South America, cattle ranchers are a major cause of deforestation, as they replace tropical rainforests with grass pastures to feed their cattle. By one estimate, 54 square feet of rainforest a 6 by 9 foot area -- have been cleared for every quarter-pound hamburger made from rainforest cattle! Cattle ranchers in Brazil are responsible for much of the deforestation that accounts for 7% of all

air we breathe. Trees clean the

e4 uring th gion. D re milmazon ver 21 razils A miles (o han the in B are t station 00 squ a larger f defore ut 33,0 ew o , abo an are 7 ed al vi 03-200 destroy An aeri from 20 inforest were riod ra year pe mazon res) of A th Carolina. lion ac ou ate of S ntire st e

Deforestation arctic Warming

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Waste p could aper from Am bu York t ild a 12 f erican of fi t wall o LA c from es every New year!

ceive 4 million US households re l every year. tons of junk mai

arctic Warming

greenhouse gas emissions, making Brazil the worlds fourth- or fifth-largest emitter, after China, the US, and Indonesia!

Biofuels vs. rainforest


Farmers are also causing deforestation, in many cases by planting crops to be used as animal feed or biofuels. Much of the rainforest destroyed in Indonesia was cleared to create oil palm and cassava plantations for biodiesel, and sugarcane plantations to produce ethanol. In Brazils Amazon forests, nearly 3 million acres of rainforest have been destroyed and replanted with soybeans that are used for animal feed or converted to biodiesel.

ings inside your home. We Americans love paper and wood products and, on average, each of us consumes 15 times as much wood as the average citizen of a developing country like India. Our per capita consumption of wood and paper products is over 1,500 pounds a year, which requires that 74 cubic feet of trees be cut down for every man, woman and child in the US annually!

make a sustainable difference


We can all look for ways to reduce our paper and wood consumption. We can also recycle more of what we use. Finally, make sure that your family buys wood and paper products made from well-managed forests that utilize sustainable practices as certified by organizations like the Forrest Stewardship Council look for their green tree logo!

read it and weep


The paper in books is made from trees too. Your house or apartment is probably constructed from wood, as well as the chairs, tables, cabinets and many other furnish-

Look for the green logo of the Forestry Steward ship Council (FSC) when ing building products an buyd furnishings. This assu res that the wood used harvested using sustaina was b

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That catalog you received in the mail might contain wood fiber from the Amazon: almost 4 million tons of junk mail is sent in the US every year. The average American uses 650 pounds of paper a year. At the office, Americans trash enough paper to build a 12-foot wall from Los Angeles to New York City each year!

Deforestation

Save the Amazon, buy Giseles flip-flops! Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bnchen is offering a line of sandals called The Ipanema Collection. Gisele will donate some of the sale proceeds to the Pure Xingu Water campaign; which works to preserve the headwaters of the Xingu River system in Brazils Amazon region, which has been decimated by deforestation.

Save the rainforest by recycling paper. Use both sides of printer paper before recycling. Purchase recycled paper for use on home printers and fax machines. For every ton of recycled paper purchased, 17 trees will be saved. Lots of water, energy and landfill space is saved too!

Learn how recycling helps our forests at the Clean Air Council Web site (http://www. cleanair.org/). Want to fight deforestation caused by your junk mail? Check out Precycle (http://precycle.tonic.com/), which helps consumers to get off catalog mailing lists and plant trees to reverse the damage!

is for energy efficiency


SOLU TION
We can save the planet and save money at the same time, simply by reducing the energy we use in our daily lives. Almost one-fifth of the necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through energy efficiency: replacing incandescent bulbs with fluorescent ones, driving more fuel-efficient cars, turning down thermostats and water heaters, and buying energy-saving appliances.

save money, save the planet


You win twice when you lower your familys energy bills. First, youll save a bundle, since heating oil, natural gas, and electricity are expensive. Second, less energy use equates to lower emissions of climate-warming gases. Much can be done through simple changes in habits, such as turning down the thermostat, taking shorter showers, using your washers cold rinse cycle, and turning off computers. Small investments in fluorescent
World energy diet: Denmark and Japan lead th e way

bulbs, power strips and insulation can pay off big, saving you money in the long run while reducing emissions immediately. Conserving energy makes sense for the planet and makes cents for you too!

Denmark and Japan lead the way


Other countries have already proven the power of energy efficiency. Denmark uses only one-third of the energy that the US does to manufacture the same product. The average American uses 13,300 kilowatts of electricity each year -- more than twice the Danish figure of 6,600 kilowatts per person. And in Japan, the average home uses less than half the energy used by an American home. Though Japans economy and population is 40% as large as the US, it consumes less than 25% of the energy that America does.

energy efficiency

time to tap into the energy reserve


Because of its extraordinary conservation measures, Denmark is energy selfsufficient and actually exports oil, natural gas, and electricity. Denmarks per capita greenhouse gas emissions are also

New Yo rk City skyline account at night for 18% , with li of all U ghts ab used to S energ power a y use, a laze. Commercia nd heat building n l of fices building s create s. A rece d over half of 79% of sumptio this tota nt study all its g n of ele li found th reenhou ctricity, at New Y s se gas natural orks emissio gas, fue ns from l oil and consteam.

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slion fluore er 100 mil : ov 7. T delivers WALMAR nt bulbs sold in 200 ce

the road (28%) and all of the nations industry (32%). Homes and apartments account for 21% of total energy use in the US. This means that small energy savings in each household will add up to big energy savings for the country -- and huge emissions reductions for the planet. Almost two-thirds of the energy used by homes is for space and water heating, with lighting and appliances accounting for the remainder.

small changes, big savings


Later in this book we show how you can become Super-Cool by reducing your familys carbon footprint.(See Become a Super-Cool Family) You can have a big impact on our planet by making some simple changes to your lifestyle. Turn down your thermostats in the winter, and turn them up in the summer. Replace those old incandescent bulbs with efficient new fluorescent ones. Unplug or switch off appliances, electronics and computers when they are not in use. Finally, ask your parents to buy Energy Star appliances, which on average use 30% less energy than standard appliances.
e our hom nplug y uters, TVs plug! U p Pull the after use. Com 0% of your cs i to 1 electron os can use up in standby e le and ster electricity whi s . home mode

energy efficiency

among the lowest in the world. America can follow Denmarks example and tap into previously buried reserves through energy efficiency. A study by McKinsey Global Institute concluded that energy efficiency alone could enable Americans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 1.3 billion tons each year and buy 11 million fewer barrels of oil each day!

time to put your home on an energy diet


Residential and commercial buildings use about 40% of Americas total energy more than all the cars and trucks on

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Over 1.5 billion old-style incandescent lightbulbs are sold in the US each year. Replacing these bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent lamps would save consumers over $12 billion on their annual electricity bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 750 million tons every year! Now thats a bright idea!

Check your local TV listings for Living with Ed, starring Oscar-winner Ed Begley and his wife Rachelle. They show how fun it can be to go green at home. To learn more, check out Eds Fixing the Planet blog at http://www.fixingtheplanet.com/, where he shows how to save money and help the environment by making small changes to your lifestyle.

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energy efficiency

Save money and fight global warming! Replace 20 old light bulbs in your house with compact fluorescent ones and reduce your carbon emissions by 680 pounds each year! When shopping for new appliances look for the Energy Star logo: over its lifetime, a typical Energy Star dishwasher will save 600 pounds of CO2 versus a conventional unit. Visit the Energy Star Web site at http://www.energystar.gov/ to find out how your family can save energy, money and the planet. The site offers a variety of tools and calculators to help you analyze your familys energy use and potential savings. Dont buy a new appliance without visiting the Energy Star Web site first: youll save money and carbon emissions!

is for fossiL fUeLs


fossiL fUeL s

USE CA

Fossil fuels coal, oil and natural gas provide over 80% of the worlds energy needs and constitute the primary cause of global warming. Formed over millions of years from prehistoric plant and animal matter, these fuels are extracted from the Earth via mines and wells. Most of the planetwarming gases currently in the atmosphere came from burning fossil fuels.

is that a saber tooth tiger in your tank?


Fossil fuels are an odd-sounding term for coal, crude oil and natural gas -- hydrocarbons that have formed naturally inside the Earth over millions of years from prehistoric plant and animal matter. While its possible that your gasoline may once have been part of a saber tooth tiger or other dinosaur, its much more likely to have come from tiny marine organisms that were buried in ancient sea beds.

co 2 spells trouble
Chemists call fossil fuels hydrocarbons because they consistent almost entirely of hydrogen atoms (H) and carbon atoms (C). When mixed with oxygen (O2) from the air and heated, these hydrocarbons burn, producing energy and hot gases including carbon dioxide (CO2), the most common greenhouse gas. Most of the CO2 now causing problems in our atmosphere came from burning these hydrocarbons.

china

you are fossil fueled!


Oil (Mtoe) 4,000

World Oil and Gas Consumption

Gas (Bcm)

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energy needs. over 60% of US tural gas supply Oil & na owing fast. ina and India is gr Demand from Ch

You may not notice it, but you and your family are huge consumers of fossil fuels every day. The gasoline in your family cars tank is made from crude oil, also known as petroleum. Some of the electricity for your appliances and lighting probably comes from coal-fired power plants. And theres a good chance that the furnace that keeps your home warm in the winter is fueled by natural gas or heating oil. This means that every time you ride in a car, turn on a light, or turn up the thermostat you are burning fossil fuels, creating greenhouse gas emissions.

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over plies round p eg oil su rude from th gasoline : C ped otos) and into of ph Once pum nverted homes, ow gy. d co rst r r our r oil (fi icas ene neries an ng oil fo e Crud Amer to refi , heati jets. of les ur ed 40% ransport our vehic ene for o t s it is iesel for kero dd an

fossiL fUeL s
Coal (second row of photo s): Coal prov of all US en ides about o ergy needs ne-q and electricity th at lights our generates over one-ha uarter lf of the Coal burns m homes and po uch less cle anly than oil wers our appliances. and g tionately m ore CO emis as, causing proporsions. 2

Natur al g accou as (third r suppl nts for ab ow of pho y, ou tos via ta pumped fr t one-fifth ): Natural and g nker and om wells of Amer gas ica en th pi has th erate elec peline to h en transpo s tr e r e low est CO icity. Amo at our hom ted ng fo es e most2 missions b ssil fuels expen u sive. t is also th it e

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the american oil habit
Whats your annual fossil fuel consumption? If youre an average American its the equivalent of over 50 barrels of oil, or nearly 7 tons every year! In aggregate the US consumes 25% of all oil produced in the world and must import almost 60% of this petroleum from other countries. Overall, the average American consumes over 4 times as much fuel as the average global citizen. And all of this fuel literally goes up in smoke, warming our planet a little more each year. In 2005 the US emitted over 2.5 billion tons of CO2 from burning petroleum products, over 2.5 times second-place Chinas emissions. fossiL fUeL s
Coal (Mtoe)

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Coal supplies one-quarter of US energy needs but over 70% of Chinas!

ing planned in the US. This means that Americas reliance on coal and resulting CO2 emissions -- will actually increase!

the trouble with coal


Coal supplies about one-quarter of US energy needs but accounts for much more of its greenhouse gas emissions. Thats because coal does not burn as cleanly as natural gas and refined oil products like gasoline, diesel and kerosene. On average a coal-fired power plant will emit almost twice as much CO2 as a plant that burns natural gas. Right now 55% of Americas electricity comes from coal-fired plants, producing about 90% of electric utilities total CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, because coal is the cheapest fuel source, almost 100 more coal-fired plants are be-

can anything be done?


How can we reduce our dependence on planet-warming fossil fuels? Conserving power is the easiest and quickest way in the short-term. Then we must replace fossil fuels wherever we can with renewable energy sources including hydropower, wind farms, solar energy and biofuels. Finally, new technologies are being developed for coal, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), which actually injects coals CO2 emissions into the ground for permanent storage. CCS, while promising, is a still an experimental technology that will take many years to deploy on a large scale.

Statoil rigs in the Sleiper West field in the Norwegian North Sea . Statoil utilizes carbon capture and storage (CCS) to remove CO fro m the wells and inject it back into the underground formation. CCS2is a promising technology to reduce CO emissions from burning fossil 2 fuels.

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Fossil fuels account for over 80% of the worlds energy supply, and total demand is actually growing by almost 2% per year. As the second largest oil consumer after the US, China accounts for less than 9% of world demand right now, but its oil use has more than doubled every year for the last 10 years.

fossiL fUeL s

When electric utility TXU announced plans to build 11 new coal-fired power plants in Texas, rock star Sheryl Crow and movie producer Laurie David launched a two-week concert tour across North Texas and the Gulf states to fight TXUs proposal while raising general awareness of global warming. TXUs owners subsequently agreed to scrub plans for 8 of the original plants.

2005 World Energy Consumption by Source

Combustible Renewables Hydro & Waste 10% 2.2% Nuclear 6.3% Natural Gas 20.7% Oil 35.0%

st s: mo il fuel is oss ergy g on f hokin worlds en oal and C of the from oil, c s ced produ natural ga

Other 0.5% Coal 25.3%

2005 world energy consumption by source: Total equals 1,436 million tonnes of oil equivalent

What else can your family do beyond conserving energy? Buy green power electricity generated from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal! More than 44 states in the US now offer green power to homeowners. Call your local power company or use the Department of Energys Web site to see whats available in your state: http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/buying/buying_power.shtml Visit the Green-e Web site at http://www.green-e.org/to find out how your family can promote renewable energy at home, at the office, and in the products you buy. Green-e an independent non-profit organization that certifies renewable energy providers and users. Look for their green logo.

is for GrEENHoUsE GAsEs


GrEENHoUsE GAsEs

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Greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming. They absorb the suns energy and heat the Earths atmosphere. The 3 most common heat-trapping gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O). About 60% of gas emissions come from burning fossil fuels, and remainder come from agricultural activities and deforestation.

Too much of a good thing


Greenhouse gases trap the rays of sun in Earths atmosphere and convert them into heat. Over millions of years, nature created the perfect balance of gases in the atmosphere to provide the right mix of air that we breathe and a warm gaseous blanket that insulates us from chilly outer space. In fact our atmosphere is what makes Earth different from the other planets in our solar system -- like Venus and Mars that do not support life. Unfortunately for us, human activity over the past century has upset our planets natural balance, creating too much of a good thing by spewing too much of these greenhouse gases into the air, causing

the planet to overheat. Most greenhouse gases are nonvolatile, which means that once they enter the atmosphere, they remain there for a really long time, measured in the hundreds of years!

The big kahuna: carbon dioxide (Co 2)


Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for over three-quarters of all greenhouse gas impact. CO2 is generated by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil-based products like gasoline, and natural gas. Electric power plants and transport cars and trucks are the two biggest sources of CO2. Carbon dioxide is also created by deforestations double whammy: first from the burning of trees, then from the loss of those trees ability to absorb CO2 during photosynthesis.

WORLD GAS EMISSIONS BY SECTOR


Agriculture 14% Deforestation 17% Waste 3% Electricity & Heat 34%

smells like trouble: methane (CH4)


The second most common greenhouse gas is methane (CH4), which accounts for about 14% of total emissions impact and is generated mainly from farming activities and landfill. For each ton of emissions, methane has about 23 times the heat-trapping potential as carbon dioxide. If youve driven past a dairy or pig farm

Transport 13%

Industry 19%

at they ses: wh from. e ouse ga Greenh here they cam w are and

Carbon dioxide

CO2

HFC8 PFC3 SF6,

GrEENHoUsE GAsEs

1%

77%

Methane

CH4

14%

Nitrous oxide

N2O

8%

Transport 13%

Electricity, Heat & Industry 53%

Deforestation, Agriculture, Waste 34%

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Higher CO2 Levels = Rising Global Temperatures
GrEENHoUsE GAsEs
0.6 380 370 360 350 340 330 320 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 Year

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CO2 concentration (ppm)

you probably remember the smell: thats methane! And if youve been near the town dump or sewage treatment plant, some of that pungent smell comes from methane too.

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Down on the farm: nitrous oxide (N2o)


Agriculture also generates most emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O), which has the third most common greenhouse gas, and accounts for about 8% of total emissions impact. For each ton of emissions, nitrous oxide has about 296 times the heat-trapping potential as carbon dioxide. N2O emissions come from fertilizer and soil cultivation during the planting process.

ants and other industrial chemicals used as coolants, fire retardants, insulators and aerosols. For each ton of emissions, these fluorocarbons are thousands of times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Luckily, all of these gases are emitted in relatively small qualities, accounting for only 1% of the total greenhouse gas impact.

water vapor: feedback goes negative


Last but not least, there is water vapor. Those beautiful clouds in the sky are made of water vapor nothing wrong with that, right? Unfortunately, water vapor also warms the atmosphere as it absorbs sunlight. Although water vapor is not directly caused by human activity, most scientists believe that as the planet gets warmer, more water vapor is released into the atmosphere: something they call positive feedback. In this case, positive feedback is definitely a negative thing for our planet!
Atmospheric concentra tions of all three majo r greenhouse gases have grown rapid lly during the last thre e decades

Chilling facts: fluorocarbons


Bad things sometimes come in small sizes, and thats definitely the case with 3 other greenhouse gases: hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases are created during the synthesis of refriger-

Parts per million (ppm)

Parts per billion (ppb)

357 365 355 345

Carbon Dioxide

1750 1700 1650 1600

Methane

Parts per billion (ppb)

385

1800

322 318 314 310 306 298

Nitrous Oxide

335 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994

1998

2002

2006

1550 1978 1982 1986 1990 1994

1998

2002

2006

1978 1982 1986 1990 1994

CO2 Mix in Atmosphere (parts per million)

Global temperature change (rolling average)

1998

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By the year 2100 carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere will almost triple if we dont reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. The United Nations believes that this much CO2 in the air will raise global temperatures by 4C or more, and boost sea levels by up to 0.6 meters, with disastrous impact on the planet.

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Former Vice President Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change. He shared the award with a United Nations research group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

What are your familys greenhouse gas emissions each year? Find out using the Personal Emissions Calculator on the US Environmental Protection Agencys Web site: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html. The EPA calculator also offers suggestions for reducing emissions, and adjusts your total for taking these simple steps.

Visit the Alliance for Climate Protections Web site at http://www.climateprotect.org/ to see how you can personally contribute to the fight against global warming. Former Vice President and Nobel laureate Al Gore is the Alliances Chairman. The Alliances mission is to persuade people of the importance, urgency and feasibility of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis.

is for HUrriCANEs
ENCE CONSEQU
Hurricanes and typhoons are tropical cyclones, huge storms that bring high winds and flooding rain, usually from warm tropical waters such as those found in the Caribbean and North Atlantic regions. Many scientists now believe that global warming - by increasing the sea temperatures that power these storms - is making these cyclones more frequent and intense.

was Katrina just the beginning?


Hurricanes and typhoons also called cyclones -- are tropical storms that build tremendous strength from warm ocean water, usually in the North Atlantic. At landfall, they bring high winds and huge rainfall, destroying everything they hit. Category 5 hurricanes like Katrina are the largest, most destructive cyclones
Cool, dry air Warm, spiraling winds

of all, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour or more. In the past, Category 5 storms were infrequent: between 1928 and 1992, there were 22 such hurricanes, an average of about one every 3 years. Recently, though, this has changed for the worse: since 1998, there have been 9 Category 5 storms in the Atlantic, or an average of one per year. Even worse, there were 4 such hurricanes in a single year, 2005, and 2 more in 2007! Many scientists believe that global warming is contributing to the increased frequency and severity of these tropical storms.

HUrriCANEs

Hurricanes destroy lives and property


Eye

Bands of thunderstorms

ricane Inside a hur

Hurricanes have caused huge humanitarian disasters. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch in Central America took the lives of over 10,000 people. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina killed over 1,880 people and virtually destroyed the city of New Orleans, causing over $80 billion in property damage. Since 2004, as the planet grew warmer, hurricanes have caused more than $170 billion of damage! In these terrible storms, people not only lose their homes but also their livelihood,

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NASA s atellite image o in the G f Hurric ulf of M ane Kat exico, A most po rina mo ugust 2 werful A ving tow 8, 2005 tlantic s ard the ing New . Katrin torms in US Orleans a becam recorded with wi e one of massive history, desprea the destruct virtually d floodin ion from destroy g from winds o its storm f 160 m surge an iles per d hour.

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Hurricanes Typhoons
equator

50,000 feet high and measure over 125 miles across. While all hurricanes begin in the ocean, many of them are blown into land by trade winds.

Cyclones

warmer planet, stronger storms


Areas in which tropical storms form

Cyclones

Warm-water regions near the equator are subject to

hurricanes and cyclones

HUrriCANEs

livelihood and sometimes most tragically their lives. And heres more troubling news: its likely that global warming is increasing sea surface temperatures causing future tropical cyclones to be even more powerful and destructive.

winds + warm water = hurricane


Hurricanes form near the Earths equator when tropical trade winds blow over warm ocean water. This humid air rises and then cools, condensing back into water droplets, releasing heat and creating a rising column of clouds. When sea surface temperatures are high enough, this cycle of evaporation and condensation will build towering columns of thunderstorm clouds that create huge differences in air pressure. A vortex is formed as air rushes from highpressure zones into low-pressure zones, resulting in high wind speeds. When wind speeds reach 74 miles per hour, a tropical storm is classified as a hurricane. A hurricane will typically measure more than
dome a Super Louisian days after age of o NASA im t 31, 2005, tw s 30,000 ya gus a on Au when as man dark are atrina, ge. The water. K fu ood ought re people s he stadium is fl t around

Sea surface temperatures have been rising since 1970, the first year when accurate measurements were taken from satellite imagery. Since 1994, these ocean temperatures have increased rapidly. During the same period, we have seen a significant increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic, i.e. hurricanes. Some scientists believe that these two trends represent cause and effect, with warmer oceans creating stronger storms. Many of these scientists believe that global warming from human activity is the cause of this phenomenon. The IPCC, the United Nations scientific panel on climate change has endorsed these findings and predicts that global warming if not stopped -- will make future hurricanes more intense, with higher winds speeds and heavier rains.

