What we can doClimate Change in the Great Lakes Region - Starting a Public Discussion
Why care about climate change?
Money-Saving, No-Cost Solutions   
  • Use less electricity. More than half the electricity in the United States comes from coalfired power plants, which are the world’s largest single human source of carbon dioxide emissions. Turn off lights you don’t need and unplug appliances you’re not using.

  • Use less gasoline. Automobiles are the second-largest human source of greenhouse gases. Every gallon of gas we use releases 25 pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Whenever possible, walk, bike, use public transportation or car pool instead of driving.

  • Use less hot water. Water heaters use large amounts of energy, producing carbon dioxide either directly (natural gas) or indirectly (electric).

  • Eat less meat. Cattle are a major source of methane gas, which traps 21 times more solar heat than carbon dioxide. Worldwide, cattle and other ruminant livestock produce over a fifth of all methane emissions from human sources. Moreover, feed grain production and delivery also consume a lot of petroleum, and the nitrogen fertilizers used to grow livestock feed are significant sources of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that absorbs 310 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

  • Consume less. Most products today are transported long distances by trucks, trains, ships or planes that burn significant amounts of fossil fuel.

  • Generate less garbage. About half of all landfill gas emissions is methane from decaying organic household wastes.

If You Can...   
  • Buy locally produced goods and/or organically grown foods.
  • Buy American-made products over those imported from overseas.
  • Invest in and use renewable sources of energy.
  • Plant trees—lots of them.
Solutions That Cost Now But Save Money   
  • Get a car with better fuel economy.
  • Replace old electrical appliances with more energy-efficient ones. Refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and water heaters are the biggest users. Look for the Energy Star.
  • Install a programmable thermostat for your furnace—or turn your thermostat down a few degrees in winter and up a few degrees in summer.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, especially in frequently used lighting fixtures.
  • Request a home energy audit from your local utility and weatherize your home. Place extra insulation in the attic and install energy-conserving multi-pane windows.
Big Picture Solutions   
  • Let your elected officials and policymakers know you are concerned about climate change. Encourage them to support immediate, significant reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the rapid development of alternatives to using fossil fuels.
  • Support global population control. Over the last 150 years, the human population has grown from 1.2 billion to about 6.8 billion, adding nearly 80 million annually. This burgeoning population is contributing ever-increasing amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere every day through the burning of a massive amount of fossil fuels, deforestation and intensive agriculture. In the final analysis, global warming is the result of human pollution.

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