We all have a hand in stopping climate change. Talking frankly with friends and family is the best place to start: convincing one or two people to limit their carbon footprint can double or triple your own efforts! This Thanksgiving, talk turkey over turkey, then let’s take one action that shows we are committed to doing our part.
A few helpful hints: listen to other’s thoughts carefully, ask questions, and be prepared. Some key messages that might help you out during the conversation:
Climate change is fact-based, not opinion-based. And it’s real. And it’s happening now.
Every major scientific society in the world has agreed that climate change is happening and human greenhouse gas emissions are causing it. The Union of Concerned Scientists offers a few facts you can use to back up your thoughts.
- Every one of the past 38 years has been warmer than the 20th century average.
- The 12 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998.
- Globally, the average surface temperature has increased more than one degree Fahrenheit since the late 1800s. Most of that increase has occurred over just the past three decades.
Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree.
- If your arm is in serious pain and 97 doctors looked at an x-ray, said it was broken, and offered a cast to heal it, while 3 said it’s was fine, gave you a clean bill of health, and sent you on your merry way, what would you do?
Yes, we humans have caused it.
Fossil fuels built our country, but now we know better…and can do better. Our fossil fuel usage—coal, natural gas, and oil—combined with wide-spread deforestation is overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, trapping heat and steadily driving up the planet’s temperature.
- Natural causes cannot explain the temperature changes. When all the natural and hu
man-induced climate drivers are compared to one another, the dramatic accumulation of carbon from human sources
is by far the largest climate change driver over the past half century.
- Our fingerprints are on the carbon. Carbon molecules that come from fossil fuels and deforestation are “lighter” than the combined signal of those from other sources. Scientists measuring the “weight” of carbon in the atmosphere over time see a clear increase in the lighter molecules which correspond closely to the known trend in emissions.
- The United States is one of the biggest polluters world-wide.
Want some additional useful advice? Visit ThinkProgress’ article How to Talk to Your C
limate Denier Uncle This Thanksgiving.
Now that you know what to say—take action to help stop climate change this holiday.
Don’t waste anything! That food took energy to grow, transport, and cook—energy that came with a carbon price-tag. After the tummies are stuffed, use or freeze of your leftovers.
Make sure when you use energy, it is efficient. The basics still apply: turn off lights when you leave the room, close the refrigerator door, don’t run the water needlessly, close the door to keep the heat in-side the house. Then take the next step: get a home energy audit to see where efficiency upgrades can help you save energy and money.
When you make any purchase, think about where the item comes from, how it is made, and where it ends up when discarded. Then make choices that come from nearby (smaller transportation carbon footprint), use less plastic and packaging, use less virgin materials and more recycled content, and can be re-used.