Time to cool it
The best way to protect our planet from more super storms is to stop the global warming that is heating up our oceans. Remember, preventing something is a lot easier than trying to clean up the damage after it happens.

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Tropical cyclones form in many parts of the world but are called different names. In the US we call them hurricanes; in Asia theyre called typhoons; and elsewhere they are simply called cyclones or tropical storms. Hurricanes are so destructive because of their awesome power, releasing the heat equivalent of a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes!

Movie star Brad Pitt, in partnership with non-profit Global Green USA, is leading efforts to build affordable, sustainable housing in New Orleans as that city recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. By one estimate, 50,000 of these green homes would save $38-56 million in yearly energy bills and eliminate over 500,000 tons of CO2 the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road.

HUrriCANEs ENErGy EffiCiENCy


Is your family prepared for a hurricane? As the intensity of these tropical storms increases with global warming, preparation becomes ever more important. Hurricane hazards include storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding. Visit NOAAs Hurricane Preparedness Web site for a Family Disaster Plan checklist: http://www.nhc. noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/family_plan.shtml Learn more about how hurricanes form at NASAs SciJinks Web site at http://scijinks.jpl.nasa.gov/weather/howwhy/hurricane/index2.shtml. Writing a research paper or making a presentation? Go to NOAAs Hurricane Education Web site at http:// www.climate.noaa.gov/index.jsp?pg=./education/hurricanes/resources.jsp for loads of resources including photos and videos.

is for iNsECT-BorNE DisEAsEs


CONSEQUENCE
Global warming is contributing to the spread of dangerous tropical diseases including malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, meningitis and encephalitis, all of which are transmitted to humans by mosquito bite. Mosquitoes and other biting insects thrive in the warm, tropical conditions that are fueled by global warming.

mosquitoes global warming


iNsECT-BorNE DisE AsEs Insects, bacteria and viruses thrive in hot, humid weather the kind of climate created by global warming. Among all pests, mosquitoes are the biggest winners in the climate crisis, moving into newly warm regions, spreading disease and misery wherever they go. All it takes is one little bite from the wrong mosquiMicroscopic im about 1/1000 age of the West Nile viru s particle, th of the width are infected b of a human hair. Human s y mosquito bit es.

to, and you can acquire a serious tropical disease like malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, or yellow fever. Right now, more than 1 million people die each year from malaria, about three-quarters of them being African children. Perhaps 10 times this number will survive the initial infection but become chronically ill from malarias debilitating symptoms. In the US and Europe there is little risk from these diseases right now, but this could change over time as northern latitudes begin to warm.

Bad news from the tropics


The Earths tropical regions are already seeing big increases in mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, caused by a deadly virus for which there is no vaccine or cure. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that dengue fever is now endemic (widespread) in more than 100 countries, mainly in Latin America, and affects some 50 million people each year. WHO estimates that an additional 2.5 billion people are at risk of exposure to the dengue virus. As global warm-

ood. man bl econ hu f to feed to spread in d eady uitoes tting r us, an uito ge allows mosq est Nile vir y too cool q A mos arming viousl laria, W bal w ases like ma hat were pre Glo st ise s. tious d r into region tropical pest e se fev for the dengue

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when it warms up, nasty bugs and germs recognize no borders!

Don't just blame insects


Global warming will also spread diseases not caused by insects. Flooding and drought can both trigger diseases like cholera and dysentery, often fatal diarrheal illnesses contracted by drinking dirty water. And warm weather also increases the risk of food spoilage: some European studies have estimated that every 1C (2F) rise in temperature causes a 5-10 percent jump in salmonella, bacterial food poisoning that can sometimes be fatal. Yuck!

iNsECT-BorNE DisE AsEs

bed: one of et over the Mosquito n alaria. ys to fight m the best wa

ing allows mosquitoes to range farther from the equator, the risk of exposure continues to increase.

Climate change: health hazard


The UNs scientific panel on climate change, the IPCC, predicted in its 2007 report that global warming is likely to affect the health status of millions of people. The IPCC cited health risks that include: increases in malnutrition; diarrheal, cardio-respiratory and infectious diseases; more injuries and deaths from heat waves, floods and droughts; and broader reach of insect-borne diseases. Our best antidote to these maladies is to put global warming on ice!
United Nations IPCC excerpt from 2007 of global warming Health warning: orld health impact report predicting w re changes up to 5C (9 F) for temperatu
2 3 4 5o

Getting ticked-off up north


The bug problem is not just hitting tropical regions. Europe and North America are beginning to see tick-borne diseases move northward, following infected deer and rodents that thrive in mild, wet winters. These growing threats include Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis. And in 1999, the West Nile virus appeared in North America for the first time. By 2006, over 4,200 cases were reported for this dangerous mosquitoborne viral infection, including 177 deaths. Though tropical countries are much more vulnerable, its important to recognize that
0 1

HEALTH

Increasing burden from malnutrition, diarrhoeal, cardio-respiratory and infectious diseases Increased morbidity and mortality from heat waves, oods and droughts Changed distribution of some disease vectors Substantial burden of health services

Global mean annual temperature change relative to 1980 - 1999 (Co)

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Africa is battling a malaria epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that malaria is responsible for one in five childhood deaths in Africa. Every 30 seconds an African child dies from malaria. Global warming is making things worse, with infectious mosquitoes able to move to higher elevations that were once disease-free. Top celebrities have declared war on malaria, supporting a global non-profit effort called Malaria No More (http://www.malarianomore.org/). Visit the site to see videos and photos of David Beckham, Ashley Judd, and American Idols Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest and Melinda Doolittle.

HUrriCANEs ENErGy EffiCiENCy


Save an African family from malaria for only $10! Donate an insecticide-treated mosquito net that allows a family to sleep through the night without fear. The best way to battle malaria is to prevent infection in the first place, by stopping mosquitoes before they bite. Go to the Nothing But Nets to learn more: http://www.nothingbutnets.net/ Writing a research paper? Learn more about the connection between infectious diseases and global warming by visiting the Union of Concerned Scientists Web site at http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/early-warning-signs-of-globalwarming-spreading-disease.html. Another excellent overview can be found at the Sierra Club site: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/early-warning-signsof-global-warming-spreading-disease.html

is for JETs & TrANsporT


JETs & Tr ANsporT

Emissions from jets, ships, trains and trucks are a major cause of global warming. Jets currently produce only 2-3% of CO2 emissions but their climate-change impact is probably much larger because jet exhaust also contains other pollutants that form condensation trails (contrails) in the sky. Even worse, emissions from jets and transport are growing rapidly with the rise in world trade.

your life, transported!


You may not realize it but jets, ships, trains and trucks play an important role in our daily lives. That vacation your family took to Florida last year? You flew there in a jet aircraft. The gasoline that powers your family car? That may have been transported in a supertanker ship. Those groceries from the local supermarket? Most of those were delivered to the store by big sixteen-wheeler trucks. The electricity that powers your house and school? Freight trains deliver the coal that fuels many utility power generators.
by ails created s and contr bal Cloud nify the glo issions mag jet em vel. ct of air tra ming impa war

Taking the planet for a ride


Modern transport has greatly improved our quality of life, but it is taking an increasingly big toll on our planet. In the US, freight transportation accounts for almost onetenth of all greenhouse gas emissions, with trucking accounting for 60% of this total, trains for 6%, airplanes for 5% and ships for 13%. On a global basis, airplanes account for 2-3% of all fossil fuel-based CO2 emissions, while ships and trains account for 4%. Road transport (including cars and trucks) accounts for 18% of this world CO2 total. And its getting worse: transport emissions are growing fast as world consumers become more mobile and more global.

Cloudy picture for jets


Though jet aircraft account for only 2-3% of direct global CO2 emissions, their overall impact on global warming is probably much bigger perhaps as high as 9% of the total. Thats because jet engines create other harmful emissions including nitrogen oxides (known as NOX -- another family of greenhouse gases), soot, and water vapor. Because these emissions occur at high altitude and sub-freezing temperatures, they often form condensation trails (con-

JETs & Tr ANsporT


Vintage World War II propaganda poster urging citizens to limit travel and save fuel for the war effort. Airlines greenhouse gas emissions will more than double between 1990 and 2012, making jet travel one of the fastest growing sources of global warming. Though jets only generate 2-3% of the worlds CO2 emissions, their overall climate change impact could be as high as 9% of the total from the impact of contrails and high altitude pollutants.

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The worlds ocean freig hters emit more greenh ouse gases than all but 6 of the largest countries an d more NOX than all the cars, trucks and buses on th e planet.

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trails) and cirrus clouds that serve to magnify global warming effects. And watch for more clouds on the horizon: jet emissions are expected to more than triple from current levels by the year 2050, making airlines one the fastest growing producers of global warming gases.

est countries in the world! And ships also release more sulfur dioxide the pollutant that causes acid rain than all of the worlds cars, trucks and buses combined.

Don't keep on truckin'


Last but certainly not least, heavy-duty trucks generate most of the transport sectors greenhouse gas emissions in the US. A single 18-wheeler can emit as much NOX as 150 passenger cars! Rail transport is much better for the planet because of the greater fuel efficiency of trains. On average, trains are more than twice as fuel-efficient and generate less than half the NOX emissions of trucks carrying identical loads. All aboard for a shift from trucks to trains!

shipwrecked!
Ships ahoy: some alarming news from the high seas! Ocean-going vessels account for a least 17% of global emissions of NOX greenhouse gases, and more than 25% of NOX emissions in coastal locations. In fact, the worlds fleet of more than 90,000 large freighter ships produced more greenhouse gases in 2001 than all but the six larg-

emissions as if each passenger drove a separate Flying versus driving: flying generates about the same 4x the emissions by flying instead of driving. car the same distance! A family of four will generate

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Flying somewhere for vacation? On average, a commercial airline flight generates about the same greenhouse emissions as if each passenger drove a separate car the same distance! A roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Disney World (Orlando) generates almost 2 tons of emissions per passenger; the same amount generated driving a fuel-efficient (28 mpg) car! Virgin Airlines owner has made a $3 billion pledge to fight global warming. British billionaire and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has committed to reinvest all profits from Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Trains through 2016 into development of renewable energy sources such as biofuels. Virgin Atlantic also plans to begin trial use of biojet fuel in 2008 and improve its fleet fuel efficiency by 30% by 2020

JETs & Tr ANsporT

Consider buying carbon offsets for your familys next vacation flight. Your money will fund projects that eliminate an equivalent amount of carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions that youll generate from your flight. Many online travel sites including Expedia and Travelocity provide you with the option of buying the correct amount of offsets at the time of your ticket purchase. Better yet: consider a vacation closer to home!

Calculate the greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon footprint of your familys next big trip. A number of excellent tools are available on the Web including a travel emissions calculator provided by Native Energy (http://www.nativeenergy.com/travel/), which provides estimates for travel by car, airplane, train or bus.

is for Kyoto Protocol


N SOLUTIO
The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement among most countries in the world to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. Over 170 nations have accepted the terms of the Kyoto treaty, which was adopted by the United Nations in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and took effect in 2005. Among industrial countries, only the United States has not agreed to the Kyoto Protocol.

United, we cool the planet


The United Nations began its fight against global warming way back in 1992, when it adopted the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which set voluntary limits on member-country emissions. When it became clear that voluntary action was not sufficient, the UN acted again in 1997, by approving the Kyoto Protocol, setting a strict cap on greenhouse gas emissions for 2012, set at 5.2% below 1990 levels. In February 2005 the Kyoto Protocol conditions entered into force and over 170 countries have now agreed to follow its terms. Among large industrial emitters, only the United States has refused to accept the Kyoto Protocol because it believed that emissions caps will reduce economic growth.

mate change is for all countries to work together, and thats what the Kyoto Protocol is all about. Each nation committed to the Kyoto Protocol has agreed to limit its 2012 emissions to a country-specific target set by the UNFCCC, the UN organization that administers and enforces the treaty.

Different countries, different burdens


The Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce total 2012 emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 total, but this doesnt mean that all countries have the same limits. Developing countries like China, Brazil and India have no emissions limits at all, recognizing that
USA China EU Russia Middle East Japan Canada Australia
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Kyoto Protocol

Global problem, global solution


It doesnt matter where greenhouse gases come from; once theyre in the air its the entire worlds problem. From the planets perspective, theres no difference between American CO2 and Chinese CO2: global warming gases do not stop at the border! This means that the only way to stop cli-

1990 2005

World Total: 43.29

2.5

5.0

7.5

Reported Greenhouse Gas Emissions

KYOTO PROTOCOL: WHERE THE ACTION IS


positive Kyoto Impact
CANADA After initially ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, Canada shocked the international community in 2006 by declaring that it would not achieve its 6% reduction commitment and would instead record an INCREASE in emissions in 2012 EUROPE Europe is the strongest sponsor of the Kyoto Protocol and has agreed to the biggest emissions cut of 8%. In March 2007 the EU agreed to even tighter limits beyond Kyoto: a further 20% reduction in emissions by 2020!

limited Kyoto impact


RUSSIA AND UKRAINE

negative Kyoto impact


CHINA JAPAN Japan is a strong supporter of the Kyoto Protocol and has agreed to a large emissions cut of 6%, despite already being one of the worlds most energy-efficient economies. In May 2007 Japan called for aggressive cuts after 2012: a 50% reduction by 2050!

Russia and the Ukraine ratified the Kyoto Protocol but have surplus emissions credits, reflecting the collapse of the Soviet Union after 1990, the Kyoto baseline year. Both countries emissions are growing rapidly as their economies recover.

China ratified the Kyoto Protocol but, as a developing country, is not subject to emissions limits. Chinas emissions have skyrocketed as a result of its rapid growth. In 2007, China became the largest emitter in the world!

Kyoto Protocol

USA The US is the only industrial country that has NOT agreed to the Kyoto Protocol, despite being most responsible for the CO2 emissions currently in the atmosphere. The US will record an INCREASE in emissions in 2012.

AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA

INDIA India ratified the Kyoto Protocol but, as a developing country, is not subject to limits on its emissions. Indias emissions are growing rapidly as its economy develops, and it is expected to become the worlds 3rd largest emitter by around 2015, after China and the US.

INDONESIA Indonesia ratified the Kyoto Protocol but, as a developing country, is not subject to limits on its emissions. Indonesia is losing about 4% of its conservation land each year due deforestation, making it the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases in 2007!

AUSTRALIA After a decade of supporting the US in opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, a new Australian government abruptly changed course and ratified the treaty in December 2007. As a newly industrialized country, Australia is allowed an 8% increase over its 1990 emissions.

Most countries of Latin America and Africa have ratified the Kyoto Protocol but, as developing nations, none is subject to emissions limits. Though some countries emissions are growing rapidly, particularly in South America, overall emissions in the region are comparatively small

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USA China Russia* Germany UK Japan France India Canada Poland

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*Includes shares of USSR emissions proportional to Russias current share Source: Financial Times from UNDP data

Share of global CO2 emissions 1840-2004 (%) their economies must continue to develop rapidly to lift their vast populations out of poverty. Conversely, the developed countries of Europe and Japan are required to make significant cuts in their 1990 emissions levels by 2012. European countries have signed up for an 8% cut, and Japan is committed to a 6% reduction. The United States -- before it pulled out of the treaty -had agreed to a 7% reduction. These vastly different Kyoto targets stem from the fact that developed countries have created most of the climate-warming gases in the atmosphere today and consequently have the biggest reduction obligations.

Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a distinguished international panel of scientists that has evaluated the risks and impact of climate change for about 30 years. Established in 1988 by two UN organizations the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) the IPCC has issued 4 important assessment reports between 1990 and 2007. Along with former Vice President Al Gore, the IPCC won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for its important contributions to raising awareness of the climate crisis. Excerpts of the IPCC assessment reports are freely available to the public via the Internet.

What happens after 2012?


You may have noticed that the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012: what happens to the planet after then? Rest assured that the United Nations is busy working on a successor treaty to Kyoto and international negotiations kave taken place in Bali (2007), Poland (2008) and Denmark (2009). Many open issues remain in these negotiations, including the future participation of the United States. Pressure is also building for emissions limits on China, India and other developing countries. Stay tuned and get involved in this debate: your planets counting on you! Most world emissions are NOT subject to Kyoto reductions!
Countries NOT subject to emission reductions

Kyoto Protocol

UN brain trust: IPcc


One United Nations organization has played a crucial role in keeping the world focused on the climate crisis and the Kyoto Protocol. This is the Intergovernmental
Countries subject to emission reductions

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The Kyoto Protocol was a great start but just a small step toward a global warming solution. Over 80% of the worlds current emissions are not subject to binding limits under Kyoto and overall emissions are increasing each year. The US (20% of emissions) has rejected the treaty. China (another 20% of emissions) was exempted from limits because it is a developing country. The treaty that succeeds Kyoto must cover more emissions and set tighter limits. Did you see the Live Earth concerts? On July 7, 2007 many of rock musics biggest stars performed in 12 different cities across the world, including Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, London, Washington and believe it or not Antarctica! Live Earth was organized by former Vice President Al Gore to kick off a 3-year, global initiative to combat climate change. You can still buy the concert CD: proceeds go to fight global warming!

Kyoto Protocol

Do you believe that the US should join other nations to set binding international limits on greenhouse gas emissions, as begun with the Kyoto Protocol? Do you support emissions caps for your own town or city? If the answer is yes, talk to your parents about how you and they can get involved. Heres one way to start: support politicians who are committed to fighting climate change at the local, state and national levels. Want to learn more about the Kyoto Protocol and negotiations for a successor treaty? Visit the official Web site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to download the actual treaty and other reference documents: http://unfccc.int.

Is for lIvestocK & laNDfIll


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

CAUSE

Livestock and landfill are the two largest emitters of methane, the potent greenhouse gas that is much more damaging than the same amount of CO2. Livestock are also the largest emitters of nitrous oxide (N2O) and are indirectly responsible for much of the worlds deforestation, as tropical rainforests are cleared to create pastures and plant feedstock crops like soybeans and corn.
pork sausage, hamburger, lamb chops and chicken nuggets that provide the protein in many of our diets. Unfortunately it turns out that our animal neighbors also have a huge global warming impact.

our diet = planetary indigestion


We share the planet with 1.5 billion cattle and another 1.7 billion sheep and goats. Add all the pigs and poultry and youve got a lot more animals than Old McDonald could ever imagine! We depend on many of these animals for food: the milk that keeps our bones strong; the ice cream desserts that we love; the cheese on our favorite pizza; and, of course, the

Do you smell trouble?


By one estimate livestock are responsible for about 18 percent of total global warming impact, higher than the entire transportation sector, i.e. all cars, trucks and buses on the road! Thats because livestock cows, goats and sheep -- generate 37% of all methane emissions and 65% of all nitrous oxide emissions. Cows and other ruminant animals generate methane during their normal digestion process: every burp contains methane, which has 23 times the warming potential of an equivalent amount of CO2. At the other end of digestion, manure from cows and other livestock releases more methane and significant amounts of nitrous oxide, a smelly gas with 296 times the warming power of CO2!

estimated e planet. One study g less meat helps th Eatin se gas emissions et reduces greenhou that a vegetarian di per year. by 1.5 metric tons

a clear-cut problem
Livestock also create about 9% of all CO2 emissions, primarily by causing defores-

lion bout 1.5 bil is home to a nitrous oxide planet asture. Our ne and grazing in p f falo, and their metha f global warming. Cows r cause o omestic bu cattle and d their manure are a majo om emissions fr

lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

Landfills com t a landfill. ha ns, overing tras ane emissio Bulldozers c largest source of meth aste. cas g organic w prise Ameri decomposin y generated b

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duction already uses 30% of the planets land surface and continues to grow.

trashing the planet


The other major source of methane gas is trash: your familys garbage ends up in big landfills basically large piles of waste covered with soil that slowly rot over time, leaking gas. About 34% of methane emissions in the US come from landfills, as organic material such as food and garden waste, wood and paper products and cotton textiles are decomposed by bacteria, generating methane gas that seeps to the surface and is released into the atmosphere. About half of landfill gas emissions are methane, with the remainder being mainly CO2.

arctIc WarmING

ly way to re arth-friend y, E methg is an eas s reducing Compostin waste, thu d garden dfills. use food an ns from lan ane emissio

tation. Much of the worlds tropical rainforests are being destroyed to create new pastureland for cattle grazing, or to plant crops used as animal feed, such as soybeans and corn. Until they are cut down, rainforest trees are natural carbon sinks for the planet, absorbing CO2 and emitting oxygen via photosynthesis. Our planet gets a double-whammy when forests are clear-cut for livestock, first losing the trees natural carbon sink, then adding lots of gassy cattle! Livestock pro-

less is more
Be sure to recycle your paper products: keeping them out of garbage dumps is one of the best ways to reduce landfill methane emissions. Start a compost bin to recycle organic garbage such as lawn clippings and food waste. In addition to recycling, try to reuse paper products: use both sides of your printer paper; reuse paper grocery bags instead of immediately recycling them; or better yet, bring your own reusable grocery bags to the supermarket!

