There are steps you can take to fight global warming in your home and car. You do not have to wait for the government or big businesses to do something about it. It is better to take the initiative and do your part.
In your home, you can begin by changing your light bulbs. You do not have to do it all at once. Every time you change a bulb, though, you can replace the old incandescent bulb with a compact fluorescent. Not only does this reduce greenhouse gases, it also saves you money in the long run.
It has always been wise to seal and insulate your home, just for comfort’s sake. Now, it is even more important. You can stop your home from emitting greenhouse gases and contributing to global warming by doing this. If you have any doubts about where your home needs insulation, you can hire an energy auditor to help you decide.
You can reduce global warming by simply taking care of the cooling and heating equipment in your home. You can change filters and have the equipment cleaned. Most importantly of all, when the heater or air-conditioner needs to be replaced, get an efficient model that is big enough for your dwelling.
In fact, it makes sense to buy all your appliances with energy efficiency in mind. Energy Star is a rating system that is reserved for efficient products. Buying such products will help decrease global warming.
Recycling is one of the easiest ways to help reduce global warming. Everyone can do it with little effort. You can also further the process by using products that are made from recycled materials.
You can help reduce global warming in your lawn, too. For one thing, you can use a push mower instead of a power mower. Since a push mower uses no energy but your own, this is a great savings. Even if you do use a power mower, you can still help. Use a mower that catches the grass clippings so you can mulch them.
As far as transportation, you can do so much more than buying a green car. You can drive it sensibly, with no rapid starts for instance, to help prevent global warming. If you keep your car well-maintained, it will be beneficial, too. Things like changing your oil and keeping your car tuned up can make a big difference in global warming.
Surprisingly, poorly inflated tires can lead to global warming. This happens because tires must have the proper amount of air in them for the car to reach maximum fuel efficiency. The less efficient your car is, the more it adds to global warming.
The best way to slow global warming by the way you use your car, is to make as few trips as possible. Walk when you can. When you have to drive, combine as many errands into one trip as possible.
If you fight global warming in your home and your car, you can make a difference. Some basic changes can be easily made. If everyone makes these simple changes, it can have a powerful impact on global warming.
Just right around when everyone was turning on their out-of-office messages for the holidays, Excel Trust made a securities filing for an IPO to sell up to $300 million in common shares. As a REIT, the company would acquire retail assets such as shopping centers, power centers and neighborhood shopping centers.
Did the big investment banks package and sell shoddy real estate mortgage debt and then bet against it? Here are some excerpts from an NYT Christmas Eve story: “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won”
While the investigations are in the early phases, authorities appear to be looking at whether securities laws or rules of fair dealing were violated by firms that created and sold these mortgage-linked debt instruments and then bet against the clients who purchased them, people briefed on the matter say.
One focus of the inquiry is whether the firms creating the securities purposely helped to select especially risky mortgage-linked assets that would be most likely to crater, setting their clients up to lose billions of dollars if the housing market imploded.
Some securities packaged by Goldman and Tricadia ended up being so vulnerable that they soured within months of being created.
“The simultaneous selling of securities to customers and shorting them because they believed they were going to default is the most cynical use of credit information that I have ever seen,” said Sylvain R. Raynes, an expert in structured finance at R & R Consulting in New York. “When you buy protection against an event that you have a hand in causing, you are buying fire insurance on someone else’s house and then committing arson.”
Since global warming has such a profound impact on the earth’s surface and oceans, it is not surprising that it affects the ecosystems of earth. Species depend on a fairly consistent habitat in which to live. Global warming changes habitats and endangers these species.
One of the habitats already being affected by global warming is the Polar Regions. Vast amounts of ice are melting at both poles. This makes it hard for the species in these regions to survive. For instance, polar bears’ habitat is altered. Where once they could swim a short distance from ice floe to ice floe, that is no longer the case.
Now, the ice floes are so far apart that many polar bears drown trying to make the swim. According to the US Geological Survey, their numbers will decrease by half in the next forty or so years. The melting polar ice cap will be too much for most polar bears to survive. Global warming will eventually lead to their extinction if left unchecked.
Global warming is pushing a reported 2000 species toward the poles. The climate becomes warmer in the habitats the plants and animals are used to. They naturally gravitate towards a cooler climate that will match the earlier climate of the region they left. They were moving at a rate of 3.8 miles per decade.
Another ice habitat being ruined by global warming is the penguins’ home in Antarctica. They have been declining in number rapidly for the last 25 years. In fact, in that amount of time, 33% of the penguins are gone. The global warming melting the ice has made their habitat inhospitable to them.
Global warming may soon make alpine meadows a thing of the past. Already, in Washington’s Olympic Mountains, sub-alpine forests have come in and taken over where alpine meadows once lay. In the last 60 years, species in alpine areas have moved up the mountains at a rate of 20 feet per decade. This leaves little doubt that global warming is having an impact on alpine areas.
