Christmas is a day of gift giving. Billions of dollars were spent across the nation this year for Christmas and Hanukah gifts a large portion of those going to our children and grandchildren. We can give our children a much bigger and better gift this holiday season– the gift of a better future.
The best gift we can give is to insure that climate change will not make our children’s lives harder and more miserable than the lives we were blessed with. We can reverse the course of devastation climate change from the polluted planet we are creating will inflict on our descendants.
Climate change results mostly from carbon pollution that traps heat in the atmosphere making the temperature of the earth and, the oceans warmer. As the ocean temperatures rise, the polar ice cap melts. This is already raising sea levels around the planet. It is also making storms more frequent and much more severe.
The warming oceans are changing weather patterns causing some of the most severe drought even worse than the dust bowl of the 1930’s. So far there is no let up as over half the nation suffers from drought including Colorado.
Meanwhile on this Christmas day, normal tornadoes are predicted for parts of our nation. Nothing is a bigger buzz kill than having your home blown away before Christmas dinner and spending Christmas night in a shelter. Ask victims of Sandy.
Is it really what we want for our children? Is it the future we want to leave them? We don’t need a ghost of Christmas Past to visit for us to know what life will be like for them.
Not only will more intense storms, wild fires, drought, and rising oceans make life difficult for them, it will jeopardize their economic future. Drought, storms, floods, fires, and weather disasters will ruin their personal economy and the nation’s economy as Bernice Napach wrote.
Food will become scarce due to storm damage and drought and prices will soar. Other prices will also go up too because the increasingly higher cost of insurance due to storm loss and risk will be passed on to consumers. Rising prices do not increase wages proportionately and inflation kills jobs.
So what can the average person do about it? There are many things everyone can do to change things before it is too late. All that is needed is the will to do so.
First, we can make changes in our homes. We can stop wasting energy by setting the thermostat lower and turning off lights, computers and other devices when not in use. We can replace every light bulb with energy efficient CFL or LED bulbs. Not only will we reduce pollution, we will save money. Most electricity is generated from polluting fossil fuels like coal.
We can stop wasting water. It takes energy to filter water. The less we use, the less utilities pollute.
Secondly, we can slow down on the highway to use less gas. If possible, we can switch to more fuel efficient vehicles or even electric or hybrids. If not, we can keep tires inflated and our engine tuned up. The less fuel we burn the less pollution comes out of our tail pipes and less pollution will be generated making the gasoline. The less gas we buy, the more we save, and the lower gas prices will become.
Thirdly, we can avoid taking flights that fly over the Arctic. Aircraft emissions in the Arctic are a major cause of global warming. Airlines will change flight patterns if we make them with our dollars.
Fourthly, if we have the means, we can make energy saving improvements to our homes and businesses. The least polluting energy is energy not used.
Lastly and most importantly, we can stop electing politicians at every lever local, federal, state, and federal who deny the science of climate change or who rake in huge donations from polluters. We can simply say NO to politicians who are not really committed to doing something about climate change. Promises are not enough. Track record and action are required.
The United States is the biggest source of carbon pollution on earth. Change begins at home. First at our home, then at the houses of our government. We can change the future we are leaving our descendants, but time is running out.
First, we must change ourselves. This would be the best Christmas gift of all.
I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.
If you like this article share it, Tweet it, or follow me on Facebook.