A single co w global war s methane emissio ming impa n ct as the a s have the same of a fuel-e nnual CO2 f ficient ca emissions r like the H onda Fit.

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A typical cow produces the equivalent of 5 tons of CO2 every year, primarily from methane emitted from its manure. This is roughly the same amount of emissions generated by fuel-efficient (20 mpg) car driven 12,000 miles annually! There are currently 1.5 billion cattle and domestic buffalo on the planet thats a lot of cow patties!

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is a committed, longtime vegetarian. Citing the huge impact of livestock on global warming, Sir Paul has asked people to alter their diets by eating less meat. A 2005 University of Chicago study confirms Sir Pauls views, finding that a vegetarian diet reduces a persons annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1.5 metric tons, the equivalent of switching cars from a Chevy Suburban to a Toyota Camry!

How can you reduce your familys contribution to landfill methane emissions? Start a compost pile! Composting is easy to do and good for the planet, converting food and yard waste into rich fertilizer for your garden or potted plants. Learn more at the How To Compost Web site: http://www.howtocompost.org/info/info_composting.asp.

Want more details on livestocks impact on global warming? Download a copy of Livestocks Long Shadow, a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (http://www.fao.org/). A pdf version of the report is available free of charge at the following link: http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/ A0701E00.htm

Is for moNsooNs & flooDs


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CONSEQUENCE

Monsoons are wet, seasonal wind systems that bring torrential rainfall and heavy flooding to India and other south Asian countries. Global warming is making these heavy rainstorms more frequent and more intense. Climate change is also causing more rain and less snow in mountain areas, increasing seasonal flood danger for many of the worlds rivers that are fed by alpine snowmelt.

monsoons: deadly and getting worse


Monsoons are rain-filled, winds that strike Asia every summer particularly India and Pakistan -- causing torrential downpours and widespread flooding. Over 2,000 people were killed as a result of South Asian monsoons in 2007 -- from drowning, disease, and even snakebites, as humans and snakes are forced to compete for dry land! Even large cities are not safe: in moNsooNs & flooDs

2005, Mumbai, Indias commercial capital, received 37 inches (over 3 feet) of rain in 24 hours, shutting down the city and killing 400 people. Every year, about 20 million acres in India are subject to flood damage, affecting over 4 million people. Unfortunately, global warming is making things worse: Indian scientists have found that since 1950 monsoon rains in their country have increasingly come as downpours rather than showers, increasing the incidence of deadly flooding.

a hard rain is gonna fall


The IPCC, the United Nations scientific panel on climate change, has confirmed the Indian scientists findings and concluded that global warming has already increased the frequency of heavy precipitation events, i.e. heavy rainfall is happening more often. The IPCC goes on to predict that these hard, flooding rains are very likely to increase as the atmosphere grows warmer, pulling more water vapor into the air. The consequences of these rains are dire: about 30% of the worlds coastal wetlands could be lost,

Tilicho a Mountains, Lake high in the Himalay Located rsting s now at risk of bu of many glacier lake is one ming. used by global war cessive snowmelt ca due to ex

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opdors and sh season: ven ss in soon during mon n for busine uram, India p smiling and stay ope ing can turn Kanchip nsoon flood nage to kee keepers ma eets. Unfortunately mo ng the 2007 season. uri str the flooded 00 Asians were killed d ins more intense. 2,0 on ra deadly: over king monso rming is ma Global wa

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Survey study concluded that more rain and less snow is now falling in western mountains, increasing the risk of flooding. Mountain snowcaps act as reservoirs, collecting snow in the winter that gradually melts in the warmer weather of spring and summer. As the planet warms up, more rain and less snow will fall in these mountain reservoirs, causing more flooding in the winter and spring and, ironically, drought in the summers.

Himalayas bursting with trouble


moNsooNs & flooDs
hefstreets in S ia: flooded As assive Not just in ne 2007. M ,000 gland in Ju field, En amaged 55 in the UK d ods f losses. summer flo 3 billion o nd caused homes a

and millions of people could experience flooding each year during monsoon season. If global warming is not halted, over 30 million people could live at risk of coastal flooding by the year 2080!

Incredible shrinking snowcaps


Global warming is also making the worlds rivers more flood-prone. A US Geological

Stormy weather ah ead: excerpt from 2007 United Natio IPCC report predic ns ting more floods an d storms from glob warming as tempe al ratures rise up to 5 C (9 F)
Increased damage from oods and storms

The Himalayas the high mountains between China and India are already facing huge flooding risks due to climate change. At least 44 glacier lakes in Nepal and Bhutan are now in danger of bursting, as warmer weather steadily defrosts mountain icepacks, overfilling natural reservoirs with icy water. UN scientists have expressed concern that these floods could endanger tens of thousands of lives. The danger is real: in 1994, the Luggye Tsho lake in Bhutan burst its banks, sending 10 million cubic meters of water down the mountain and killing 21 people. And of course, when all the mountain glaciers have melted, there will be no water to feed the 3 major river systems that originate in the Himalayas. Its time to put global warming on ice, before its too late!

COASTS
0 1 2

About 39% of global coastal wetlands lost Millions more people could experience coastal ooding each year

Global mean annual temperature change relative to 1980 - 1999 (C )


o

5oC

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Put away the skis and get out the rain boots! Since the 1950s average temperatures in the 11 mountain states of the western US have increased by 1C (roughly 2F), reducing snowfall by an average of 20% while increasing rainfall. A similar pattern of warmer weather, more rain and less snow has been identified for New England states over the same half-century period. In the summer of 2007 the United Kingdom was hit with massive flooding from torrential rainfall, causing 3 billion ($6 billion) of losses and damaging 55,000 homes. To aid flood victims supermodel and London resident Naomi Campbell, organized a Fashion for Relief benefit catwalk show with appearances by other fashion stars including Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson, Jade Jagger, and actors Christian Slater and Faye Dunaway. Over 250,000 ($500,000) was raised in the event.

MAIN STREET

Want to help monsoon victims in Asia? Visit the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Web site to see how you can contribute: http://crs.org/. After massive flooding during the 2007 monsoon season, CRS committed $5 million to aid more than 30 million displaced people in need of food and basic supplies across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Do you live in a flood zone? Is your family prepared? Many communities in the US are subject to flooding: find out if your neighborhood could be at risk. Visit the Web site of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to learn more: http:// www.fema.gov/areyouready/flood.shtm.

Is for NUclear PoWer


CONSEQUENCE

One-sixth of the worlds electricity comes from nuclear reactors that are free of carbon emissions. Though nuclear stations emit no greenhouse gases, their radioactive fuel and toxic waste create other serious risks to the planet. Despite these safety issues, we remain dependent on nuclear power until more renewable energy alternatives become available.

clean power, toxic waste


Nuclear power plants generate electricity by splitting the atoms of enriched uranium, a naturally occurring radioactive element that is mined and specially processed. Splitting uranium atoms is called a fission reaction, and it generates tremendous heat used to create steam that drives enormous turbines. Though it emits no greenhouse gases, nuclear power does generate highly toxic waste: spent uranium fuel remains dangerously radioactive for decades. NU c le ar PoWer

a nuclear world
Many countries originally built nuclear plants to lessen their dependence on imported fossil fuels. More recently, some environmentalists have begun to support nuclear power as clean source of electricity without greenhouse gas emissions. Today about 440 nuclear power plants around the planet generate onesixth of the worlds electricity. Almost 80% of Frances electricity comes from atomic power; Swedens share is almost 50%; and Germany and Japan are each at about 30% nuclear. In the US, 20% of our electricity comes from 104 nuclear plants scattered around the country. China has aggressive plans to add over 30 new nuclear stations to its current network of 11 atomic power plants.

accidents happen
Unfortunately nuclear power has a history of accidents, including the famous 1979 incident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. By far the most catastrophic accident was the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion in the Ukraine. This nuclear

A nuclear power plant in the French countryside. France generates 78% of its electricity (the highest percentage of any country) from 59 nuclear plants.

ite eactor s nobyl r her iation n near C e. Rad us rning sig orbidden Zon Wa dangero !F s Stop reactor remain ent. read cid ear the r the ac levels n ars afte ye over 20

NU c le ar PoWer

Cher histo nobyl Re ry ac 50 p . In 198 tor #4, 6, a eople ser Ukraine from d radia irectly, a ies of exp , site of the w nd up tionlosio mil r o Cher lions of p elated ill to 4,000 ns and fi rst nucle re in ness noby ar ac eople other es th l c react region w were exp . As the s may ha e reactor ident in as ev toxic or is osed ve su killed ac p still n t b ot in uated af o radioac lume spre sequentl over y habit t t able er the ac ive fallou ad over E died ciden due t t. Mu urop e, o the t, c high and the h of the area level n s of radia ear the tion.

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industry has been plagued with accidents and public safety concerns.

No diving in these pools!


Then theres the unsolved problem of what to do with the radioactive waste created by nuclear power plants. Since only a small fraction of the uranium fuel is actually consumed by the nuclear fission process, the remaining spent fuel remains highly radioactive and toxic to all living things. Currently this waste is stored in concretelined pools of water at each reactor site, but this storage method is vulnerable to accidental leakage and even theft. The US government wanted to permanently store all of this radioactive material in an underground repository at Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, but many of that States residents opposed the creation of a toxic waste dump near their homes.

reposi: site of proposed Mountain, Nevada Yucca Nevada resiive waste. Many ry for US radioact toxic to permanently bury oppose the plan to dents ntain. waste in the mou

NU c le ar PoWer

meltdown killed over 50 people directly, and up to 4,000 others may have subsequently died from radiation-related illnesses. Millions more were exposed to radioactive fallout as winds carried toxic material throughout Europe and even to eastern North America. Chernobyls impact continues to be felt today: a recent study traced birth defects in Sweden to radioactive particles inhaled by pregnant women after the accident. More recently, in July 2007, a strong earthquake in Japan triggered a radiation leak in the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station the worlds largest -- forcing it to shut down indefinitely. Since 2003, Japans nuclear

can't switch off nukes - for now


Despite the safety issues, we have no choice but to depend on nuclear energy over the next decade or two: atomic power currently provides a sizeable portion of the worlds electricity and cannot simply be switched off. Over time, however, we should strive to replace these nuclear reactors with clean, safe, and affordable renewable energy sources.

A disk of highly enriched uranium processed at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A little goes a long way: one pound of uranium can theoretically produce as much electricity as 750 tons of coal!

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Risky but clean: Americas 104 nuclear power stations generate about 20% of the countrys electricity and -- compared to the alternative of coal-fired power prevent the annual release of 700 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, the equivalent of keeping 100 million automobiles off the road each year.

Theyre back! In 1979, after the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, rock stars Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash organized the famous No Nukes! concerts at New Yorks Madison Square Garden. In 2007, the three musicians reunited in Washington, D.C. to present a 120,000-signature petition to Congress that opposes the construction of new nuclear plants.

NU c le ar PoWer

Does your family live near a nuclear power plant? If so, whats its safety record? Is a nuclear plant being planned for your community? Get involved by visiting the Web site of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) at: http://www.nrc.gov/. The NRC is the federal agency responsible for nuclear plant safety and approves new plant construction. By law the NRC must make its hearings open to the public, and many of its documents are also publicly available.

Want to learn more about nuclear power? Visit the Nuclear Basics 101 page of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) Web site: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/ nuclear_basics.html. Youll learn about nuclear fission, how this atomic process is harnessed to generate electricity, and where reactors in the US are located.

Is for oceaN cHaNGes


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ENCE CONSEQU

Warmer ocean waters are spurring the destruction of coral reefs that support a rich variety of marine life. New evidence also suggests that climate change is limiting the capacity of the worlds southern oceans to absorb CO2, leading to higher greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Finally, global warming threatens a vital ocean current system that helps regulate the weather in Europe and North America.

oceans in peril
Over 70% of our planet is covered by water, primarily by the 5 major ocean regions: the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Indian, the Southern and the Arctic. The greenhouse gases heating our atmosphere recognize no boundaries: by one estimate the worlds oceans will bear 90% of climate changes ultimate impact. Recent studies have found that, during the last 50 years, tropical ocean temperatures have been rising, most likely as a result of global warming. In addition to affecting weather patterns, these warmer seas have begun to disrupt fragile marine ecosystems, endangering a broad spectrum of sea life. oce aN cHaNGes

the bleach bomb


Higher ocean temperatures are the likely cause of widespread coral bleaching, a mysterious condition that causes coral reefs to decay and often die. In the past 40 years, one scientist estimates that about 50% of the worlds reef-building coral have died, and the rate of loss continues at about 1% per year. At the present rate of loss, as many as 70% of the worlds reefs could be gone within 50 years! This is very bad news for the countless species of fish and other marine organisms that call these reefs home: as the coral die, so do these other species. This ultimately means less seafood for us, and fewer places in the world where we can experience the reefs bounty by fishing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.

a whale of a journey
Warmer Arctic waters appear to be harming the Pacific gray whale, which feeds on amphipods, tiny shrimp and crustaceans that thrive in the frigid waters below the Arctic ice sheets off the Alaskan coast. As the Alaskan waters have warmed up, the

Gray whale trapped in the ice in the Bering Sea. A joint American-Russian effort ultimately saved 2 out of 3 trapped whales. Global warming is endangering Pacific gray whales by forcing them to travel farther north for food.

Anth ia Sea, s fish sw of f t imm indic h ate t e Sinai P ing near he st coral to co enin chan ral death art of ble sula. Wh reef in t g h . a i of th e have ac Warmer ching, w te tips on e Red hich e wo wate celer coral o ated r last 4 rlds c coral s caused ften lead o 0 ye s by ble ars, w ral reefs ith a have p aching: a climate noth er 1% erished d bout half dying uring each the year.

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rrier Reef, which stralias Great Ba Aerial view of Au an the UK and Ireland combined. er th e covers an area larg d cause bleaching of almost all th al warming coul Glob in 50 years. Reef s coral with

by all natural carbon sinks including forests, soil and other bodies of water. These natural carbon sinks are important, as they absorb about half of all CO2 created by human activity.

Global forecast: troubled currents


Global warming may eventually change ocean currents, with drastic impact on our weather. Right now, ocean currents are in constant motion, powered by something nicknamed the global conveyor belt, or what scientists call thermohaline circulation. This conveyor belt is powered by the interplay of cold, salty water from the Arctic that sinks, and warm tropical waters that are pulled to the surface. Right now this warm current makes its way all the way up to the northern latitudes of Europe and North America, keeping temperatures moderate, even through the cold winter months. Unfortunately, as the planet heats up, polar ice melts and snow becomes rain, causing Arctic waters to become warmer and less salty. This reduces the volume of sinking, cold seawater that powers the conveyor. Some scientists believe that climate change could cause the global conveyor belt to completely shut down by the year 2100, making winters in Europe and North America much more harsh!
Warm and cold seawater power the worlds ocean conveyor belt, (also called thermohaline circulation) which maintains moderate temperatures in many coastal parts of North America. Scientists worry that global warming may halt this conveyor belt by the year 2100.

oce aN cHaNGes

supply of amphipods has declined as they have moved farther northward in pursuit of colder waters. This has forced the gray whales to travel farther and work harder to find food during their annual 6,250-mile migration from Mexico to Alaska. Scientists have recently found that 10% of all Pacific gray whales are now undernourished, evidence that a warmer ocean may not be able to support the current gray whale population.

an absorbing problem
Global warming is also reducing the ability of the ocean to absorb CO2, serving to increase atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Warmer sea surface temperatures create windy maritime conditions, causing more churning of ocean water, bringing up CO2-rich water from the deep to the surface where the gas is released into the atmosphere. A recent study found that our planets southern oceans became about 30% less efficient at absorbing CO2. This is very bad news for the planet, since these southern ocean regions currently sponge up about 15% of all CO2 absorbed

Wa

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Global warming is threatening Australias Great Barrier Reef, a network of over 2,900 interconnected reefs around nearly 1,000 islands, extending over 1,200 miles in the southern Pacific Ocean. One study predicts that the worlds largest reef system will lose 95% Beachfront:living & Deuce standing on a as a result of bleaching caused by climate change! of its Aly, Zoe coral by 2050 Grim
beach, looking at two signs, with surprised and sad expressions. The ocean water near the shore is a yucky greenish-red versus the beautiful blue color further out. The two wooden signs stuck in the beach sand read No Clamming RED TIDE and Swimmer Caution Algae Bloom.

Youve read this book, now watch the movie! Look for the high-definition PBS series Ocean Adventures in your local TV listings, or purchase the DVD at: http://www.pbs. org/kqed/oceanadventures/index.html. Starring Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of legendary oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau) and narrated by actor/ocean-activist Pierce Brosnan, Ocean Adventures takes viewers around the world on a series of dazzling and dangerous undersea adventures!

oce aN cHaNGes

RE Clamm D T ing IDE

No

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Algae Bloom

Ready to do your part to save our oceans? Visit the Oceana Web site at: http://oceana.org/international-home-nao/. Oceana is a non-profit organization operating on three continents that is dedicated to protecting and restoring the worlds oceans. Join prominent scientists, activists, and actors including Ted Danson, Kelsey Grammer, Pierce Brosnan, and Sam Waterston by making a donation or participating in targeted email campaigns.

Want to learn more about our planets amazing ocean ecosystem? Visit the education National Ocean Service (NOS) Web site of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/welcome.html. Youll find a variety of learning tools on corals, currents, tides & water levels, as well as interactive stories designed especially for students.

Is for Polar WarmING


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll
CO NS EQ UE NC E

Global warming is causing polar ice sheets to melt, raising sea levels and jeopardizing the Arctics unique ecosystem. The Arctic has been warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, triggering widespread melting of sea ice that endangers native species including the polar bear and Pacific walrus. As warmer Arctic weather melts reflective polar ice, the open ocean absorbs more solar radiation, further heating the atmosphere and aggravating climate change.

the great arctic meltdown


About 7 million trillion gallons of water are stored as ice on our planet, mainly in the polar regions of the Arctic Circle (North Pole) and Antarctica (South Pole). Thats about 2% of the worlds water, second only to the volume held in all the oceans. Imagine if all that ice melted and poured into the sea! Unfortunately, this is not an imaginary scenario, as the great Arctic Pol ar WarmING

meltdown has already begun, thanks to global warming. Using satellite imagery scientists have found that, since 1980, the Arctic region has lost about 10% of its permanent sea ice every decade. The ice is melting because Arctic temperatures have risen by an average of 2C (3.6F) over the past 50 years, twice as fast as the world average. Many scientists believe that the Arctic is warming faster because of the albedo effect: ice sheets in the Arctic serve as reflective caps that bounce most of the Suns rays back into space, keeping the planet cooler; when this ice cover melts, the open ocean absorbs 80% more solar radiation, accelerating warming in the region.

No sea ice, no polar bears


In the summer of 2007, Arctic sea ice shrank over 1 million square miles more than average thats the size of 6 Californias! Though much of this ice rebuilds during cold winter months, the annual total is declining. Some scientists believe that in the summer months all Arctic ice will disappear by 2020, with dire consequences for the regions ecosystem.

A calvi ng from th glacier at Spits glacier a e North Pole. L bergen, 600 m a r il sheets a e falling into th rge chunks of t es he re disap e sea. T pearing he Arcti to globa at an alarming cs ice l warmi rate due ng.

Pol ar WarmING

, n Strait Hinlope r that e ice in th fea r on sea ole. Scientists a result r bea as pola hP Female near the Nort pear by 2020 f todays , p o Norway ea ice will disa g two-thirds e to lack du usin er s summ l warming, ca of f by 2050 ie a of glob lar bears to d to food. po ss of acce 22,000

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longer sufficient to replace melting summer ice. As the ice melts, so does the permafrost underneath soil that had been previously frozen solid. Organic material in the defrosting soil begins to decompose, like landfill, releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In addition, thawing permafrost contributes to the albedo effect, just like melting sea ice.

melting ice sheets, rising seas


satellite image g: NASA Quik Scat South Pole Meltin ow melt in west Antarctica in e sn showing extensiv g areas are colored red and yely 2005. Meltin area! Januar e a California-size low; they compris

Polar bears depend on summer sea ice to hunt seals, their main food source. These proud predators are becoming endangered as global warming destroys their habitat. A recent study concluded that two-thirds of the worlds 22,000 polar bears would disappear by 2050! Not only polar bears are threatened: recently thousands of Pacific walruses above the Arctic Circle were killed in a stampede triggered by receding sea ice, which the walruses require for rest.

Unlike already-floating sea ice, meltwaters from Greenlands glaciers will raise sea levels when they pour into the ocean. And were talking about a whole lot of water: Greenlands ice sheet contains about the same amount of water as the Gulf of Mexico! A large amount of water is also stored in the ice sheets of Antarctica, in the South Pole. Some scientists are beginning worry that global warming could eventually cause both the northern and southern polar ice sheets to completely melt, causing sea levels to rise by 6 feet or more! By comparison, sea levels rose less than 1 foot in the last century. For the planets polar regions its definitely time to cool it, before its too late!