The health of sea creatures in their habitats is also being threatened by global warming. In California, sea life is moving northward. This is a behavior designed to keep the creatures at a temperature that is most like the one they are adapted to. They naturally do this as a means of survival. When all the water is too warm, they will have nowhere to go.
Other sea creatures are being put in danger of extinction because of global warming. This happens because the extra carbon dioxide in the air mixes with the ocean water. It changes the acidity of the water.
The sea plants and animals are then in an environment for which they are not suited. If this global warming goes on, many will not be able to survive. For example, 97% of the earth’s coral reefs could disappear if there is a 3.6 degree Fahrenheit rise in temperature.
The destruction of ecosystems by global warming has begun. Since all the species are needed to support each other, the whole world will suffer when species are lost. Only a concerted effort on the parts of all human beings will help the situation.
From the Manufacturer
Ellington Energy Star White 52-Inch, light kit adaptable, 5 blade indoor ceiling fan
When you think of global warming, you might envision dramatic scenes like hurricanes and melting glaciers. The truth is that something as commonplace as agriculture is already showing signs of the effects of global warming.
Some studies show that the news of global warming is not all bad for farming, at least not in the short run. While humans have changed many environmental factors by their activities, the short term effects of these changes often lead to better crops.
Because of global warming, temperatures obviously increase. This has some temporary benefits. For awhile, it will simply mean more time for crops to mature because of a longer growing season. This is especially true of regions where the spring and fall were once quite cool.
On the other hand, these higher temperatures can bring problems in other areas. In regions that are already warm, global warming will cause the plants to languish in the heat. Soil evaporation rates will be very high, leaving very dry earth. Add to that, droughts that will make both the soil and the air dry and might even lead to burning of some crops.
Global warming is sure to bring about changes in precipitation. This will lead to changes in the soil moisture. Especially with the severe weather predicted with global warming, rain will come down hard when it does come. This will lead to more than usual soil erosion. These factors greatly affect agriculture.
Strangely enough, all the extra carbon dioxide in the air that brings about global warming also has a fertilizing affect on crops. This type of fertilization is most helpful for crops such as wheat, soybeans, and rice. CO2 fertilization is a beneficial by-product to global warming.
However, this benefit may all be in vain. When global warming pushes ground level ozone to higher stages, the carbon dioxide fertilization is voided out by tropospheric ozone. These ozone levels are influenced by both emissions and temperature. The result is that when the climate changes, the ground ozone levels will rise as well.
There have always been many obstacles to farming. Global warming just makes them more intense. Now, it is even more likely that a farmer will face droughts, floods, heat waves, and hurricanes, to name a few. They will be harder to overcome than ever before and they will certainly be less rare.
The overall predictions for the US are neither all bad nor all good. Crops are expected to benefit from the effects of global warming in many regions for awhile. In some areas, though, crops will suffer because of regional variations.
The Great Plains are now more susceptible to drought, thanks to global warming. However, Canada will probably benefit from the added heat as farming will take a Northward shift.
Right now, and in the near future, global warming does not seem to be a very dangerous situation for North American farmers. There might even be some positive effects. However, in the long run, nothing will be able to mitigate the damage that will be caused by global warming if it is not stopped.
This newly released report “Energy efficiency and real estate: Opportunities for investment” from Ceres and Mercer is pretty good in that it combines case studies from REITs to institutional portfolios as well as surveys and data from sources such as RREEF, McKinsey and several universities. Ceres is a coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change. Mercer provides consulting, outsourcing and investment services.
Here are some excerpts:
-A 2009 Maastricht University study found rental premiums of 3.5 percent on US office properties, a six percent increase in occupancy for “ENERGY STAR” buildings and a 16-17 percent premium on sales prices per square foot.
–For instance, in 2008 financial services giant TIAA-CREF established a goal of reducing energy use in its real estate portfolio 10 percent by 2010, and the company is well on its way to meeting that goal. The effort is already yielding $4 million a year in reduced energy costs across the portfolio, and all new buildings TIAA-CREF develops will be LEED certified.
–The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the world’s largest pension fund, is also on target to meet a 20 percent energy use reduction goal in its real estate by the end of this year, “As fiduciaries, focusing on energy efficiency in our real estate portfolios just makes sense,” said CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll. “CalPERS invests in millions of square feet of real estate,” said Stausboll, “so cutting back on energy use and lowering operating costs can only boost the value of the properties in our portfolio, while also contributing to climate change mitigation.”
As global warming affects the environment, it should not be surprising that it affects the health of the people living in that environment. Changes in the climate are changes in the habitats not only for animals, but for people as well. Climate changes are already impacting people’s health.
Global warming has caused intense heating up of the environment. In areas where people are not prepared for extreme heat, there have been devastating heat waves recently. There were heat flare-ups in Europe in 2003 which lasted as long as two weeks at a time. Temperatures soared upwards of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures like this are common in parts of the American Southwest, for example. People are well-equipped to deal with the heat because that is the climate zone they are living in. However, Europe is usually much cooler. Residents there were not ready for such temperatures. Over 35,000 people died in Europe as a result of the heat waves that year. Global warming had changed their habitat, so to speak.
