You, Me & Greenhouse Gases: Can We Change our Future?
I am fairly certain you don’t wake up every morning and wonder about the connection between Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases. It’s okay – I am thinking about it enough for all of us. But given the recent report in the New York Times of an increase in CO2 emissions globally, what better time than now to fill you in on the connection? Even though some of these points connecting Climate Change & GHG are rather daunting, read all the way down to the end to see what one agency in our fair city (Tucson, Arizona) is doing to help educate us about what we can do to maintain clean air. Pima Association of Governments works diligently to move us in the direction of improved air quality each & every day and it’s working. Even better, they plan to host a forum and I plan to be there & hopefully many other people will be joining us – because it really does matter that much. The room will hold 120 of us so let’s fill it up!
1. Climate change can cause disruptions in rainfall, snow or wind patterns and alter the distribution of plants and animals.
2. Over the past 200 years, heat-trapping gases, called greenhouse gases (GHG) have become increasingly concentrated in the air directly above the Earth’s surface.
3. These GHG cause the Earth’s temperature to rise because they prevent heat from escaping from the surface.
4. University of Arizona scientists, in cooperation with other western scientists, recently completed a research project and book, The Southwest Climate Assessment for Decision Makers, one component of the ongoing federal science agencies’ National Climate Assessment. In this report, scientists predicted that by the end of the century, temperatures in southern portion of Arizona will increase by 3-5 degrees and further decreases in precipitation may occur.
5. Although many GHG occur naturally and are necessary for life (carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane) the additional gases generated by human activities are thought to be a major catalyst for changes in the Earth’s climate.
6. Carbon dioxide is the largest component of these human produced GHG. Sources of carbon dioxide include the burning of fossil fuels in motor vehicles and the energy used to heat and cool buildings.
7. In its most recent inventory, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that U.S. GHG emission rose 11 percent from 1990-2010.
8. The results of a recent PAG GHG inventory report show that Eastern Pima County’s GHG emissions grew by 41 percent over this same 20-year period.
9. The majority of the County’s GHG emissions are from electricity use and vehicle travel (which means we CAN have an impact!)
10. Small changes in our everyday activities can help reduce the amount of GHG we produce.
What is the very good news I have to share?
PAG is hosting an Air Quality forum on June 18, 2013, in which additional information on climate change and local GHG emissions will be presented. You are ONE click away from learning more about the forum and from registering to join me there. And guess what else? It’s free! Click!
p.s. Stay tuned for our announcement about entire Down to Earth with Mrs. Green show about Clean Air. It’s going to be another fun, informative show you won’t want to miss. www.mrsgreensworld.com