Pol ar WarmING

Not-so-permafrost
Its not just sea ice thats melting. The vast, frozen Danish territory of Greenland is beginning to thaw, as winter snows are no
80% White objects, like ice, re ect most of the heat from the sun back into space The sea absorbs most of the heat from the sun. 80% After ice above the sea has melted, the temperature rises 10%

g the nshine , keepin color reflects su from ct: ices white ield the surface The Albedo Ef fe can no longer sh As ice melts, it surface cooler.
Because the ocean is getting warmer, more ice is melting, leaving less ice to re ect the suns heat 80%

10%

20% 20% icy water

90% cold melt water

20%

90% warm mater

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Scientists estimate that a similar period of Arctic warming happened about 125,000 years ago and resulted in sea levels 12-16 feet higher than todays! The warming impact of the greenhouse effect is accelerating: temperatures in the seas and surrounding lands of the Arctic region have increased by as much as 1C (2F) in the last decade.

Movie star Orlando Bloom joined a 3-week expedition to Antarctica to help his cousin, photographer Sebastian Copeland, take shots for the book Antarctica: The Global Warning, part of Copelands charitable work with the Global Green Initiative (http:// www.globalgreen.org/). Fellow stars Salma Hayek and Jake Gyllenhaal met up with their friend Bloom when the expedition reached northern Canada.

Want to help save the polar bears? Visit the Polar Bear S.O.S. Web site sponsored by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC): http://www.polarbearsos.org/. This useful and informative site includes a downloadable Polar Action Guide especially for kids, and also provides opportunities to donate and join email campaigns.

Want to learn more about shrinking Arctic sea ice? Visit a special interactive section of the New York Times Web site entitled Sea Ice in Retreat: http://www.nytimes. com/interactive/2007/10/01/science/20071002_ARCTIC_GRAPHIC.html. Use the interactive sliders on the site to view the changes in sea ice coverage from 2003-2007.

Is for QUotas & caPs


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

SOLU TION

Quotas and caps are fixed limits on total greenhouse gas emissions, one of the best ways for countries, cities, and communities to join together to fight global warming. The best example is the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement that set emissions caps for the worlds developed nations. The European Union has set even more strict limits for its member countries. In the absence of a nationwide cap in America, many individual States in the US have joined together to create regional emissions limits.

the solution: fewer emissions


By rough estimate, our planet can absorb an amount less than 3 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year by using its natural defenses: forests and oceans that act as carbon sinks, absorbing CO2; and the chemical breakdown of harmful gas molecules in the atmosphere as they absorb solar radiation and react with other molecules. Unfortunately the human race is currently gener-

ating more than twice this level of annual emissions more than 7.5 billion tons and the volume is growing, not shrinking! The only way out of this man-made mess is to drastically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere each year.

Kyoto: a good start


The Kyoto Protocol was the first international agreement that set a hard cap on global greenhouse emissions. Since 1997 over 170 nations have agreed to these Kyoto limits, which caps worldwide 2012 emissions at 5.2% below 1990 levels. To achieve these emissions cuts, Kyoto set challenging reduction targets for the developed nations of Europe, the US and Japan, at 8%, 7%, and 6% of 1990 levels, respectively. While the US subsequently dropped out of the Kyoto accord, Europe and Japan have both increased their commitments to the international cooperation begun at Kyoto, and have proposed even greater emissions cuts going forward. In March 2007, the European Union (EU) set an ambitious new emissions reduction goal of an additional 20% reduction by 2020. Japan has called for an even more aggressive goal of a 50% reduction by the year 2050.

QUotas & caPs

ve Leads: ion ha Europe uropean Un on metric lli eE .08 bi 8s of th nation issions at 2 riod of 200 to pe yo The 27 ir CO 2 Em r e 5-yea et its K ped th ear for the urope to me emissons cap eE er y 12 tons p is will enabl o reduce 20 . t h t T els 2012. l commitmen us 1990 lev o vers Protoc by 8%

first, ozone Depletion, Now Global Warming


International Cooperation Can Work! The Montreal Protocol has halted the destruction of the Ozone Layer
NASA satellite image of ozone layer over Antarctica in September 2007, blue and purple colors indicate depleted areas of the atmosphere that expose the South Pole to dangerous, unshielded ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. This ozone hole always reaches its peak size in September before shrinking during warmer months. The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed in 1987 and ratified by 191 countries, has been a resounding success, reversing the destruction of the ozone layer by phasing out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting chemicals. The Montreal Protocol is an inspiring example to supporters of the Kyoto Protocol, which caps global greenhouse gas emissions that are the cause of global warming.

Old refrigerators and freezers are major source of CFCs andthe Montreal Protocol requires them to be disposed of properly.

The Montreal Protocol banned aerosol sprays containing CFCs. CFCs are also very potent greenhouse gases!

QUotas & caPs

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MAINE Augusta Detroit Providence

MINNESOTA St. Paul IOWA WISCONSIN Madison MICHIGAN Lansing

Albany NEW YORK New York PENNSYLVANIA Harrisburg

Des Moines

ARIZONA

Oklahoma City Dallas

Phoenix

Detroit Chicago Columbus Washington ILLINOIS Indianapolis WEST OHIO VIRGINIA Springfield INDIANA Charleston Richmond Jefferson City Frankfort KENTUCKY Raleigh MISSOURI Nashville Columbia TENNESSEE ARKANSAS Little Rock Atlanta ALABAMA MISSISSIPPI LOUISIANA Jackson Baton Rouge Montgomery

Trading Scheme (EU-ETS). The stakes are high: any EU member-country that fails to meet its NAP will incur significant fines and penalties from the European Commission, the EUs enforcement agency.

some states, united


Although the US federal government dropped out of the Kyoto process, this hasnt stopped a number of individual States from acting to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In 2003, 7 northeastern states led by New York formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which caps power plant emissions in the region at current levels of 120 million tons of CO2 between 2009-2015, then targets a reduction of 10% by 2019. In 2007, 6 western states led by California launched the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) with the goal of reducing the western regions emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020. In addition, more than 16 individual States including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey have enacted legislation to reduce future statewide emissions. This State action has encouraged federal lawmakers in both the House and Senate to propose legislation for national emissions limits. Its time for all countries, states, provinces, cities, towns and communities to take a firm stand and bottle up those emissions!
An American success story: stopping acid rain. In 1990, the US Clean Air Act was amended to set a nationwide cap on power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), the primary source of destructive acid rain. By 2005, SO2 emissions were 41% below 1980s level. Emissions caps can work!

Tallahassee New Orleans

FLORIDA Miami

Anchorage

t abandoned federal governmen green) and Although the US (in ol, over 16 States the Kyoto Protoc proved local limits on greenap 1,000 cities have use gases. ho

europe: serious NaPs


To achieve its Kyoto targets, the EU established the European Climate Change Programme in 2000, which set strict emissions quotas for its major industries in each of its 27 member-countries. These emissions caps are part of each countrys National Allocation Plan (NAP) that covers 2008-2012, the five-year period regulated by the Kyoto Protocol. Each NAP allocates a fixed number of emissions allowances individual rights to emit 1 metric ton of CO2 or equivalent to each country. During 2008-2012 each European countrys total emissions cannot exceed the fixed amount of emissions allowances provided by its NAP. If a country exceeds its allowances it must make necessary investments to reduce its own emissions, or it may purchase emissions credits called EU Allowances (EUAs) from other European countries through the EU Emissions

QUotas & caPs

is for QUotas & caPs - continued

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International treaties like the Kyoto Protocol can work! The best example is the Montreal Protocol, which saved our planets ozone layer by dramatically reducing global emissions of harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting chemicals. Signed in 1987 and adopted by 191 countries, the Montreal Protocol will end up saving millions of people from skin cancer and countless billions of dollars in healthcare costs. Montreal is also helping Kyoto, as CFCs are also greenhouse gases! Want to save the planet and be Global Cool? Join celebrities Sienna Miller, Josh Hartnett, Orlando Bloom and KT Tunstall at Global Cool, a non-profit organization dedicated to cutting 10 billion tons of CO2 over the next decade! Visit the site at: http://www.globalcool.org/ to learn more and see how you can help.

Has your city or town committed to Kyoto Protocol emissions limits? Despite no federal commitment, more than 1,000 US mayors have signed the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, which commits their cities to Kyoto targets and support of national greenhouse gas legislation. Find out if your city has signed up the Mayors Climate Protection Center site: http://usmayors.org/climateprotection/ ClimateChange.asp. If you dont see your city write to your mayor and ask why not!

QUotas & caPs

Want to learn more about current government efforts to cap greenhouse gas emissions? Go to the Web site of the Pew Center for Global Climate Change at http:// www.pewclimate.org/what_s_being_done. Stay on top of the latest policy developments from the international community, the US Congress, State governments and regional initiatives.

Is for reNeWable eNerGy


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

SOLUTION

Our most powerful weapons against global warming are renewable energy sources: hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, wave/tidal, and other new green technologies. Because they tap the endless supply of power from the Sun and the Earths natural energy sources, these renewables are never depleted. Most importantly, renewable sources fight global warming by producing clean power without greenhouse gas emissions.

time to "renew" the planet


Renewable energy comes from sources of power that are naturally clean and will never run out: sunshine; wind; tides and waves; growing trees and plants; and even the Earths hot, molten core. Renewable energy sources are the primary weapons in our battle against climate change. Right now, less than 15% of the worlds energy comes from renewables, with the other 85% generated by burning cheaper fossil fuels -- mainly oil, coal and natural gas. If we want to save our planet, this has to change. Fast. reNeWable eNerGy

biomass: circle of (plant) life


Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy today, including biofuels (see the B section of this book) as well as biopower facilities that convert plant waste into electricity or combustible gas. At present, about 10% of the worlds energy supply comes from these combustible renewables and renewable waste. Although biomass energy creates greenhouse gases during combustion (burning) or decomposition, these gases are recycled into new plant feedstock that absorbs CO2 from the air during photosynthesis.

Hydropower: just add water


Accounting for 2% of the worlds electricity, hydropower generates electricity by forming dams in rivers, then using falling water to turn large turbines. While hydropower can be an excellent source of zeroemissions electricity, it has problems that limit its growth. First, it is renewable for only as long as the dam is supplied with fresh water, making hydropower susceptible to droughts. Second, hydroelectric dams can be environmentally destructive, displacing communities and threatening ecosystems.

er plant thermal) pow f a CSP (solar ing Energy Systems. ing o Artists render System from Stirl ncentrate the Dish using Solar se reflective materials to co electricity. u into CSP systems to converting the energy Department e US prior future: th suns rays as an exciting will generate olar thermal h ates that new CSP plants 0. S m 02 of Energy esti an 7,000 megawatts by 2 ore th m

oo f o f PV) on r voltaic ( all solar PV caoto y, Solar ph ut 85% of German A bo use. stalled in of governho in as been sult pacity h the US as a re ductions and re nd Japan a ancial aid. Cost s are making m n ment fi rnment progra e than ever. ve new go V more attractiv solar P

en penhag s in Co provides rbine ower p wind tu he fshore nmark. Wind electricity, t n Of De rks pai , Harbor 0% of Denma the world. S f its out 2 ercentage in ating 9% o ab er tp highes n second, gen m wind. ro si come electricity f

reNeWable eNerGy

Geother m of Icela al plant in Ice land. Ov nds po w geother e mal sou er is generate r 50% centage d from rces, th in current the world. G e highest perly accou eotherm total US nt al energy s for less than power change supply, 1% o .O gressiv ne recent stu but this could f e drillin dy foun geother g mal sou techniques c d that agould bo rces to total en ergy su 10% of Ame ost pply by ri 2050. cas

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electricity, and in Spain, where it accounts for 9% of the total. In the US, wind power installations grew by 45% in 2007, adding over 5,000 megawatts, or fully one-third of all new generating capacity.

let the sun shine in


energy : ALL of Americas by a Amazing but true pplied tically be su needs could theore lar panels sited in the re of so a! 250-mile squa xas and Oklahom panhandles of Te

Geothermal: no preheating required


After hydroelectric and biomass power, geothermal energy is the largest renewable source today, but still provides less than one-half percent of the worlds energy supply. Geothermal power is created by drilling deep into very hot underground reservoirs, then pumping hot steam to the surface to drive electric turbines. California generates 5% of its electricity from geothermal sources, and there is tremendous growth potential: by one estimate, only 2% of potential geothermal energy in the US has been tapped! reNeWable eNerGy

Perhaps the most exciting renewable energy source is solar power, which comes in two forms: photovoltaic (PV) cells that use semiconductor material to convert sunlight directly into electricity; and concentrating solar power (CSP) systems also called solar thermal systems use mirrors that focus the Suns heat to drive large steam turbines. More than 3,000 megawatts of new CSP capacity are now being built in the US. PV systems have been costly, but government incentives have driven rapid growth. Now lower-cost solar PV products are beginning to hit the market, making the sun an even brighter source of future power!

the tide is turning!


Many exciting new renewable technologies are being developed, including systems that harness the power of wave and tides to drive huge turbines. Biotechnology is also being used to create new organisms that can harness the power of the sun to create new biofuels. Many of the worlds best minds are now working on innovative clean technologies. The tide is turning for renewable energy just in time for the planet!

Winds of change
Spotted any of those high-tech wind turbines? Wind power is growing fast, with over 74,000 megawatts of power installed worldwide through 2006. While still a tiny fraction of the overall world supply, wind has become an important power source in Denmark, where it provides 20% of all
t dam and the worlds larges tal cost of rges Dam, China: nmen Three Go human and enviro ctric system. The s, displacing millions of people, hydroele en enormou ion and this project has be bitats, and causing mountain eros dropower. life ha the limits of hy destroying wild ionary example of landslides. A caut

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Did you know that more solar energy hits the Earth in one hour than the entire world consumes in one year? All of Americas energy needs could theoretically be supplied by a 250-mile square of solar panels sited in the sunny southwest. Six of these solar squares, sited in the right places, could theoretically power the entire world. While todays solar technologies are too expensive to make this practical, costs are coming down fast, and the Sun is sure to play a huge role in the worlds future energy mix. In 2003, film star Edward Norton and solar panel maker BP Solar teamed up to create the Solar Neighbors Program: every time an invited celebrity purchases a BP solar system for their home, BP donates a similar system to be installed on a low-income familys home in South Central Los Angeles. By 2007 over 25 systems had been donated by celebrities including Ed Begley, Jr., Don Cheadle, Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman, Roland Emmerich, Larry Hagman, Daryl Hannah, Matchbox 20, Edward Norton, Carlos Santana, Alicia Silverstone, and Robin Williams. Visit the Solar Neighbors site for more info: http://www. bp.com/genericsection.do?categoryId=9018926&contentId=7034321

reNeWable eNerGy

Ready to go solar at home? Talk to your parents about putting solar panels on the roof. Photovoltaic (PV) systems have become more affordable, thanks to federal and state subsidies. Financing is also often available to cover upfront installation costs. Your parents can sign up for a free solar evaluation at the SunPower Web site: http://www.sunpowercorp.com/. Study renewable energy technologies in more depth by visiting a special Web site created by the US Department of Energy (DOE): http://www.eere.energy.gov/. The site includes extensive educational materials, including fun videos, for grades K-12, and also sponsors student internships involving volunteer work at the DOEs Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Is for sea-level rIse


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll
CO NS EQ UE NC E

One of global warnings worst consequences is rising sea levels caused by melting polar ice and mountain glaciers that will pour massive amounts of fresh water into the ocean. This sealevel rise is expected to cause widespread coastal flooding by the end of this century and, in some cases, higher ocean tides will engulf and destroy entire island communities.

Unwelcome icebreaker
Have you ever plopped too much ice into a glass of water, causing it to overflow? Thats whats starting to happen to our planet on a global scale, as ice shelves in Greenland and Antarctica begin to split apart (calve) and fall into the ocean. In addition to these unwelcome ice breakers, increased volumes of fresh water are pouring into the seas from melting glaciers in the polar and high-mountain regions including the Himalayas. The resulting flow will not be a drop in the bucket: the UNs IPCC scientific panel predicted that global warming will melt se a-level rIse

enough ice to raise sea levels by 1-2 feet during this century. Other scientists believe that the UN estimate is too low by at least a foot because polar ice particularly in western Antarctica -- seems to be melting much faster than expected.

the coast is not clear


Over 600 million people currently live in coastal areas threatened by rising seas, including residents of Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Mumbai, and Shanghai. According to the IPCC, about 100 million people could face yearly coastal flooding by 2080. In the US, the IPCC estimates that, by 2090, Los Angeles and New York could experience flooding from violent coastal storms every 3-4 years; historically, such severe storms have hit US coasts only once every 100 years. But one continent will be the hardest hit: Asia is home to 75% of people living in flood-prone areas, and most of these residents are desperately poor, unable to move elsewhere.

Island in the Maldives. A 3-foot sea-level rise will make most of this 1,200-island chain in the Indian Ocean uninhabitable, displacing thousands of residents.

Islands in jeopardy
And then there are island communities: people with no place to go if the ocean

How 3 feet of seawater could change the planet by 2100

BEFORE

AFTER

ft) and d Africa before (le South America an a level. Red color indiView of North & se er (3-foot) rise in Gulf of Mexico ter (right) a 1-met af astal areas in the ). ooding of co NOAA simulations cates extensive fl th Americas (from ts of bo and eastern coas

se a-level rIse

BEFORE

AFTER

-meter after (right) a 1 before (left) and extensive flooding Australia tes View of Asia & Red color indica uinea, rise in sea level. donesia, New G (3-foot) ing Malaysia, In s includ China and India. of island nation astal regions of ell as the co and Japan, as w (NOAA simulations).

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NCE NSEQUE CO

and wells. By one estimate, a rise of 18 inches or more in the San Francisco Bay would push salty water deep into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, potentially contaminating fresh water supplies for 23 million Californians.

Higher seas ahead


Most scientists now assume that global warming will cause a 1-3 foot rise in sea levels during the next century. However, disturbing new melting trends in western Antarctica indicate that the oceans could rise much faster than expected. A recent study discovered that changes in water temperature and wind patterns are causing West Antarctica to lose ice 60% faster than just 10 years ago. This Texas-sized ice sheet in the South Pole is particularly vulnerable because much of it is anchored below sea level, exposed to the ocean elements. Accelerated melting on both Poles -- in both the West Antarctic and Greenland -- could conceivably cause the oceans to rise by 10 meters (33 feet) or more, with catastrophic consequences for the world. A sea-level rise of 10 meters would flood about 25% of the US population, engulfing Americas Gulf and eastern coasts. While such a massive sea-level rise still remains unlikely over the next century, its mere possibility underscores the magnitude of the global warming menace. Ahoy mates high seas dead ahead!
some melting signi cant melting

arctica (the et s ice is in Ant 90% of the plan (North Pole), Greenlands Over the Arctic orlds South Pole). In , and all of the w ld another 10% s account for less ice sheets ho rs and icecap remaining glacie total ice mass. than 1% of the

se a-level rIse

swallows their homes. For some island nations, rising seas are more than inconvenient they are catastrophic. For the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific, a 3-foot rise in ocean levels would flood three-quarters of the islands dry land. Trouble has already visited the Maldives: a 2004 tsunami forced the evacuation of 13 islands; and, in 2006, 80 of the Maldives 1,200 islands experienced damaging tidal surges. Seawater flooding not only destroys property, it can also contaminate fresh water reservoirs
If all the planets ice melted, sea levels would rise by 80 meters (262 feet)! Fortunately, most of the worlds ice sheets remain frozen solid in East Antarctica.

not melting

Volume of Ice Sea-Level Rise From Total Melt

East Antarctica and Peninsula 65.3 meters (214 ft.)

West Antarctica

Greenland

All other Glaciers

26.3 Mkm3

3.3 Mkm3
8.1 meters (26 ft.)

2.6 Mkm3
6.6 meters (21 ft.)

0.2 Mkm3

0.5 meters (1.5 ft.)

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CONSEQ UENCE

lIvestocK & l aNDfIll se a-level rIse

Dont turn off that Polar freezer! If all the ice sheets melted in Antarctica and Greenland, the worlds oceans would rise by an astounding 80 meters (262 feet)! This compares to the approximate half-meter (18-inch) rise caused by the melting of all other glaciers and ice fields on the planet. Fortunately, most of this Polar ice will not melt for a long time, despite the relentless assault of global warming. However, as we have seen, even small increases in sea levels create huge problems for the planet. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder not only loves to surf in his spare time, but also is passionate about fighting climate change and protecting the worlds oceans. In recognition of his role as an ocean advocate and generous fundraiser, Eddie was named 2007 Environmentalist of the Year at the Watermans Ball charity fundraiser sponsored by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association.

No V e on B hicles each

Track rising sea-levels and other fingerprints of climate change on an interactive global map entitled Global Warming: Early Warning Signs, at http://www.climatehotmap.org/. This site is jointly produced by a number of advocacy groups including Environmental Defense, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NDRC), the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Visit these groups Web sites to see how you can get involved!

What happens to our cities as sea levels rise? How high can the ocean go before your community will be affected? Find out by visiting the Flood Maps Web site, which superimposes NASA satellite imagery on Google Maps: http://flood.firetree.net/. This site allows you to select different parts of the world and different sea-level rises from 0-14 meters (0-46 feet). Use the zoom function to see the flooding detail.

Is for trees
lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

SOLU TION

Trees and their forest ecosystems are an important part of the solution to global warming. Trees are significant carbon sinks, absorbing large amounts of CO2 as they grow via photosynthesis. Trees also provide shade to our homes and office buildings, reducing cooling requirements, thereby lowering power use and greenhouse gas emissions. Trees are also an exciting source of biofuels such as treethanol (cellulosic ethanol).
nual emissions of a fuel-efficient car like the Toyota Corolla. And, if every family in America planted just one tree, this could reduce CO2 emissions by 1 billion pounds (500,000 tons) every year! You may not hear any buzzing or whirring, but all those trees are working hard to clean our air!