There have also been heat waves in North America. One in 2006 claimed 226 lives. Another probable result of global warming is increased pollen in the air. This happens because higher levels of carbon dioxide encourage the growth of more pollen-producing weeds. Because more pollen means worse air quality, those with allergies and asthma suffer.
Global warming can also affect the incidence of tropical disease. Mosquitoes have been found in places that were once too cold for them. High elevations, such as mountains were once free of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
However, as the warmth climbs higher up the mountain, so do the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carry malaria to new regions of Indonesia because of global warming. Dengue fever has reached elevations in the Andean Mountains of Colombia where it was never seen before.
Other health concerns related to global warming revolve around flooding. When sudden storms and flooding occur, it is often impossible to get ill or injured people to medical facilities in time to help them.
Often, people take dangerous risks during floods. They drive into water, thinking that they can make it across. When they do not, they can get swept away and drowned. There is no graver consequence of global warming than death, of course.
People are also left with messes to clean up after floods. This can result in exposure to high levels of mold. Many people will have intense allergic reactions to mold. The person can have hives all over the body. Sometimes, the tongue will swell and cut off breathing. It is a serious condition. Curtailing global warming would lessen the incidence of flooding and prevent this many times.
Since global warming can have an affect on the food supply, it is obvious that people can suffer from malnutrition because of this. This is especially true in agrarian societies in underdeveloped countries.
If all people knew how much global warming can affect their health, they might be more prone to working on a solution. Until then, those who understand the ramifications of global warming will have to work even harder.
Global Warming: How to Educate Those That You Know
Whether you watched Al Gores awarding winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, or if you happened to watch a news report on global warming, you may be shocked with what you saw. If the predictions are right, and many scientists, meteorologists, and computer models believe that they are, you may want to take action right away. The good news is that you do have a number of different options.
When it comes to joining the fight against global warming, many are unsure as to how they should proceed, as well as if they can afford to do so. After a little bit of research, many individuals are surprised with how easy and affordable it is to help do their part to end the global warming crisis. Just a few of the many steps that you can take involves purchasing an energy efficient vehicle, carpooling, limiting your driving, switching all or most of the light bulbs in your home to energy efficient ones, as well as making sure that all appliances are turned off when not in use.
Although you may take a number of steps to help combat global warming, you may also wonder what the purpose of doing so is. If this is a question that you have asked yourself, you are not alone. While any carbon dioxide reducing steps you take will help, it is important to remember that you cannot fight global warming alone. That is why you may want to take steps to educate you friends, family, or community members on this important issue.
When speaking with friends and family members, many individuals are unsure as to exactly how they can go about doing so. In fact, many are worried about seeming pushy or overbearing. Speaking of which this is an issue that should first be discussed. As important as global warming is and as important as it is to take action, you will want to refrain from pushing your views on those that you know or even those that you do not know. Unfortunately, if you start out listing the ways that your friends or family can stop global warming, you may run into some problems. It is first important to carefully touch on the problem of global warming. When looking for an opening, you may find the following suggestions helpful.
One of the many options that you have involves summarizing a movie or a news report that you may have seen. As outlined above, Al Gore has an award winning documentary available for rent or for purchase. Many experts and viewers report that this documentary had a profound affect on them. If it did for you, you may want to ask your friends, family members, neighbors, or coworkers if they have seen the documentary or another one. If not, you may want to recommend it and give a summary of what global warming is and list a few ways that they can help, such as by using energy efficient light bulbs.
In addition to just recommending a global warming documentary or television report, or even energy efficient light bulbs, you may want to take action yourself. If you have any close friends or family members who have a birthday soon approaching or if Christmas is around the corner, you may want to consider giving these items as gifts. Of course, a documentary on global warming and energy efficient light bulbs isnt always on everyones wish list. For that reason, be sure these items are not the only gifts given, as you may become that pushy, overbearing person that you were trying to avoid becoming, as outlined above.
As a reminder, there are a number of steps that you can take to help combat global warming, but the more people who help do so, the better the results will be. That is why you may want to carefully discuss global warming and the impact it may have on the earth and our future families with your close friends and family members.
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After developing nations walked out of the Copenhagen Climate Talks yesterday amid disagreements over which countries pollute and which countries should pay to cover the impacts of climate change (the developed nations), a new draft of a U.N.-sponsored international climate change agreement is circulating today. Most notably, it takes both questions off the table–long-term emission reduction goals and long-term cleanup financing.
According to Bloomberg:
With China and India seeking at least $200 billion a year for developing states, envoys at the climate talks in Copenhagen bargained over several options for funding starting after 2012. No amounts were pledged, according to a draft accord today. The talks among 193 nations end Dec. 18, and poorer countries say they’ll reject an accord that offers no money.
“This is eyewash — it’s a paper tiger,” Quamrul Chowdhury, a Bangladeshi envoy who coordinates the group of Least Developed Countries on finance issues, said in an interview. “There is nothing in terms of long-term finance.”