Solutions to Climate Change

We must work to stop climate change. We cannot wait. The solutions exist, but they require us all to take action, now. The new President needs to prioritize climate change in the first 100 days. Our representatives in Congress need to put it on the top of their agenda.

There are many different things we can do to solve climate change, below are a few that I and others believe are crucial pieces of the puzzle.

  • Carbon tax – NO to Cap and Trade!: A carbon tax is the simplest and most efficient way to cut carbon emissions (so says the Congressional Budget Office). It is also the best way to encourage investment in a clean energy economy. Sweden is having great success with it. But most industry prefers cap and trade programs (despite the fact that they have been failing miserably) because some companies stand to make lots of money by trading pollution permits. Governments have so far been pressured by industry – they need to hear from us too. For more information go to http://www.carbontax.org
  • 350 maximum parts per million CO2: The quilt has 350 squares, to represent the 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) that NASA climatologist James Hansen has said is the maximum safe level of CO2 in our atmosphere (we’re currently at 387 and rising fast). World governments will be deciding what level to set their sights on in negotiations Copehagen in December 2009. Many governments think it would be OK for CO2 levels to rise to the extremely unsafe level of 450 or 550. For more information go to 350.org
  • Cap carbon at the source: In addition to a carbon tax, it makes sense to put a cap on the amount of carbon dioxide that gets emitted into the atmosphere. And the easiest way of doing that is to use what’s called an “upstream” cap, in other words, to limit the amount of carbon producing substances where they enter the economy: at the point of importation or extraction
  • Green jobs: Green jobs and investment in a green overhaul in the economy are necessary steps toward a sustainable future. Many economists say this could also bring us out of the recession we are now entering. For more information go to http://www.greenforall.org
  • Public transportation/high speed rail: Transportation accounts for 30% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the US. Making public transportation more accessible and affordable is a necessary step in the path towards a sustainable future. High speed rail is more energy efficient than air travel and uses less land than highways do.
  • Energy efficient buildings: Energy use in buildings contributes to about a third of greenhouse gas emissions globally. So making sure that buildings are built efficiently (using LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards) as well as providing funds for retrofitting existing buildings, is an important piece of the puzzle.
  • Renewable energy: There are different ways of producing energy without releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Clean coal is not one of them. The technology simply doesn’t exist yet. Nuclear energy is dangerous and expensive to produce. The renewable energy sources that hold the most promise are wind, solar cell panels, concentrated solar heat, produced using mirrors, and possibly wave technology. Scientific American reported that converting only 2.5 percent of the sun’s radiation in the Southwest of the US into electricity would match the nation’s total energy consumption in 2006.

Our new President and representatives have the power to implement these changes. We have the power to keep reminding them that we care about the future of the planet, and to become involved in these projects ourselves. Together we are strong.

Peace,
Ulla Nilsen

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16 responses to “Solutions to Climate Change

  1. I want to be on the back of the quilt.

  2. Diane Hellekson

    Resolve, creativity, intellect, action!

  3. Christopher Hegle

    St. Paul, MN

  4. I am so proud of you Ulla. Please sign my name to the back of the quilt. Thanks for letting me participate.

  5. Jessica Owley Lippmann

    Yippee for ecology + craft. Please add my name
    – jessica

    San Francisco, CA

  6. The QUILT represents all Americans who are concerned about Climate Change. Add my name to the back of the quilt.

  7. The QUILT represents ALL who are concerned about Climate Change. Sign me up!

  8. Kate & Jeremy Banks

    Please add our names to this wonderful quilt!

  9. Kim Klein, Washington D.C.

    H’mm. Now if EVERYONE snuggled under a quilt at night and turned down the thermostat a few more degrees … We can do the small things, Mr. Obama, but you can change national priorities.
    Please add my name.

  10. Kelly Biscombe

    Great work! Thanks for making the effort. Please add my name to the list.

  11. Its good to see the world still has people who are willing to fight for change and take the actions neccesary to provide a healthy planet for the generations to come. I am happy to submit my name to this cause.

  12. We must find a sustainable solution to our energy crisis and restore protections to Wyoming wildest’s landscapes for our future generations. Take Wyoming out of the bull-eyes for energy development and give us the balance we need to reverse the global warming trends.

  13. Kaethe Schwehn

    What a great project!

    Northfield, MN

  14. Wow chica, thanks for your beauty and creativity! I don’t think i’ve had the chance to add my name yet, so by all means please add me!!!!!

  15. Pat & David Grimsrud

    Please add our names. We commend you for your commitment to this necessary cause for change.

  16. yes to life for all on our planet. lydia holsten

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