Nature's air purifiers


That big tree in your backyard or street corner may not look like its doing much but, on the inside, its a whirlwind of activity, breathing in CO2 and breathing out oxygen. Living and growing through photosynthesis, a healthy tree can absorb over 30 pounds of CO2 each year and release enough oxygen to support 2 human beings. An acre of trees can absorb up to 6 tons of CO2, enough to offset the anEarths oceans, trees, plants and soil are major carbon sinks, absorbing carbon molecules from atmosphere as part of the Natures carbon cycle. Todays massive CO2 emissions have overwhelmed these carbon sinks, leading to the build-up of excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that is causing global warming.

trees and "sinks"


Trees not only clean our air, but they also store huge quantities of carbon that could otherwise combine with oxygen molecules and be released as CO2 into the atmosphere. In fact about half of a trees dry weight consists of carbon molecules. Thats why scientists call trees and other plants carbon sinks: because their roots, trunks, twigs, stems and leaves all contain lots of carbon molecules. Thats why our planet feels a double whammy when a tree is cut down and burned. First, when the tree is cut down, it stops absorbing CO2 from the air; second, as the tree burns, most of its previously trapped carbon molecules are released back into the atmosphere as CO2.

trees

Carbon Cycle
123.3 60 Vegetarian 1.6 610 0,5 5,5 Fossil Fuels & Cement Production 4,000

Atmosphere 750
Soils 1,580

CO2

60

90 50 Marine Biota 3 6 Dissolved Organic 4 Carbon<700 6

92 Rivers Surface Ocean 1,2020 40 91.6 100

Deep Ocean 38,100 0,2 Sediments 150

Storage in GIC Fluxes in GIC/yr

made in the shade


Trees also help keep our cities cooler. The natural shading from tree canopies

trees

ing tree can single, grow A ase ing fighter. year and rele Global warm f of CO 2 each 0 pounds . An acre o man beings bsorb over 3 a et rt 2 hu en to suppo ough to of fs nough oxyg s of CO 2, en e ton e sorb up to 6 nt car like th trees can ab a fuel-ef ficie rica planted e missions of the annual e family in Am by 1 bilnd, if every lla. A emissions Toyota Coro reduce CO 2 ar! e, this could ns) every ye just one tre (500,000 to lion pounds

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ical and tation in the trop ers: trees and vege America, Africa and Global cool rests of Latin , subtropical rainfo et s best defenses e among the plan e most reflective heast Asia ar Sout g th t CO2 and creatin absorbing the mos counteract global warming. cloud cover to

reduces air conditioning use in homes and office buildings by as much as 30%. Switching off air conditioners reduces electricity usage, allowing power plants to burn less fossil fuel, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Even better, trees are in fact natural air conditioners: on a hot day, the water evaporation from a single large tree can produce a cooling effect equivalent to that of 10 room-size air conditioners.

of trees including willows and poplars are being cultivated in farms to provide biofuel feedstock. Special bio-engineered enzymes break down the cellulose to liberate the sugars that are then distilled into ethanol. Unlike ethanol distilled from corn and other edible feedstock, treethanol does not divert food crops into energy production. Cellulosic ethanol should also be much more energy-efficient, with an energy balance of up to 16, i.e. treethanol yields up to 16 times the energy required to make it. By contrast, sugar cane-based ethanol has an energy balance of 8.3, and corn-based ethanol comes in at only 1.3.

more trees, please!


You can see that trees are good for the planet in so many ways. But we are not taking care of the forests that cover about 30% of the worlds land mass. In fact, human activity has destroyed trees at a rapid rate over the past 20 years (see D is for Deforestation), with another Ireleand-size chunk of primary forest disappearing every year. Lets reverse this trend: do your planet a big favor and start planting trees!
Trees can become biofuel! Farmed trees like poplars can be converted into cellulosic ethanol. This treethanol has important advantages over ethanol made from food crops like corn and sugar.

Powered by "treethanol"
Trees can also be a renewable source of biofuels like treethanol, a nickname for cellulosic ethanol that is made from fibrous material that comprises the bulk of trees and grasses. Fast-growing species

trees

WOOD CHIPS

HEAT+ ENZYMES

HYDROGENATION

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Not all trees are created equal. Near the equator, tropical rainforests are doubly important to the planet. First, they store copious amounts of carbon from their rapid growth. Second, the hot, tropical climate elevates evaporation through leaves, creating cooling water vapor and reflective clouds. By contrast, trees can actually have a net warming effect in cold, snowy climates, by absorbing more sunlight than unforested snow-cover. Thats why tropical rainforests are the best place to plant trees! A growing list of rockers have chosen to offset their carbon emissions from touring and producing CDs by planting trees in locations across the world including: Coldplay (India & Mexico); Rolling Stones (Scotland); Dido (Mozambique); Pink Floyd (Mexico) and KT Tunstall (Scotland).

Plant a tree! Join the Global ReLeaf campaign of American Forests, whose goal is to plant 100 million trees by 2020. Visit the Web site at http://www.americanforests. org/ to learn more about challenges faced by Americas forests and how you can help. Every dollar that you contribute goes toward planting trees!

trees

Want to learn more about the worlds forests? Go the GreenFacts Web site at http:// www.greenfacts.org/en/forests/. GreenFacts does an excellent job of summarizing the latest scientific consensus report published by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Go to the FAO Web site for a copy of the source document: http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/a0400e/a0400e00.htm.

Is for UNIteD states


The United States is the 2nd largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, surpassed only recently by China. Almost 30% of all climate-warming gases in the atmosphere today were generated by the US during the last century. Each year, the average American creates over 24 tons of additional greenhouse gases the highest per capita emissions of any major industrialized country.
use more energy per capita (per person) and consequently generate more greenhouse gases than the citizens of any other major industrial country. No wonder that a recent Yale University study ranked the US dead last for environmental performance among the Group of Eight strongest industrial countries in the world. UNIteD states

CAUSE

United states of emissions


You dont have to look far to find a major source of global warming: look in the mirror, or look out the window. To quote the famous Pogo cartoonist Walt Kelly, we have met the enemy and he is us. Sadly, no other country has contributed more to the climate crisis than the United States. Almost 30% of all CO2 in the atmosphere today came from American homes, offices, factories, power plants, trucks, buses or cars. Until recently the US was the worlds top emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for nearly one-quarter of the total during the 1990s. By 2007, surging emissions from China pushed the US into 2nd place, with each country responsible for roughly one-fifth of the global total.

2020 vision - or nightmare?


But its not all bad news: the US government announced recently that carbon emissions in 2006 actually dropped slightly (by 1.5%) versus 2005 levels as a result of greater energy efficiency throughout
Nuclear 19.4% Natural Gas 20% Hydro 7%
Renewables 2.4% Other 2.3%

24 tons - all from me?


And even though China is now the global warming leader, its emissions are spread over a much larger population than the US: more than 1.3 billion versus 300 million. This makes for a jaw-dropping individual comparison: the average American generates 24.5 tons of greenhouses gases every year, more than 6 times the Chinese figure of 3.9 tons. In fact US citizens

Coal 49%
US Electricity Sources - 2006
comes s electricity of America . More fraction hydropower Only a small s including ssil able source and other fo from renew s from coal e to change. irds still com . This needs than two-th bal warning use glo fuels that ca

UNIteD states arctIc WarmING

rease s to inc worker pe and Asia. erican in Euro ing Am e end ster urg rmies fighting ground. By th of II po ar a ck World W to support the acks in the ba for almost half in n th es t ted io k product g line of smo ctories accoun massive grow s! S fa e lon aw a Note th ar in 1945, U xt 20 years s e gas emission w ne us enho of the output! The and gre l ll globa ican industry a Amer

is for UNIteD states - continued


the economy. Unfortunately, this small reduction does not appear to signal a trend. The US government recently estimated that, by 2020, US emissions would grow over 19% from levels in 2000. In fact, despite the small dip in 2006, annual US emissions are now more than 15% higher than levels in 1990, the benchmark year for the Kyoto Protocol. Under Kyoto, the United States was asked to reduce its 2012 greenhouse gas emissions to 7% below 1990 levels.
is pic th th ts for wi un ong s wr SA acco worlds t Wha The U f the tes re? n 5% o genera e tu us tha ut less lation b l greenho u pop th of al ions! ss fif one- gas emi

CAU

SE

UNIteD states

Kyoto no-show
Sadly, the US never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, citing the lack of binding emissions targets for developing countries like China, India and Indonesia. Today, America is the only major industrialized country that is not party to this United Nations treaty. The US government has historically opposed efforts to cap carbon emissions in favor of clean technology solutions that lower the carbon intensity of the economy by improving energy efficiency. Many economists and public officials disagree with this approach, arguing that emissions can only be reduced through hard quotas (caps) or even direct taxation of carbon emitted.

states of change
In the absence of action by the federal (national) US government, Americas indiOn average, each American generates over 24 tons of greenhouse gases each year. This is nearly twice the average for industrialized countries (14.1 tons) and over 7 times the average for developing countries (3.3 tons)
CO2e / person

vidual States have stepped up to join the fight against global warming. Six western States led by California have created the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) to limit emissions in the region. Similarly, 7 eastern States led by New York created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that establishes emissions quotas with a cap-and-trade system similar to that of the European Union. To date over 30 States and 1,000 cities in the US have approved measures to combat global warming. Over 40 States have energy efficiency standards for new building and construction. Over 17 have enacted mandates for renewable power and incentives for ethanol biofuels. The States have begun the fight against climate change: can the federal government be far behind?
CO2e / person

24.5 tons

CO2e / person

10.4 tons

CO2e / person

8.7 tons

3.9 tons

CO2e / person

1.9 tons

USA

Japan

France

China

India

is for UNIteD states - continued

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SE

With so many automobiles on the road, America must lead the world in car fuel efficiency, right? Wrong! With a current standard of 27.5 miles per gallon (mpg), the US recently set a target of 35 mpg for new cars sold in 2020. That future US level is already surpassed today by Japan and Europe whose new cars currently average 40 mpg!

UNIteD states

Actors Woody Harrelson and Edward Norton Jr. are both big supporters of Focus the Nation, a non-profit dedicated to educating young Americans (mainly university students) on global warming solutions. Over 1,750 educational institutions have signed up for teach-ins and other activities. Find out more at http://www.focusthenation.org/.

The United States is the only industrial country in the world that has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions!

Do you support a national law that limits US greenhouse gas emissions? Learn more about current State and federal legislation to fight global warming at the Web site of the Natural Resources Defense Council: http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/. Visit the NRDC Action Center at http://www.nrdc.org/action/to find out how you can become an activist. Doing more research on Americas role in global warming? Dont miss the Web site of the US Energy Information Administration at http://www.eia.doe.gov/environment. html. The EIA compiles the definitive statistics on the nations energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Data are available in file formats including Microsoft Excel and Adobe Acrobat.

Is for volUNtary offsets


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

SOLU TION

Voluntary offsets allow you to reduce your carbon footprint by paying to eliminate greenhouse gases generated elsewhere. They are a good way to offset emissions that cannot be reduced directly, e.g. airline flights. However, voluntary offsets should be used only as a supplement not a substitute to your direct efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In addition, be sure to buy only the highest-quality offsets available.
Youre turning off and unplugging appliances and home electronics after use. Youve even replaced most of your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient fluorescent ones. And, to top it all off, you convinced your parents buy a hybrid car and pay a small premium to purchase renewable electricity from your local power company. Congratulations: by significantly reducing carbon emissions, you and your family are making a real difference in the fight against global warming! That feels pretty good, doesnt it?

Doing all you can?


Lets say youve already worked hard to reduce your carbon footprint: the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that you and your family generate. Youre riding your bike to school versus driving. Youve turned down the thermostat at home.

The Gold Standard

Premiun quality carbon credits

carbon beyond your reach


But what about those greenhouse gas emissions beyond your control? How about the familys cross-country flight to visit the grandparents over the holidays? Or that 500-mile drive to the rural summer camp that was not accessible by mass transit? Those two trips alone generated over 10 tons of CO2 emissions for a family of four. Whats a kid to do, short of not visiting relatives and not going to summer camp? The answer is voluntary carbon offsets, credits that you can purchase to negate your greenhouse gas emissions by elimivolUNtary offsets

ality its are the highest qu Standard carbon cred Gold dard credailable. All Gold Stan voluntary of fsets av are genero Protocol rules, and its comply with Kyot iency energy or energy ef fic ated from renewable nefits. able development be projects with sustain

HOW VOLUNTARY CARBON OFFSETS WORK

OFFSETS 1.4 T CO2

volUNtary offsets

Plans Family Flight & Calculates Emissions (San Fran. to L.A. for 4)

Funds Renewable Energy Project ($29.13 less costs/pro t)

PAYS OFFSET PROVIDER

$29.13

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EC? What is a R rgy Credits (RECs)

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E ne Renewable carbon offsets but ar to allow are simil only. They electricity reen, are for to buyg your family ctricity even if your ele offer renewable ny doesnt wer compa sets: the RECs local po carbon off om s work like eneration projects fr tion. REC that op ricity g t will l fund elect mass) tha you buy wil urces (wind, solar, bio grid. Learn so ric renewable of the countrys elect become part eEnergys Web site: tiv more at Na ativeenergy.com. ://w w w.n http

nating an equivalent amount elsewhere.

How voluntary offsets work


Offsets are usually purchased online and work like gift cards or credits for music downloads. Most carbon offset sites provide a carbon emissions calculator that estimates the number of tons of CO2 equivalent that are generated by your flying, driving or other activities. Once the CO2 estimate is calculated, you are given the opportunity to purchase an equivalent offset amount via credit or debit card. The offset provider then takes your payment and invests the money in a project that reduces the appropriate amount of greenhouse gases. Reputable offset providers will offer details on the specific projects that they fund on your behalf.

Be careful if a provider is selling CO2 credits at a very low price per ton, or does not describe in detail the carbon-saving project that will be funded by your purchase. Most importantly, be sure that the carbon credits you purchase adhere to a recognized quality standard. There is only one carbon standard that this book can recommend without any reservation: The Gold Standard, which applies the same certification process used in the Kyoto Protocol. The Gold Standard is endorsed by over 49 non-governmental organizations worldwide, including the World Wildlife Fund, and is administered by a nonprofit foundation based in Switzerland. If you are unable to find Gold Standard offsets, look for credits certified with the Voluntary Carbon Standard, a new standard endorsed by a number of non-profit and for-profit organizations active in the carbon markets.

No substitute for direct cuts


Voluntary offsets can be an important tool to fight global warming. But remember that offsets cant replace real reductions in your carbon footprint. Use offsets only to counteract the unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions in your life.
equal. ts are created ! Not all offse s from reputable Buyer beware edit ified carbon cr e speBuy only cert re that you understand th ts. ke su offse providers. Ma ct that will generate your roje cific green p

volUNtary offsets

Not all offsets are equal


Use care when selecting an offset provider, since not all offsets are created equal.

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Selling voluntary carbon offsets has become a big industry, with many businesses hoping to profit from consumers desire to fight global warming. Over $90 million of offsets were sold in 2006, and volume may reach $4 billion by 2010! Unfortunately, many of the carbon credits sold to date have been of questionable quality. As a consumer, do your own research to make sure that you buy only the highest quality, certified offsets from a reputable provider.

Back to the future! In 2006 the Dave Matthews Band bought 18,000 tons of CO2 credits to offset all of the bands emissions since 1991, when they first started touring. The band worked with two highly regarded groups, NativeEnergy and Cool Air-Clean Planet, to purchase renewable energy credits (RECs) that provided funding for Native American-owned wind farms in the Great Plains. Visit the NativeEnergy Web site to learn more: http://www.nativeenergy.com/.

Ready to buy some offsets for those unavoidable carbon emissions in your life? Look for Gold Standard certified credits that are available online from a number of reputable providers including Climate Friendly (https://climatefriendly.com/). Gold Standard credits are generated exclusively from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, guaranteeing a positive impact on the environment. Learn more at the Gold Standard site: http://www.cdmgoldstandard.org/.

volUNtary offsets

Become an expert on voluntary carbon offsets. Download two research reports that evaluate various carbon credit providers. In 2006, non-profit Clean Air Cool Planet published its Consumers Guide to Retail Carbon Offset Providers, available at http:// www.cleanair-coolplanet.org/ConsumersGuidetoCarbonOffsets.pdf. More recently, in 2007, the Tufts Climate Initiative published Voluntary Offsets for Air-Travel Carbon Emissions, available at http://www.tufts.edu/tie/tci/pdf/TCI_Carbon_Offsets_Paper_April-2-07.pdf.

Is for WIlDfIres & Water crIses


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll Heat waves, wildfires and water shortages (droughts) will become more frequent and intense because of climate change. The warmer atmosphere is changing weather patterns, causing dry areas to get even less rain, making trees and vegetation susceptible to devastating wildfires. Even worse, the combination of hot summers, less rain and diminishing mountain snow pack is beginning to dry up many of the worlds most important rivers, creating drought conditions that endanger millions of people.

CONSEQUENCE

the heat is on!


Gee, its gotten hot down hereon our planet, that is! Global warming has arrived, with 19 of the 20 hottest years in recorded history occurring since 1980. The two hottest years on record worldwide were 1998 and 2005. In the Northern Hemisphere where most of us live 2005 was the hottest year since 1880, the first year that accurate measurements were made. For many Americans the summer of 2005, with its oppressive heat and brutal drought in the Midwest, will be particularly hard to forget. For Europeans the summer of 2003 was even worse, when a massive heat wave and drought caused over 35,000 deaths!
Wildfire danger is increasing around the world as global warming fuels more hot, dry summers. Use care when enjoying the outdoors: most wildfires are human-caused!

from frying pan to fire


Extremely hot, dry weather often leads to another natural disaster: wildfires. These fires happen when bone-dry trees and vegetation are ignited by lightning or human carelessness, then fanned by warm, strong winds. Wildfires often rage out of control for days or even weeks, causing massive deforestation, loss of animal species and destruction of homes. Thats exactly whats happened in the US since 2004, with wildfires destroying more than 8 million acres each year. Wildfires in 2006 were the worst in history: more than 96,000 separate fires that scorched more than 9.8 million acres. In 2007 one of the driest years since 1895 -- it didnt get much better, as wildfires burned more than 8.9 million acres! In fact, a recent study concluded that global warming has led to a fourfold increase in the number of wildfires in the American West and a six-fold increase in total acreage burned. And it will get worse: some scientists predict that during the period 2070-2100 the 11 western states will see a doubling of acreage burned by massive wildfires fostered by climate change.

WIlDfIres & Water crIses

. In late rn California es in Southe ore hing hom ia burned m Fire approac ern Californ mes and res in South d 2,000 ho 2007 wildfi of the es, destroye 00 acr aking it one than 500,0 damages, m ears. $1 billion in ters in 25 y caused over atural disas n most costly

WIlDfIres & Water crIses


trapart of Aus urray River, years of nks of the M r enduring 7 Receding ba ater ystem. Afte river s record low w lias longest iver reached dgMurray R constant dre drought, the th requires ou . 07, and its m thern Ocean levels in 20 n to the Sou in ope ing to rema

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lIvestocK & l aNDfIll
which in Nevada, b Hoover Dam hite bathtu , above the Lake Mead gas. The w Ve If the ater to Las water level. supplies w ly declining tern s the rapid in the wes ring show ns persist io ars! ught condit ty in 10 ye present dro uld be emp ead co US, Lake M

NCE NSEQUE CO

cally by 2035 as a result of global warming. This could have disastrous consequences for the 1.3 billion people who depend on 7 major rivers fed by the Himalayas: the Ganges (India); the Indus (Pakistan); the Brahmaputra (Bangladesh); the Mekong (Southeast Asia); the Irrawaddy (Myanmar); and the Yellow and Yangzi rivers of China.

trouble close to home


The western US faces a similar threat with the Colorado River, which supplies water to 25 million residents and irrigates millions of acres of farmland in 7 states. After 8 years of drought and continued population growth, the Colorado River faces too much demand for its limited water supply that is fed by the dwindling snow pack of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If the present drought conditions persist, Lake Mead, which supplies water to rapidly growing Las Vegas, could be empty in 10 years! Similarly, in the Southeast US, more than 18 million people in states including Georgia, Alabama and Florida, have been struggling with extreme drought conditions that are killing crops and livestock. These weather extremes serve to remind us that the early stages of global warming are already with us; according to Munich Re, a large insurance company, there were more natural disasters in 2007 than any other year on record!
Dry riv looming erbed in Nepal, with in t Himalay he background. the Himalaya M an glacie G rs that f lobal warming ountains eed is m threaten ing over seven major As elting the ian river 1 billion s, people.

WIlDfIres & Water crIses

Hot and Dry


Global warming is also changing the worlds weather patterns: wet places are getting too much rain and -- even worse dry climates are experiencing drought. The United Nations Development Program predicts that, by 2050, 40% of the worlds population will experience water shortages, a problem that will be made worse by global warming. Many of the worlds largest rivers are already feeling a doublewhammy from climate change. First, mountain glaciers that feed the rivers during dry months are shrinking, providing less water flow when the rivers need it most. Second, less rainfall is creating hot and dry conditions that cause people to draw too much river water for human consumption, agriculture, and livestock. The UNs IPCC scientific panel has predicted that the Himalayan glaciers the largest in the world could shrink dramati-

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CONSEQ UENCE

lIvestocK & l aNDfIll WIlDfIres & Water crIses

After Antarctica, Africa has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any continent, yet it will be among the hardest hit by climate change especially drought. The UNs IPCC science panel concluded that Africas food production would be severely compromised by global warming, with an estimated 232,000 square miles of crop land becoming unusable desert. Thats an area larger than the States of California and Florida combined! Fired up! In January 2008, country music star Garth Brooks traveled to Los Angeles to perform 5 concerts in 2 days to raise money for the Southern California 2008 Fire Intervention Relief Effort (F.I.R.E). The money raised will go to help victims of the 2007 wildfires that burned more than 500,000 acres, destroyed 2,000 homes and caused over $1 billion in damages, making it one of the most costly natural disasters in 25 years.

No Fish
Boat Rentals

ing

Only you can prevent wildfires! Humans caused about 83% of the 96,000+ US wildfires in 2006 -- through carelessness and arson (deliberate fire-starting). The US Forest Service introduced Smokey Bear in 1944 to teach people how destructive forest fires can be and how to prevent them. Smokeys message is even more important today, as we endure the hot, dry summers fostered by global warming. Visit Smokeys Web site at http://www.smokeybear.com/ to learn more and see how you can get involved.

Learn more about the impact of drought and wildfires on fish and wildlife by reading a report by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) entitled Fueling the Fire, available for download at http://www.nwf.org/globalwarming/pdfs/FuelingTheFire.pdf. Visit the NWF Web site (http://www.nwf.org/globalwarming/) to see how you help save the animals by battling climate change.

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CO NS EQ UE NC E

Up to 30% of all animal and plant species are threatened with extinction as Earths climate changes. At most risk are the planets most unique and vulnerable ecosystems: the Polar Regions, high mountain environments, and ocean habitats. Because our ecosystems are all interdependent, most species will feel the effects of global warming.

a wild world, threatened


There are at least 1.8 million known plant and animal species, not counting millions of bugs and tiny organisms that havent even been classified yet! Our amazing planet is bursting with all kinds of life, always wild, occasionally wacky, and sometimes downright shocking. Take, for example,

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the Quino checkerspot butterfly, prized by collectors in California and Mexico for the colorful checkerboard pattern of brown, red and yellow spots on its wings. Then theres the Western tanager, a migratory songbird with beautiful red, yellow and black feathers, and a distinctive hoarse cry. Or how about the bull trout found in cold, high mountain lakes and rivers of the American West, famous with anglers for being tough to land? Or what about the amazing Arctic fox, which has adapted to survive the sub-freezing temperatures of Arctic winters and is the only member of the dog family whose fur can change color. On the other side of the world lives the king penguin, a proud, deep-diving predator the feeds off fish and squid in the freezing depths of Antarcticas northern shores. These animals are all very different, but they have one thing in common: their survival is in peril as global warming threatens their natural habits.

e X tINctIoN

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Animals and plants are migrating closer to the Poles to escape global warming. What happens when they cant go any further?

Globally endangered
Climate change has begun to have a serious, irreversible impact on our planets ecosystems. The UNs IPCC scientific panel estimates that up to 30% of plant

Before

Antarctica: King penguins in ce food redu warmer waters sh and squid. population of fi

e X tINctIoN

ice lting sea eria: me ds, forcing x in Sib Arctic fo g hunting groun . in is shrink migration north

e: cold alpine lakes and Bull trout in Oregon lak as snow pack melts. rivers are disappearing

xico: hot, erfly, Me abitat. butt nd h ckerspot uino che is killing scrubla Q her dry weat

Western tanager in Oreg on: migration is disrupted as warmer weather alters insect lifecycle.

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NCE NSEQUE CO

fate as its much larger cousin the polar bear: melting sea ice is shrinking hunting grounds, reducing populations and forcing migration further toward the North Pole. And, in the South Pole, the king penguin is threatened as the Indian Ocean warms up around Antarctica, reducing the population of cold-water fish and squid that adult kings feed on.
imal and plant Over 16,000 an reatened, and ady th species are alre aking things al warming is m glob worse.

bark, beetles and bears


Plants face just as much danger as animals, and this compounds climate changes impact on Earths interconnected ecosystems. Who would have thought, for example that the fearsome grizzly bear is suffering from global warmings effect on the whitebark pine tree and its predator, the mountain pine beetle? As the New York Times reported in 2007, thats exactly whats happening in the forest surrounding Yellowstone National Park. Until the climate started warming, whitebark pines grew safely above the beetles range, at the timberline. Now these trees are no longer safe, as the warmer weather has allowed the beetles to move to higher altitudes, infesting the trees bark and eventually killing the pines completely. This is a big problem for grizzly bears that depend on a diet rich in pine nuts during the late summer and fall as they make their homes in cooler alpine meadows. Bark, beetles and bears when it comes to global warming, were all in this together!

and animal species are at risk of extinction if global temperatures rise another 1.5-2.5C (2.7-4.5F). A prior comprehensive research survey was even more pessimistic, predicting that more than one million species could be driven toward extinction by 2050 if global warming wasnt stopped! So its no surprise to hear that the Quino checkerspot butterfly is disappearing from southern Mexico as hot, dry weather steadily destroys the scrubland that its larvae depend on. And the Western tanager often finds an unwelcome surprise during its migration: no bugs to feed on as warmer weather alters insect lifecycles. Those feisty bull trout are discovering that their habitat is literally melting away as the mountain snowpack disappears, causing lakes and rivers to dry up. The Arctic fox is suffering the same
osystem ing Destroys the Ec How Global Warm

e X tINctIoN

Warmer weather allows beetles to reach whitebark pines in higher altitudes

Beetles eventually kill trees, eliminating pine nuts as source of food for grizzly bears

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CONSEQ UENCE

lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

Movin on up. Both animals and plants are moving to cooler climates in response to global warming. Thats the conclusion of an influential 2003 University of Texas study of 1,700 different species of birds, butterflies and alpine herbs in North America and Europe. They found that since 1950, these species were shifting northward at an average rate of 3.8 miles per decade, and retreating to higher altitudes at an average rate of 20 feet per decade!

e X tINctIoN

Emperor penguins have starred in a couple of award-winning films about the environment and global warming. Australian-produced Happy Feet featured a colony of animated penguins with the voices of famous actors including Nicole Kidman, Robin Williams and Hugh Jackman. It won the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Animated Feature. The French documentary, March of the Penguins, traces the arduous journeys of real-life penguins in Antarctica. The movie took more than 1 year to shoot and won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Check out both of these films!

By one estimate, as many as 150 species are going extinct every day! Find out what local species are at risk in your community by using the WildFinder search tool on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where you can find the status of 26,000 different species by name or place: http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildfinder/. Become an activist on behalf of wildlife and wild places by joining the WWFs Conservation Action Network: http://wwf.worldwildlife.org/site/PageServer?pagename=can_home.

What species are most at risk? Where are the worlds danger spots? Find the answers on dazzling color-coded maps at the WorldMapper Web site: http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=269. The Species at Risk map (#269) graphically shows you where the worlds 16,000+ threated species are most at risk. Download a color poster version of the chart at http://www.worldmapper.org/posters/worldmapper_map269_ver5.pdf.

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SOLU TION

History has shown us that one individual can change the world! You, your family, and your friends can play a big role in battling climate change. Start by reducing your personal carbon footprint, and then take what youve learned to help your school, neighborhood, town and country fight global warming.

yoU can make a difference!


History has shown us, time and again, how a single person can change the world. Take, for example, John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and the environmentalist most responsible for creating Yosemite National Park. Or look at Mahatma Gandhi, the great political and spiritual leader who guided India to independence by peaceful means. Or think about Rosa

Parks, who had the courage to fight racism on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, launching a generation of civil rights activists including Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. So, if you ever find yourself wondering if just one person can make a difference in the fight against global warming, think of these remarkable heroes: you CAN make a difference!

yoU: at home
Of course the climate change battle begins at home. You can reduce your personal carbon footprint by 1 ton or more of CO2 per year at little or no cost, simply by taking simple steps described in this book. For a family of four these savings grow to 4 tons of CO2 per year, and for all Americans the CO2 reductions would total about 300 million tons! Thats about 4% of all US greenhouse gas emissions that could be eliminated with little time, trouble or money!

yoU
Sierra Club founder John Muir (right) with US President Theodore Roosevelt at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, 1906. One person CAN make a difference: Muir convinced Roosevelt to put Yosemite under federal protection.

yoU: at school
Take what you learn at home and apply it at school. Does your school have a student committee or club focused on

nda poster US propaga mous r in iveter: a fa oward Mille Rosie the R y artist J. H db pWar II create tory worker, Rosie ca from World fac e message l wartime it, sending th same 42. A typica 19 g spir he rican fightin if ference. T red the Ame tu ld make a d itizen cou al warming. that every c against glob r the battle holds true fo

yoU

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r of fers a ce! Young protesto stration N make a differen on You CA 67 dem police during a 19 ests played a flower to military . Student prot m War against the Vietna le in ending that war. significant ro

climate change or the environment? If so, see how you can get involved; if an organization doesnt yet exist, considering creating one with your friends. Many schools have already been able to reduce their carbon footprint significantly through organized efforts among faculty, students and parents. Does your school curriculum include coursework on global warming? If not, ask why not, as its important for all students to understand the science of climate change and its implications for our planet.

the US emission reduction targets of the Kyoto Protocol (7% reduction from 1990 emissions level). The agreement also requires cities to support state and federal laws to enforce the Kyoto targets and establish a national emission trading system. In addition, find out what concrete steps your city is taking right now to reduce its carbon footprint: this information is usually available on your citys Web site or through your community newspaper. If youre not satisfied with your communitys efforts, get involved!

yoU: in your country


Last but not least, are you supporting national efforts to fight global warming? A wide variety of non-profit and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are actively campaigning for federal laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean, renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. These organizations include the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and the Alliance for Climate Protection. Stay informed, and be sure to support elected officials who are fully committed to the fight against global warming.
2 How small CO ower of One: The P a comultiply across uctions can m red n a country. munity -- the

yoU: in your town


Next, how about your town or city? Has your mayor signed on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement yet? Approved by over 1,000 cities of all sizes, this agreement commits signers to meet yoU

=
1 ton CO2 Reduced per person X 300 million people =

300 million t ons CO2 reduced each year

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According to one study, Americans could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 64 million tons each year simply by walking just 30 minutes each day instead of driving! The same study pointed out that the average person would also lose 13 pounds in a year. Its the best of both worlds: stay in shape while saving the planet!

Former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore donated all of his Nobel Prize Money about $750,000 -- to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit group that he co-founded. The Alliance has launched a high-profile publicity campaign to persuade the American people and people elsewhere in the world of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for climate change. Find out more at: http://www.climateprotect.org/.

Help your school in the fight against climate change. Check out the Classroom section of the Stop Global Warming Web site at: http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/sgw_ classroom.asp. Youll find many helpful suggestions and tips on how you can raise awareness at school and mobilize students, faculty and parents to take action on global warming.

While global warming is the most serious natural threat weve ever faced, its important to understand that we have successfully battled other serious environmental challenges including deforestation, endangered species, air and water pollution, and toxic waste. Learn more about the 150-year history of the environmental movement in America at Ecotopia.orgs Ecology Hall of Fame Web site: http:// www.ecotopia.org/ehof/timeline.html. Get inspired!

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Is for Zero emIssIoNs


lIvestocK & l aNDfIll

Each of us becomes part of the solution when we minimize our daily carbon emissions. Our long-term goal: become carbon neutral, by reducing our net emissions to zero. While we cant become carbon neutral overnight, there are many simple steps we can take right now to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Over the longer term, exciting new green technologies promise to move us close to zero
ates direct emissions by burning heating oil, natural gas or propane to provide heat and hot water. You also create emissions indirectly by using electricity for air conditioning, lighting, appliances and electronic equipment. While electric power creates no direct emissions at home, it creates emissions elsewhere: most utility power plants burn fossil fuels -- mainly coal, the dirtiest fuel of all. All told, about 1 out of every 6 tons of US CO2 emissions come from homes like yours! Fortunately, there are now ways for you and your family to make a big dent in or even eliminate your homes carbon footprint.

Zero: the greatest number!


We can stop global warming by reducing and eventually eliminating -- greenhouse gas emissions. Each of us can do our part by striving to become carbon neutral by zapping our carbon emissions wherever we can, then creating reductions elsewhere that offset our remaining, unavoidable carbon footprint. There are many simple and easy steps we can take to dramatically reduce our daily carbon footprint. Even more exciting, there are a number of exciting green technologies that could soon allow us to become carbon neutral in our homes, cars and elsewhere. Zero emIssIoNs

target #1: your home


Even though it just sits there, your home is an active source of greenhouse gas emissions. Your house or apartment cre-

moving to zero
Of course the easiest and cheapest way to lower your home emissions is by reducing energy consumption: turn down the thermostats for your furnace and water heater; take short showers (not baths); turn off lights and electronic equipment when not in use; replace burnt-out incandescent lights with fluorescent ones; run dishwashers and laundry units only when they are full, using cold water cycles; and use fans instead of air conditioners.

Hydrogen-powered

All-Electric

100% Bio-fueled

cles (ZEVs) Zero-Emissions Vehi

In early 2008 the US Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii announced the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a program to generate 70% of Hawaiis energy needs from renewable sources by 2030, cutting the Islands crude oil consumption by 72%

In 2003 Iceland began testing hydrogen vehicles in its drive to zero-out fossil fuel consumption by 2050. Already over 70% of Icelands energy comes from renewable sources, primarily geothermal (53%) and hydropower (17%). Almost 90% of Icelandic homes are heated by geothermal energy.

In 1996, the southern Swedish city of Vxj declared its intention to become fossil fuel free. By 2006 Vxj had cut its per capita carbon emissions by 30% through increased use of renewables and aggressive conservation measures. Nicknamed the greenest city in Europe, Vxj renewed its commitment in 2006 by vowing to cut emissions by a further 50% by 2010 and 70% by 2025 (vs. 1993 levels).

Since 2005, the Japanese government has o ered large incentives to homeowners who purchase zero-emissions home fuel cells that generate heat and electricity by converting natural gas into clean water vapor. The government hopes to have 1.2 million systems installed in Japanese homes by 2010.

Iceland

UK

Sweden

Japan

Hawaii

Israel

Abu Dhabi

rld und the Wo xamples Aro ero: E Getting to Z


Zero emIssIoNs

In January 2006, the village of Ashton Hayes in northwest England announced its intention to become the rst carbon-neutral village in the UK by dramatically improving energy e ciency and switching to renewable power sources. The results for 2007 were encouraging: emissions declined by 20%!

In early 2008, the Israeli government announced its support of a new plan to sell and service all-electric vehichles through a joint venture by automaker Renault-Nissan and start-up Project Better Place. Renault plans to deliver its 100% electric vehicles in 2011, after Project Better Place has built recharging stations throughout the country. Israeli citizens will receive tax incentives to purchase the zero-emissions vehicles.

Middle Eastern city-state Abu-Dhabi plans to build the worlds rst carbon-neutral city, Masdar City. Abu-Dhabi plans to invest $22 billion to build a car-free city that will be home to 50,000 residents by 2016. Masdar City will generate all its power from renewable sources such as solar and wind, and will use 75% less electricity than conventional cities through high energy e ciency.

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s home The zero-emission

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ral areas, some homes can do the same thing with a wind turbine in the backyard! In Japan, some homeowners can now install fuel-cell units that provide both heat and electricity by converting natural gas into harmless water vapor.

target #2: your transportation


Now that weve zeroed-out your home emissions, what about your ride? Well, the same philosophy of conservation applies here as well. The best way to reduce carbon emissions from the family car(s) is to drive less. Walking or riding a bike instead is a fun, easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Even better: your family will save lots of money on gas, and youll be staying fit by exercising more! Next step: make the next family car a hybrid or flex-fuel vehicle with better mileage and lower carbon emissions. Ready to do even more, and really zero-out your transportation carbon footprint? Have your family consider the future purchase of a Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) powered by hydrogen, electricity or sustainable biofuels. These futuristic cars are already available on a limited basis.

These are simple steps that will not only dramatically shrink your familys carbon footprint but also save money on your utility bills. But if you really want to zero out home emissions you need to power up with zero-carbon energy sources including solar, wind and fuel cells.

Home as power plant


Government subsidies and tax incentives are allowing many homeowners to make the jump to renewable energy by installing solar panels on their roofs to generate electricity and heat water. With sufficient coverage of photovoltaic panels and enough exposure to the sun, many homes can make their electric meters run backwards, contributing more power to the grid than they consume. In ru-

Zero emIssIoNs

power. Turn OFF dirty ewable sources n ricity from re Turn ON elect

OFF

ON

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Some cities are already driving toward zero carbon by eliminating the fossil fuels that power their cars, trucks and buses. In 1996 the southern Swedish city of Vxj declared its intention to become fossil fuel free. Icelands capital city of Reykjavik began testing hydrogen vehicles in 2003 as a step toward eliminating fossil fuel consumption by 2050. And in the boldest move yet, Abu Dhabi plans to invest $22 billion to build Masdar City, the worlds first carbon-neutral city that will be completely car-free while housing 50,000 residents by 2016.

Hollywood films are going carbon-neutral! After producing the movie version of Al Gores An Inconvenient Truth, executives at Paramount Vantage decided that all of their internally produced films would be carbon-neutral, including their most recent Academy Award winner, There Will Be Blood. Carbon emissions from film production are offset with renewable energy offsets purchased from Native Energy.

Zero emIssIoNs

Want to get really serious about going carbon neutral? Look into forming or joining a CRAG (Carbon Rationing Action Group), a support group for your neighborhood, school or town that holds all members to strict limits on carbon emissions. The CRAG movement began in the UK and has spread to the US and Canada. To learn more about CRAGs visit the carbonrationing.org Web site: http://www.carbonrationing.org.uk/ Develop an in-depth understanding of Americas carbon footprint by visiting the Web site of the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), which keeps the official energy and emissions statistics of the US Government. Youll find an online version of the Emissions of Greenhouse Gases Report at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/ ggrpt/.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze, Silver & Gold Levels

2
The tips that follow are divided into three different groups -- Bronze, Silver, and Gold -- based on the amount of upfront spending required. The actions in the Bronze checklist are all easy and zero-cost; in fact your family will instantly start saving money as soon as youre done! The actions in the Silver checklist require some modest upfront spending but most of them will pay for themselves through the energy savings they generate. The Gold-level actions require larger upfront investments, and are appropriate when your family is considering a major purchase decision such as buying a new car,

Reducing your carbon footprint


Now that youve learned about global warmings causes, consequences, and solutions, what can you do to fight climate change? Fortunately the answer is quite a lot, and the best place to start is right at home. This section is loaded with lots of suggestions on how you can become SuperCool by taking a big bite out of your familys carbon footprint. Youll find that many of these tips will not only reduce carbon emissions but also save your family money by lowering your monthly bills for electricity, heating and gasoline.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze, Silver & Gold Levels
and electrical use, driving, and personal air travel. We do not include any indirect emissions such as family members proportionate share of carbon footprints at their schools or workplace, business travel emissions, or embedded carbon in the products they buy (except food). These direct emissions for our typical family of 4 are estimated at 73,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent per year: 37,000 pounds from the home; 31,000 pounds from cars; and 5,000 pounds from flights. Our home emissions estimate is from the Personal Emissions Calculator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, where we assume that the family lives in a detached, single-family home heated by natural gas and has monthly gas and electric bills of $125 each ($250 total), and doesnt (yet) recycle. View all of the calculator variables at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ind_calculator.html. Our car emissions estimate is from the fueleconomy.gov Web site (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/), where we assume that the family drives two cars that generate a combined 15.3 tons (30,600 pounds) of CO2 each year, equivalent to owning a 2006 Volvo V50 station wagon and a 2006 Toyota Camry sedan. For flight emissions we assume that the family flies the national average of about 4,200 air miles each year, roughly the equivalent of a roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon for the entire family, generating total emissions of about 5,000 pounds (calculations from Climate Friendly: https://climatefriendly.com/flight).

37

00 ,0

bs L

CO 2 .

y single famil the detached 4 generates gs, Before savin typical family of r. home of our ounds of CO 2 each yea 37,000 p

replacing appliances, or remodeling the house. Regardless of your familys budget youll see that you can have a huge impact on carbon emissions by following these tips!

Setting a baseline
We will measure the impact of our carbon-saving actions against the direct emissions of a typical American family of 4. By direct emissions we mean the emissions that are under the direct control of family members, including home heating

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze, Silver & Gold Levels
Before sav typical fam ings, the two cars d riv ily of 4 ge nerate 31,0 en by our 00 pounds of CO eac h year. 2

31,

0L 00

. CO 2 bs

actions on the Gold checklist, as the total carbon savings from insulation and new windows would in reality total significantly below 20,000 pounds, the total annual emissions from the gas furnace system. The Bronze checklist also includes savings from eating less meat, even though the familys direct emissions do not capture the embedded carbon in food and other products that they buy. But dont get too hung up on the details: the savings figures on the checklists are simply ballpark estimates; your familys actual results will vary, but they will definitely be big!

Let the saving begin!


Are you ready to start saving the planet? As you review the SuperCool checklists, keep your own list of actions that youll take. Be sure to keep track of the annual CO2 savings from each step you take. You may notice that the potential CO2 savings from all three checklists actually add up to more than 100%. How could this happen? Its because several of the major checklist actions are either-or, i.e. youd take one or the other actions but not both. Specifically, you wouldnt buy green power (on the Silver checklist) and also install solar panels on your home (on the Gold checklist). On the Gold checklist you wouldnt install a geothermal heat pump system and also buy a new Energy Star high-efficiency furnace. Also on the Gold checklist you wouldnt install a solar water heater system and then replace your old water heater with a new unit or tankless system. Also there is probably some double counting in the home insulating

Don't forget the icons


Please take note of the other checklist icons, which indicate the additional benefits and/or costs of each action. Youll see that many of the SuperCool actions not only reduce carbon emissions but also save money, promote healthy living and protect our natural environment! The pig-

,00 5

Lb 0

CO 2 s.

Before savings, our typical family of 4 flies a total of 4,200 air miles and generates 5,000 pounds of CO2 each year.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze, Silver & Gold Levels
gybank icon indicates that this action item will not cost a dime and will actually save money for your family while cutting carbon emissions. Most of these steps are easy to take and, well, they just make cents! The happy heart icon indicates that this action item is good for your familys fitness, as well as the fitness of the planet. Its good for the environment and your health to get out of the car and onto your bike. Similarly, nothings more nourishing for your family than fresh, organic vegetables grown in your own garden using kitchen compost as fertilizer. Natures bounty is our planets way of saying, thanks for caring! Finally, the green planet icon indicates that this action is good for our environment beyond reducing carbon emissions. For example, eating less meat not only reduces methane emissions from livestock but also helps avoid rainforest destruction and overuse of water resources. In a similar way, recycling reduces landfill waste and keeps toxic materials out of the soil and water reservoirs. Limiting shower times not only saves energy and cuts emissions; it also conserves precious water resources. Finally, minimizing fireplace use not only results in a lower heating bill and carbon emissions, but also reduces air pollution particulates, soot and greenhouse gases that are generated by burning wood. In the Silver and Gold sections youll find three different dollar icons like this and this and this . They indicate the amount of upfront spending required by your family to implement a specific action item. As youll see, most tips in the Silver section require modest spending, while most tips in the Gold section require a significant investment and will not be appropriate for many families. However, if your family can afford to make the investment, youll find that most of these action items will more than pay for themselves in the form of lower utility bills. Each households circumstances and budget will be unique: review the Bronze, Silver, and Gold checklists and select the action items that are most appropriate for your family. As youll see, reducing your carbon footprint can be fun, easy, profitable, healthy and green!

Typical Home Energy Use


(EPA Estimates)

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Bronze Level - Winning Tips
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Save money, save the planet


By following the simple tips on Bronze checklist your family can dramatically reduce carbon emissions while saving money every month! There must be a catch, right? Nope, theres no catch, no fine print: just a huge opportunity for every household in the country. Bronze-level actions can reduce your household carbon emissions by up to one quarter while cutting monthly bills for heating, electricity, and driving.

it reaches your kitchen, that hamburger, steak or bacon has generated many times its weight in greenhouse gases. By one estimate, a single cheeseburger generates over 6 pounds of equivalent CO2 emissions! Another recent study concluded that, on average, the typical meat-rich American diet generates 3,000 pounds more CO2 emissions per year than a vegan (meat-free) diet. It follows that an easy and effective way to cut your familys carbon footprint is to simply eat less meat.

Winning tips - Bronze level


Livestock & Landfill, cattle and other farm animals generate huge methane emissions, one of the most potent greenhouse gases. And the feed eaten by livestock is responsible for even more emissions from the fossil fuels and fertilizer used during farming and transport. In fact, by the time

Eat less meat. As we learned in L is for

issions! = less carbon em meat in your diet Less

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Easy Ways to Reduce CO2 Emissions and Save Money!

Actions
Eat less meat. Make 25% of family meals meat-free (vegetarian) (Calculation assumes 4 persons) Recycle all paper, plastic, glass and metal containers Limit showers to 8 minutes or less, saving hot water (Calculation for 4 persons) Turn down the thermostat in winter. During cold months lower your heaters thermostat by 5F for 8 hours at night (while sleeping), and 10F for 8 hours during the day (while away) Reduce household waste by 10%: buy in bulk; avoid products with excessive packaging Minimize fireplace use; keep damper closed when not in use. Use a clothesline. In good weather, air-dry your familys laundry instead of using a clothes dryer Turn down your hot water heater. Set your hot water heater thermostat to 120F or lower Take fewer baths and more showers to save hot water (Calculation for 4 persons) Turn up the thermostat in summer. During hot months, set your air conditioners thermostat to 75F or higher Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Plant your own organic garden fertilized by compost from kitchen waste Put your computer(s) to sleep. Set computer(s) to sleep after 10 minutes of inactivity Power down. Unplug electronic equipment when not in use, to cut standby power use Run dishwasher with full loads only. Use energy-saver settings and dont use heat-dry feature. Reduce junk mail. Contact direct marketing firms to opt out of junk mail Drive smart. Reduce highway-driving speed and avoid sudden stops and starts. (Calculation assumes 1,500 lbs. CO2 saved per car). Fly less. Stay closer to home and reduce your annual air-miles (Calculation assumes reduction of 500 miles each, 2,000 total for 4 persons) Use public transit instead of driving. If you must drive, carpool. (Calculation assumes 700 lbs. CO2 saved per car). Drive less. Bike or walk to school instead of driving (Calculation assumes 700 lbs. CO2 saved per car). Keep car tires properly inflated. (Calculation assumes 250 lbs. CO2 saved per car).

Codes

Annual CO2 savings (pounds)

3,000 1,700 1,400 1,340 1,000 900 700 550 400 360 300 250 240 200 90 3,000 2,500 1,400 500 500

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TOTAL POTENTIAL SAVINGS


TOTAL TYPICAL US HOUSEHOLD: FAMILY OF 4 WITH 2 CARS

20,030
73,000

POTENTIAL SAVINGS PERCENTAGE

28%

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Get creative: add more pasta, vegetable and bean dishes to the weekly menu: eating 25% less meat will reduce emissions by 3,000 pounds for an average American family of 4. And, since meat is the most expensive item on your grocery list, your family will also save money while helping the environment! Drive smart. The family car is a major source of carbon emissions. As we learned in A is for Automobiles, the bigger your car, the lower your gas mileage and the higher your emissions. But you dont have to buy a new, more fuel-efficient car to make a difference: even the largest vehicle can be driven in a way that can dramatically reduce emissions. One of the best ways to improve fuel efficiency and lower emissions is to reduce your freeway driving speed. By one estimate, slowing down from 75 miles per hour (mph) to 65 mph on the highway can save 1,500 pounds per year for the average vehicle (3,000 pounds for 2 cars); and the savings are even larger for heavier vehicles like SUVs. Want to save even more? Keeping tires properly inflated can significantly boost gas mileage by reducing drag save up 250 pounds per vehicle, or 500

Avoid airport hassles and reduce emissions by flying less.

A slower drivin g speed sa reduces emiss ves gas and ions.

pounds for 2 cars each year. Lastly, ask your parents to drive gently, avoiding sudden starts and stops: not only does it improve gas mileage but its safer for pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers! Fly less. As we found in J is for Jets & Transport, air travel can easily become one of the largest sources of carbon emissions for your family. A roundtrip trip across the US for a family of 4 generates over 22,000 pounds of equivalent CO2 emissions, almost one-third of our typical American familys total emissions for the entire year! Take your vacations closer to home; youll reduce carbon emissions while avoiding expensive airfares and hassles at the airport. For any trip less than 500 miles each way, consider driving versus flying. Because planes burn the most fuel on take-off, short haul flights generate more emissions per air mile than longer ones. A family of 4 will save up to 4,000 pounds of carbon emissions by making the roundtrip in a car instead of a plane. Or how about this: have your family agree to reduce air travel by 500 miles per person each year; that adds up to less money for airline tickets and about 2,200 pounds of avoided carbon emissions!

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze Level - Winning Tips
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Recycle and reduce. Does your family re-

cycle all paper, plastic, glass and metal containers? Do you avoid buying products with excessive packaging that will end up in the garbage? As we learned in L is for Livestock & Landfill, recycling and minimizing household waste reduces the size of landfill and prevents the build-up of damaging methane emissions from decaying trash. Cutting household waste by just 10% -- by buying in bulk and avoiding products with excessive packaging can save about 1,000 pounds per year for a family of 4. Recycling can have an even bigger impact, as renewed products made from recycled materials generate far less carbon emissions than new ones by avoiding the need to acquire and process new raw materials. For example, recycling newspapers saves trees that would have otherwise been cut down to create fresh newsprint. Similarly, bottles and cans made from recycled plastics and aluminum use less energy and generate fewer emissions than brand-new containers. By making recycling a simple weekly habit, a typical family of 4 can save about 1,700 pounds of CO2 each year. Save an additional 90 pounds of CO2 every year a couple of trees by having

or less: youll Limit showers to 8 minutes s & water. save lots of energy, emission

. and landfill waste s both emissions Recycling reduce

your family opt out of junk mail such as unwanted calendars and solicitations. Use less hot water. It may be hard to believe, but that hot water heater tucked away in your homes basement or closet is a major source of carbon emissions. Thats because it takes a lot of energy to heat up water and keep it hot until its used. This energy comes from electricity, natural gas, or heating oil, depending on your type of heater, and your hot water is consequently the source of serious carbon emissions either at the electric power plant, or through the exhaust vent in your roof. As we learned in E is for Energy Efficiency, the average American home offers many easy opportunities to cut energy use and emissions, and water heating is a prime target. After space heating and electricity use, water heating is the third largest energy consumer in the average home, accounting for roughly one-sixth of total household energy use and carbon emissions. This means that you can create big savings by making small changes in your familys hot water habits. Limiting showers to 8 minutes or less can save 1,400 pounds per year for a family of 4. Eliminating baths in favor of showers can save another 400 pounds.

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Bronze Level - Winning Tips
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Turn down your thermostat in th e winter: youll cut your ut ility bill and carb on emissions.

Running the dishwasher with full loads reduces hot water use and saves another 200 pounds. Last but not least, ask your parents to turn down the water heater thermostat to 120F, saving another 550 pounds by keeping the water slightly cooler but still comfortable. Turn down the thermostat. As we learned in E is for Energy Efficiency, buildings including our homes -- are the single largest sources of carbon emissions, creating more greenhouse gases each year than either the transportation or manufacturing sectors. In fact, for most homes, space heating is the single largest source of carbon emissions. The easiest way to reduce emissions from heating is to turn down the thermostat during winter months. When the weathers cold outside, wear a comfortable sweater inside and set your thermostat between 66-68F: youll save 600-1,300 pounds of CO2 annually versus a setting of 70F, only 2-4F higher. Use a programmable thermostat to save even more energy and emissions by having it automatically lower the temperature by 5F when everyones sleeping, then warm things back up in the morning. Similarly, program your thermostat to lower the temperature by 10F during the day, when nobodys home, then warm things back up in

Cut carbon emissions and air pollution by minimizing fireplace use. Reduce drafts (and heating bills) by keeping the damper closed when not using.

the evening. Your family will reduce emissions by over 1,300 pounds each year by using these smart thermostat settings. Finally, a note on fireplaces: if you have one, use it sparingly, and close the damper tightly after every use. A wood-burning fireplace is a very inefficient heat source compared to a furnace, as most of the warmth escapes up the chimney. Keeping the damper open after use is equivalent to leaving a window open! Moreover, traditional fireplaces generate lots of CO2 and other pollutants. Youll save up to 900 pounds of CO2 each year by not using your fireplace and keeping the damper tightly shut at all times. Drive less. We already saw how smarter
Leave the car at home: save money and reduce emissions by using mass transit.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Bronze Level - Winning Tips
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driving and proper car maintenance can reduce carbon emissions dramatically, but what about the other obvious step: driving less? Not surprisingly, one of the best ways to cut CO2 emissions is to get out of the family car(s) and use other forms of transportation. Your mother or father can avoid up to 700 pounds of CO2 emissions each year by leaving the car in the garage and commuting to work using public transportation via bus, trolley, train, or subway. If both parents use mass transit, those savings can double to 1,400 pounds. If public transport is not an option in your neighborhood, carpooling cuts emissions by onehalf or more. You can also do your part by walking or riding a bike to school and your extracurricular activities. Save about 500 pounds of CO2 each year by traveling on your own leg-power it will also help you stay in shape! Power down. The second biggest source of emissions in your home is the electricity that powers your appliances, televisions, computers, and air conditioners. You may wonder where these emissions come from, since electricity seems completely clean and completely invisible whenever you plug into a socket and flip the on switch. What you dont see are the big, dirty power plants at the other end of the transmission line; in fact, as we learned in E is for Energy Efficiency, electricity generation creates about 40% of all carbon emissions, mainly from coal-fired plants. Your family can help reduce these power plant emissions and save money on the monthly utility bill -- by taking simple steps to cut electricity use.

eletricnics continue to draw TVs and other electro while in standby mode. ns ity and create emissio of f the power strip after switch Pull the plug or every use.

Does your home have an electric clothes drier? In good weather, use a clothesline to air-dry your laundry instead. Youll save up to 700 pounds of CO2 emissions each year, and your clothes will smell naturally fresh! If you use air conditioning during hot weather, set the thermostat to 75F or higher: youll save big on your electric bill and reduce annual carbon emissions by about 360 pounds. Lastly, take a close look at your homes computers and electronics including TVs, videogame consoles, and stereo equipment. Make sure that your computer is set to sleep after 10 minutes or less of inactivity youll save up to 250 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Dont let your TV and other electronics drain power in standby, as this mode continues to draw lots of power even after youve press the off switch. Instead, plug all electronics into a power strip that you can switch off after use. This easy step can reduce annual carbon emissions by about 240 pounds.
even more? Want to save ext) evel sectio (n in the Silver-L more tips

Find

Become a Super-Cool Family


Silver Level - Winning Tips
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Spend a little, save a lot


Whats next after youve followed all the money- and carbon-saving tips on the Bronze checklist? As well learn in this Silver Level section, a lot more can be done to lower your familys carbon footprint. The tips in this section require some expenditure, so they will not be appropriate for those families on a tight budget. However, if your family can afford the upfront costs, youll find that many of the recommended actions will pay for themselves over time through reduced utility bills. Silver-level actions can reduce your household carbon emissions by almost 40% while cutting monthly bills for heating, electricity, and driving.

fossil fuels, mainly coal, to generate power. After fossil fuels, nuclear power is the next largest source of electricity, accounting for about 20% of total generating capacity in the US. Though splitting uranium atoms generates no carbon emissions, we learned in N is for Nuclear Power that atomic reactors have been plagued by dangerous accidents and generate significant quantities of toxic nuclear waste. This means

Winning tips - Silver level


Energy Efficiency, electric utilities account for 40% of all carbon emissions by burning

Buy green power. As we learned in E is for

For your homes electrical needs, buy green power from wind, solar and other renewable sources.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Silver Level - Winning Tips
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Spend a Little, Save a Lot on Utility Bills & CO 2 Emissions!

Actions
Buy green power: electricity generated from renewable sources. Insulate your attic: reduce thermal loss through your roof. Weatherize your home: add weather stripping and caulking to doors and leaky windowsills. Install ceiling fans; reduce air conditioning use during summer months. A ceiling fan can make a room feel 6-7F cooler! Use CFL lighting: Replace 5 conventional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient 25-watt compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Plant 5 trees to shade your home and absorb CO2. (Calculation assumes 100 lbs CO2 saved per tree) Tune up your furnace: have it serviced professionally once a year. Tune up your air conditioner(s): clean air filters as directed and service unit(s) once a year. Install low-flow showerheads to reduce hot water usage. Wrap your water heater. If your water heater is more than 10 years old, wrap it with an insulating jacket (newer models are already wellinsulated). Replace your old TV with a an LCD model (plasma and old cathoderay TVs use more power). Have car(s) serviced regularly: keep engine tuned (Calculation assumes 500 lbs. CO2 saved per car). Check car air filter(s) monthly, replace when dirty (Calculation assumes 500 lbs. CO2 saved per car). Take the train or bus. Traveling less than 500 miles? Short flights are carbon-intensive; trains and buses have lower emissions and may even save time.

Codes

Annual CO2 savings (pounds)

20,000 2,000 1,000 700 500 500 450 400 350 250 250 1,000 1,000 400

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TOTAL POTENTIAL SAVINGS


TOTAL AVERAGE US HOUSEHOLD EMISSIONS: FAMILY OF FOUR

28,800
73,000

POTENTIAL SAVINGS PERCENTAGE

39%

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Silver Level - Winning Tips
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that every time you flip an on switch in your home, youre probably adding more CO2 into the atmosphere or creating more radioactive waste. Fortunately, theres something that you can do to change this: buy green power for your familys electricity needs. Green power is electricity generated from zero-carbon, sustainable energy sources including hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar. Check with your local electric provider to see if it offers a green power program to consumers like you. Look for the Green-e logo that certifies that the electricity youre buying comes from renewable sources. You should expect your monthly electricity bill to go up slightly, as green power costs more than electricity generated from fossil fuels and nuclear. If your power company doesnt offer a green program you can still convert your familys electricity into green power indirectly by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). By purchasing RECs, your family is subsidizing the generation of more-expensive green power in another community. Although a different family in a different part of the country uses this green power, the net carbon reduction is the same as if this was zero-carbon electricity used by your family. The carbon savings from green power can be huge: about 20,000 pounds of CO2 per year for our typical family of 4! Insulate your home. How old is your home? The older it is, the more drafty its likely to be, which forces your furnace to work harder to keep things warm in colder weather. The harder your furnace works, the more

Insulate your attic for big sav ings in cooling costs and carbon em heating/ issions.

fuel it burns, sending more CO2 emissions out of your homes roof vent. It follows that a better insulated home will generate significantly less carbon emissions by allowing your furnace to stay off for longer periods. Even if your home is old and drafty, there are a couple of steps that dont cost much and quickly pay for themselves by lowering your familys monthly heating bill. The easiest thing to do is add insulation to your homes attic space, which can dramatically reduce heat loss through the roof and save up to 15% on your heating bill. This project can by done at a modest cost by your parents if they enjoy doing their own home improvements, and could reduce your familys carbon footprint by up to 2,000 pounds of CO2 per year. Another low-cost, high-impact project is weatherizing windows and doors: sealing air leaks with weather stripping, caulking material and window film. This doCut your heating/cooling bills and carbon emissions by sealing air leaks in windows and doors.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Silver Level - Winning Tips
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s by having your Save on gas and cut emission . car serviced regularly

it-yourself project uses inexpensive materials and requires no special training, yet the savings can be big: about 1,000 pounds of CO2 reductions per year! Service your car(s). The Bronze checklist showed us that big CO2 and dollar savings can be achieved simply by driving smarter and driving less. The carbon reductions get even larger in the Silver checklist by spending modest amounts to keep your family car(s) well-maintained. Follow your car manufacturers guidelines and have your family vehicles serviced regularly by certified auto mechanics. Keeping the engine tuned can save about 500 pounds of CO2 per car per year. Once a month, during fill-ups at the service station, have your engines air filter checked. Replacing filters before they become dirty and blocked improves engine efficiency and can save another 500 pounds of CO2 per car per year. Spend a little to keep your car(s) in tip-top

shape: not only will you cut carbon emissions by 1,000 pounds or more; youll also end up saving money from better gas mileage and fewer breakdowns. Go EZ on A/C. Do you run air conditioning in your home to keep cool during hot summer days? If so, youre using a lot of electricity and indirectly generating significant CO2 emissions. As we learned in the Bronze section, you can easily reduce your electric bill and your carbon emissions simply by turning up the thermostat by 5-10F, reducing the cooling load on your A/C. Dont turn your home into an icebox during the summer: your family can be perfectly comfortable with an inside temperature of 75-80F.

Install a ceiling fan to reduce or eliminate yo ur tioning needs, saving electricity and carbon air condiemissions.

Check your cars air filter monthly and ch ange when dirty. Youll sa ve a lot on gas and em issions.

Install ceiling fans and youll be able to set the thermostat even higher: a rooms temperature will feel up to 6F cooler when a fan is circulating the air briskly. Save up to 700 pounds of CO2 emissions each year by using fans to reduce your A/Cs cooling load. Save even more by keeping your A/C system in tip-top condition and running at maximum efficiency. Have your air conditioning system service professionally at least once each year, to clean the air filters and check the coolant, compressor and fans. This simple maintenance can reduce your A/Cs carbon emissions by up to 400

Become a Super-Cool Family


Silver Level - Winning Tips
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energy-saving compact Replace old light bulbs with ve big on electricity fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Sa and carbon emissions.

pounds annually.

Use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

One of the easiest and most effective ways to cut carbon emissions in your home is to replace conventional incandescent light bulbs with new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). For every bulb you replace, youll reduce carbon emissions by about 100 pounds per year. The savings are large because incandescent bulbs are extremely inefficient, converting only 5% of the power used into light, with the remaining 95% wasted as heat (thats why conventional light bulbs get so hot when theyre on). By comparison, a CFL generating the same amount of light will use less than one-quarter of the power consumed by an incandescent bulb. Walk around your home and count the number of lights: the number of bulbs -- and the potential carbon savings -- may surprise you. Replace 5 bulbs and save 500 pounds each year. Replace 20 bulbs and reduce your annual carbon emissions by 1 ton! Making the switch to fluorescent lamps will initially cost a bit more money, as CFLs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs. Over time however, your family will actually save

money because CFLs last 10-15 times longer, and will reduce your electric bill every month. Now thats a bright idea! Give your heaters a break. Space heating and water heating combine to generate more carbon emissions than anything else in your home. It should therefore come as no surprise that small investments to reduce your familys heating needs can have a big payoff in terms of both money and carbon. A good place to start is getting your furnace serviced by a professional at least once a year, to ensure that your space heating runs at maximum efficiency, with no obstructions and clean filters. Though this annual service call will cost some money, youll save up to 450 pounds of CO2 per year, and will likely reduce your familys bill for gas or fuel oil. Next, give your hot water heater a break by installing low-flow showerheads in every bathroom. By replacing older, higher-volume showerheads, these low-flow units dramatically cut the amount of water used while still providing for a very comfortable shower experience. This modest investment in hardware can save your family about 350 pounds of CO2 per year while reducing your utility bill. Finally,

Install low-flow show erheads: youll lower he costs and carbon em issions, and save wat ating er too.

Become a Super-Cool Family


Silver Level - Winning Tips
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bundle up your water heater if its more than 10 years old: purchase an insulating jacket from any hardware store. This added insulation helps keep water in the tank warm, allowing the heater to stay off for longer periods, saving up to 250 pounds of CO2 per year. Newer water heaters are already well insulated and do not need these extra jackets. Plant shade trees. As we learned in T is for Trees, forests are on the front lines in our planets fight against climate change. And were not just talking about exotic rainforests in South America the urban trees in every American city play a critical role in absorbing CO2, purifying our air, and cooling our homes and streets. You can do your part by planting shade trees in your yard or other open space with access to sunlight and water. A shade tree can reduce carbon emissions by about 100 pounds each year: a well-placed trees canopy of leaves can cast a cooling shadow, greatly reducing the need for air conditioning in summer months, saving about 70 pounds of CO2; a growing tree will also absorb another 30 pounds of CO2 each year through photosynthesis. Plant 5 trees, and you can save about 500 pounds of CO2 each year.

shade Plant trees to and your home absorb CO2.

Be aware, however, that trees purchased at a nursery can be expensive, particularly larger ones. To save money, look for special programs in your community, often sponsored by electric utilities or environmental groups trees are sometimes available to eligible homeowners at little or no cost. And, if nothing else can be found at a reasonable cost, you can always plant saplings (small young trees), recognizing that sizeable carbon savings will be some years off. Use airplane alternatives. Will you be traveling less than 500 miles round-trip? Consider using a public transit alternative to flying, such as a train, bus or ferry. Short flights actually generate the most emissions per air mile because take-offs burn lots of fuel. Thats why a non-stop flight generates fewer emissions than an itinerary to the same final destination that makes one or two stops along the way. And as we learned in J is for Jets & Transport, virtually every other form of mass transit is more carbon efficient that flying. So think twice before you book that shuttle flight for trips such as: Boston to New York; New York to Washington DC; Pittsburgh to Philadelphia; Houston to Dallas; Portland to Seattle; or Seattle to Vancouver. When planning to travel, check for available train or bus links to your destination. Though a jet seems faster, you may actually save time by taking a train or bus, avoiding air travels hassles and delays, and arriving in centrally located stations versus far-flung airports. You can save big using trains, buses and other airplane alternatives: up to 400 pounds of prevented CO2 emissions

Become a Super-Cool Family


Gold Level - Winning Tips
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for each 500-mile roundtrip!

Go carbon-neutral!
The Silver checklist showed us how some small upfront investments can pay off big, lowering monthly energy bills and greatly reducing carbon emissions. But what if your family wants to do even more? Exactly how low can you go in reducing your carbon footprint? As youll find out in this Goldlevel section, your family can get to zero actually become carbon-neutral if you can afford to make some large purchases of zero- and low-emissions technologies. The tips in the Gold section will be most useful when your family is considering a big purchase decision such as a major home renovation, buying a new car, or replacing an old appliance. Although many of the Gold-level actions involve large upfront expenditures, they will reward your family with proportionately large carbon savings.

Gold-level actions can reduce your household carbon emissions by about two-thirds, potentially allowing your family to go carbon-neutral when these actions combined with those from the previous Bronze and Silver sections!

Winning tips - Gold level


Install solar panels. As we learned in R is
for Renewable Energy, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have become a practical option to power your home. Installed on your

Genera emissio te zeron for your electricity installin home by g sola on the r r panels oof.

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Actions
Install solar panels. Generate electricity for your home by installing solar panels on your roof. Replace your furnace with a (geothermal) heat pump system. Replace your water heater with a solar water heating system, using your old heater as a backup. Have a pool? Install solar heating for that too. Install insulated windows. Remodeling? Replace old single-pane windows with insulated Energy Star-qualified double-pane models. Replace your water heater with an EnergyStar-qualified unit. Better yet switch to a tankless unit that heats water on demand. Replace your furnace with a new EnergyStar-qualified unit. HOME Insulate your heating/cooling duct system. Have your system inspected and repaired by professionals. Remodeling? Add insulation in-between wall spaces. Replace your central air conditioner with an Energy Starqualified system. Replace your room conditioner(s) with Energy Star-qualified units(s). (Savings per unit replaced) Replace your dishwasher with a new EnergyStar-qualified unit. Replace your refrigerator with a new EnergyStar-qualified unit. (Be sure to properly recycle your old fridge to avoid CFC emissions) Replace your clothes washer with a new EnergyStar-qualified unit. Buy a low-emissions car. Purchase a low-emissions vehicle, e.g. a hybrid or flex-fuel. Better yet, buy a zero-emissions, allelectric car.

Codes

Annual CO2 savings (pounds)

9,000 6,000 5,000 5,000 3,000 2,800 2,500 2,000 900 300 200 100 40 15,000

TOTAL POTENTIAL SAVINGS


AVERAGE US HOUSEHOLD EMISSIONS: FAMILY OF FOUR

45,740
73,000

POTENTIAL SAVINGS PERCENTAGE

63%

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homes roof or another area with direct sun exposure, these PV panels employ semiconductor material that converts sunlight directly into electricity. With sufficient panels installed and a reasonably sunny climate, a solar PV system can supply most of your homes electricity needs. In fact many solar PV-equipped homes are able to run their electric meter backwards during sunny days, selling excess electricity to the local utility, then purchasing power back when its needed during cloudy days or at night. Because of the expense and construction work involved, installing solar PV is often included as part of a major renovation or while your homes roof is being repaired or replaced. Installing solar panels is not a doit-yourself project for your parents or their friends these systems must be installed by skilled professionals at considerable expense. To defray the large upfront costs, many states provide tax credits to residents who install approved solar PV systems. Financing is also often available through your solar installer or even your local bank. Once installed, your solar PV system will reward you with 100% emissions-free electricity for many years to come with very little required maintenance (other than keeping the panels clean). And the savings are big: an average-size solar PV system located on the US west coast will reduce carbon emissions by about 9,000 pounds each year. Can the same thing be done with wind power? The answer is a qualified yes: residential wind turbines are currently available, but make sense only under special circumstances. First, you must live in a region with a high average wind speed, ideally in the South-

Wind power can provide zero-carb on electricity to rural homes with suf ficient land. To run efficiently the wind turbine must be mount ed on a high tower.

west, Midwest or Northeast US. Second, you must have enough land (and tolerant neighbors) to accommodate an 80-120 foot tower for the turbine! Thats why virtually all wind turbines are installed in farm and rural areas. Buy a low-emissions car. As we learned in A is for Automobiles, cars are the single largest source carbon emissions for most American families outside the home. In the case of our typical family of 4, their two cars combine to generate a whopping 30,600 pounds of CO2 each year -- over 40% of their total carbon footprint! As we saw in the Bronze and Silver sections, sig-

a low-emissions mily car, consider rius. For the next fa yota P hybrid like the To

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nificant carbon savings can be achieved through simple steps including driving less, driving smarter, and better maintenance. But if your family really wants to go for the gold you should consider a low-emissions or zero-emissions vehicle for your next car purchase. Low-emissions options include both hybrids and flex-fuel vehicles, and a wide variety of models are currently available from major car manufacturers. FlexFuel vehicles sport a logo as shown above, which means that they can use E85 fuel (85% ethanol) instead of gasoline: when burned, ethanol has lower net carbon emissions than gasoline. Hybrid vehicles combine a gas engine with an electric motor to achieve much better gas mileage. Look for an h in the cars model number or hybrid logo like Toyotas, as seen here. Zero-emissions alternatives include plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles, with the future promise of hydrogen powered cars (still experimental). The first zero-emissions cars became commercially available in 2008 and 2009 from start-up car automakers, so your family should expect to pay more for these high-tech cars. Plug-in hybrids are modified vehicles that carry additional batteries and can be plugged in to an ordinary electric socket to be charged; this allows the plug-in hybrid to be powered by the electric motor for long distances without the assistance of the gasoline engine. All-electric vehicles dispense with a gasoline engine entirely and are powered exclusively by an electric motor whose batteries

All-electric, zero-emissions cars like the Think City will be available for purchase in the US in 2011.

are either recharged or replaced with fresh battery packs. As you can see, a wide variety of low-emissions and zero-emissions option will be available for your familys next car purchase. Whether you play it safe with a tried-and-true hybrid or go high-tech with a first-to-market, all-electric vehicle, your familys carbon emissions will go way down. In the case of our typical family of 4, replacing their 2006 Toyota Camry with a 2008 Toyota Prius hybrid would lower average annual CO2 emissions from 14,600 pounds to 8,000 pounds, a savings of 6,400 pounds. Even better, make future plans to buy an all-electric vehicle from Tesla Motors, Think Global or Fisker Automotive. Assuming that you charge your new car with green power, your family would eliminate all automotive carbon emissions a reduction of about 15,000 pounds of CO2 per car per year! Replace your furnace. Home heating is usually the number one source of carbon emissions in the home. That makes your

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heating system a prime target for improvement. Is your homes furnace more than 15 years old? Does it require servicing and repair more than once a year? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, your family should consider replacing your old heater with a new model that takes advantage of cutting-edge, fuel-saving technologies. The fuel efficiency of furnaces has improved dramatically during the past decade, enabling your family to recoup the initial cost of replacement through ongoing savings on monthly utility bills. And of course, lower energy bills mean lower carbon emissions. When picking a new furnace be sure to select an Energy Star-qualified unit that has an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 90% or higher; youll save up to 15% on your energy bill every month and re-

Replacing you r efficient geoth furnace? Consider a superermal heat pu mp to dramati cally cut carbo n emissions.

duce your carbon emissions by up to 2,800 pounds per year. Want to go even further? Consider purchasing a heat pump rather than a conventional furnace. Heat pumps exploit the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, using advanced technology to convert this natural temperature difference into radiant heating or cooling for your home. Heat pumps are much more efficient than conventional furnaces because they leverage your homes natural environment. An electric Air-Source Heat Pump (ASHP) is over 20% more energy-efficient than a conventional furnace, and can save your family over 4,000 pounds of CO2 each year. Want even more savings? Go for the gold by purchasing a geothermal heat pump! Unlike a conventional ASHP unit that relies on fluctuating outside air temperatures, the geothermal heat pump uses the steady temperature of the earth just a few feet below the ground and consequently runs much more efficiently and quietly. Because it is about 30% more efficient than a ASHP unit, a geothermal heat pump can reduce your familys carbon emissions by up to 6,000 pounds per year. Geothermal systems do, however, cost more than conventional air-sourced heat pumps and have higher installation costs since they require some trenching and duct work. Because of these higher costs, a geothermal system is most appropriate during a major home remodel or construction of a new house. Regardless of your choice of heating system, be sure to choose an Energy Star certified furnace or heat pump to ensure high energy efficiency and low carbon emissions.

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ankless On-demand, t small are water heaters energy n but save big o ns. emissio and

ingly large chunk of your familys utility bill about 15% of the total -- is spent on heating water for showers and baths, the clothes washer, and dish washing. This is because conventional water heaters are inherently inefficient, using an electric or gas heater to keep a large tank of water hot all the time, even though your familys use of hot water is actually quite brief and infrequent. As a result, your water heater is generally the third largest source of carbon emissions in your home, after space heating and electricity use. We already learned about some free and low-cost ways to cut your water heating bill in the Bronze and Silver sections: turn down the heaters thermostat; take short showers instead of baths; run the dishwasher with full loads only; install low-flow showerheads; and install an insulating jacket for older heaters. Youll rack up some significant savings by

Replace your water heater. A surpris-

following these simple tips, but what if your family wants to do even more? To start, check the age of your current water heater: though most units last for 10-15 years, consider replacing any unit thats more than 7 years old with a new, high-efficiency model that will use 10-20% less energy and save up to 1,000 pounds of CO2 each year. Want even more savings? Go hightech with a tankless, on-demand water heater. These systems, long popular in Europe, have no large storage tanks but instead use intense heat to instantaneously deliver hot water when the faucet is turned on. These tankless heaters are 45-60% more efficient than conventional storagebased units because they do not waste energy keeping a large quantity of water hot at all times; instead the water is heated just seconds before it is used. The energy savings add up to big carbon savings: save up to 3,000 pounds of CO2 each year with a tankless water heater. Want to really go for the Gold? Your family should consider a solar water heating system if you live in a sunny part of the country. These solar sysSolar Collectors

Back-up Water Heater

Pump

Filter

Live in a sunny cl im heater for your ho ate? Consider a solar hot water me and/or pool: youll save big on energy bills and carbon emission s.

Conventional Pool Heater

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Insulate and seal your heating/cooling ducts for big savings in energy and carbon emissions.

Supply Return

A
Return

Supply

B C

F E
Supply

Supply

A B C D E F G

Leaky duct connection Return leaks Furniture blocking register Leaks at furnace & lter slot and duct tape failure Fallen duct insulation Supply leaks Kinks in ductwork restricting air ow

tems use rooftop panels to warm a special fluid mix that is used to preheat water before it enters the storage tank of a conventional hot water heater. Because the water enters the tank already hot, little or no additional heating is required before use, saving up to 80% on gas or electric costs. A professionally installed solar water heater in a warm climate can supply virtually all of your familys hot water needs with zero emissions, saving over 5,000 pounds of CO2 each year! If youre lucky enough to have a pool, consider a solar heating system for this too youll save a boatload on your utility bill and your carbon emissions! Super-insulate your home. Does your

home get drafty in the winter and sweltering in the summer? Youre not alone: most homes have lots of leaks from poorly sealed doors and windows, inadequately insulated walls and attics, and unwrapped ducts and vents. All these leaks make your heater and air conditioner work much harder than they should to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, wasting energy and creating unnecessary carbon emissions. We already learned about some easy, low-cost ways to weatherize your home in the Silver section, but theres a lot more that your family can do, especially as part of a major remodeling project. A good way to start is by insulating the duct system that delivers warm air from the furnace or cold air from the central air conditioner to the various rooms in your home. A maze of tubes and vents that snakes underneath your homes flooring or within your attic space, a typical duct system is often full of leaks from corrosion, loose connections, and poor seals. In addition, uninsulated ducts exposed to the elements work at cross-purposes to your furnace or A/C unit, cooling down warmed air and warming up cooled air as it travels, wasting more energy and emissions. These leaks and lack of insulation can add up to huge losses: an old, poorly maintained duct system can waste over 20% of the total air heated by a furnace. Find out whether your ducting is shipshape by having a reputable heating, air conditioning & ventilation (HVAC) firm inspect your homes system. Its likely that theyll recommend repairs and additional insulation that could

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LOW-E GLASS Special coatings reflect infrared light, keeping heat inside in winter and outside in summer. They also reflect damagin ultravioet light, which helps protect interrior furnishing from fading. IMPROVED FRAME MATERIALS Wood composites, vinyl, and fiberglass frames reduce heat transfer and transfer and help insulate better. MULTIPLE PANES Two panes of glass, with an air or gas-filled space in the middle, insulate much better than a single pane of glass. Some ENERGY STAR-qualified windows include three or panes for even greater energy efficincy, increases impact resistance, and sound insulation GAS FILLS Some energy-efficient windows have argon, krypto, or other gases between the panes. These ororless, colorless, non-toxic gases insulate better than regular air. WARM EDGE SPACERS A spacer keeps a windows glass panes the sorrect distance apart. Todays warm edge spacers made made of steel, foam, fiberglass, or vinyl reduce heat flow and prevent condensation.

heating/ s to save big on sulating window sions. Look for Energy Install in carbon emis cooling bills and logo when buying. Star

dramatically cut your heating and cooling bill, saving up to 2,500 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Next on the list: windows. If your home is more than 30 years old, its likely to have uninsulated, single-pane windows as opposed to double-pane models that utilize a sandwich of two sheets of glass to provide much better thermal and sound insulation. It turns out that windows even when closed are the single largest source of heating and cooling losses in most homes, accounting for up to 40% energy used in the case of poorly sealed, uninsulated windows. Thats why window replacement is one of the best home remodeling projects your family can undertake. Youll cut your monthly utility bill and reduce carbon emissions by up to 5,000 pounds per year. Look for the Energy Star logo to ensure that you are buying windows with high efficiency ratings. Lastly, consider

adding additional insulation in your homes walls, particularly in connection with other renovation projects. Poorly insulated walls radiate heat or cold outside, rather than retaining it inside where its needed, making your heater or air conditioner work harder than it should. An added layer of insulation in the walls can lower your heating and cooling bills by up to 15% and reduce car-

lls to cut heating/coolBlow insulation into your wa ions. ing costs and carbon emiss

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with Energy StarReplace old air conditioners electric bill and qualified units to lower your carbon emissions.

bon emissions by 2,000 pounds per year. Replace your air conditioner. If you live in a warm climate or have hot summers its likely that air conditioning accounts for a big chunk of your homes total electricity use. Previous tips in this section have shown you how to reduce your homes cooling load by keeping youre A/C units well-maintained and insulating your home, to keep cool air indoors for a longer time. If you still want to do more, take a look at your homes current air conditioning system. Is it more than 12 years old? Is it noisy while running, and in need of service and repair more than once a year? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may be time to replace your existing air conditioning unit(s) with an Energy Star certified system. Home air conditioners come in two basic forms: central and room-based. Central air conditioning blows cold air from a single, large A/C unit throughout the home using the same duct system as your furnace or heater. Room air conditioners are small units designed to cool only a single room and are generally vented through a window or exhaust pipe

in the wall. The carbon reductions from an A/C upgrade can add up. Your family will save about 300 pounds of CO2 per year for each room air conditioner that you replace with an Energy Star certified model thats designed to be least 10% more efficient. In the case of central A/C your family will save about 900 pounds of CO2 each year by replacing your old central unit with a new Energy Star model with a high seasonal efficiency rating (SEER) of 14 or more. Replace your appliances. Is your family in the market for a new dishwasher, refrigerator or clothes washer? You can save a significant amount of carbon emissions by shopping wisely, looking for the Energy Star logo that ensures maximum energy efficiency. Dishwashers are the top energyusers in the kitchen, consuming both hot water for cleaning and electricity for drying. We already learned some energy- and carbon-saving tips that help reduce your dishwashers energy use, including running only full loads and turning off the heat-dry

chine and dishwasher Replace your old washing ma r-qualified mody Sta with energy-efficient, Energ and hot water costs els. Youll save on electricity ions. while reducing carbon emiss

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feature to let dishes air-dry instead. To go further, replace that old dishwasher with a new Energy Star qualified model; your family will save more than $30 in utility costs and avoid about 200 pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Next up: that old refrigerator in the kitchen, and maybe that second one in the garage. If your fridge was manufactured before 1993, it probably consumes more than twice as much electricity as a new Energy Star qualified

DIT CRE TAX

EE FR

RE B

AT E

Reduce your upfront costs by taking advantage of state and utility green incentives such as appliance rebates, tax credits on solar panels, and free shade trees.

CFCs
you buy a new Energy Recycle your old fridge when worst greenhouse gases Star model. CFCs are the of by professionals. of all and must be disposed

model. On average, a new refrigerator will reduce your homes annual carbon emissions by about 100 pounds every year. Save even more by unplugging that old fridge in the garage or basement and recycling to avoid releasing hugely damaging CFC refrigerants into the atmosphere. Second refrigerators are rarely needed and will only add to your power bill and carbon emissions. Power companies in some states even offer free recycling programs as well

rebates on the purchase of more efficient new units. Learn more about the Energy Star Recycle My Old Fridge Campaign at http://www.recyclemyoldfridge.com. Lastly, be sure to follow the Energy Star logo when shopping for a new clothes washer. Your family will save about 40 pounds of CO2 per year by choosing a super-efficient washer that skimps on both energy and water without sacrificing cleaning performance. And, in case you were wondering, Energy Star does not rate clothes dryers because there is little difference in energy use and carbon emissions -- among different models. But dont forget about that clothesline as an alternative!
SolarCity and the SolarCity logo are registered trademarks reproduced courtesy of the company.

or installers like S ur neighbors: sola communities that Talk to yo g discounts to larCity of fer bi r panels as a group. buy sola

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David R. Golding lives with his wife and two daughters in Northern California. When not writing about environmental and energy issues, David is a private financier focused on early-stage clean technology companies. His prior professional experience encompasses 25 years in Silicon Valley as a venture capitalist, investment banker, and entrepreneur focused on high-technology. David earned an MBA with Honors from the Harvard Business School and an A.B. cum laude in Applied Mathematics from Harvard College, where his senior thesis was on the Clean Air Act. He also served as a legislative assistant in the United States Congress and completed coursework for an M.A. in Energy Policy at George Washington University under a fellowship. David also attended the California Institute of Technology for his freshman and sophomore years prior to transferring to Harvard.