Session 1: Off Course

Resources featured in discussion course

  • p. 16: Full text of Dr. James E Hansen’s speech to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming
  • p. 23: The safeclimate.net calculator can now be found at: http://www.wri.org/climate/safeclimate
  • p. 24: The Oregon Natural Step Network Sustainability Resource guide is no longer available online, but check out other Natural Step Sustainability Learning Resources here.
  • p. 24: Link to EPA life cycle assessment information: http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/std/lca/lca.html

Additional resources

Dot Earth blog: Global Warming Dot Earth – a New York Times blog about climate change, the environment and sustainability – offers this regularly updated overview on news about climate change and climate change policy. It highlights the United Nations conference in Durban over November / December 2011 and its focus to globally take a stand against Climate change. In addition, the article focuses much on the history of US policy in particular.

Grist: The top five takeaways from the Durban climate talks David Roberts gives a brief overview of the decisions made during the November-December 2011 Durban climate talks, as well as their implications for our world and our future.

Arbor Day: Global Warming The Arbor Day people present an insightful web page that explains the “what” and “how” of what global warming is doing to the planet. The foundation focuses on trees and there is a lot of information on this site to empower people to take action and play a role in fighting global warming. The site offers helpful tips, frequently asked questions, and useful resources.

Lick Global Warming A site co-sponsored by SaveOurEnvironment.org, the Dave Matthews Band and Ben & Jerry’s this user-friendly website is interactive, with helpful visuals and definitions to common words used to talk about climate change. It offers clearly-stated questions and answers related to climate change, with a list of additional resources at the end of each one.

National Geographic Kids: Polar Bears Listed as Threatened National Geographic offers a short article geared toward children on Polar Bears and the threat climate change has on them. US policy and research are also discussed, as the polar bears are now on the list of threatened species.

EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Map Tool EPA’s interactive GHG Map Tool allows users to view and sort greenhouse gas data for calendar year 2011 from more than 6,700 facilities in a variety of ways—including by state, county, facility, industrial sector, and the type of GHG emitted. This information can be used by communities to identify nearby sources of GHGs, help businesses compare and track emissions, and provide information to state and local governments.

Session 2: Collision Course

Resources featured in discussion course

  • p. 26: PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE’s “Buying green energy” link
  • p. 28: Link to the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development’s template for integrating sustainability into your organization
  • p. 30: Sea Change: Photo Essay from Mother Jones
  • p. 33: Unfortunately, the link about desalination is no longer in commission.
  • p. 38: Link to National Geographic information about biofuels
  • p. 38: Link to Smithsonian information about biofuels

Additional resources

The Nature Conservancy: Climate Change – Threats and Impacts The Nature Conservancy discusses many of the consequences surrounding global warming. This link starts with a broad overview, but then links you to some more in-depth conversations surrounding particular issues, including effects on humans, landscape, and wildlife.

NASA: Global Climate Change – Effects  NASA developed a very brief summary of the effects of global warming, including regional impacts. The site offers many links that lead to some of the actual data gathered by scientific research.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Speech to the UNFCCC, December 2011 This is the Secretary General of the United Nations’ speech to the UN Climate Change conference delegation in Durban, South Africa December 2011. He talks about the importance of reaching policy agreements together, as a global society. This speech will give you a sense of what policies are on the table internationally and is a good follow up to his published article on page 29 in Global Warming: Changing Course.

Coming Soon to the Southwest: The Age of Thirst In an article published in Mother Jones, William deBuys talks about the water shortage coming soon to the Southwest due to climate change and excessive water use and poses what a possible future affected by drought would look like.    

New England Aquarium: Climate Change and the Oceans The New England Aquarium website is full of visuals and easy-to-read information on the relationship and effects of climate change to our oceans.

Session 3: Changing Course

Resources featured in discussion course

  • p. 44: The links to the particular resources on Climate Solutions and Climate Crisis.net no longer work, but climatecrisis.net still offers other valuable resources, steps for taking action and suggested reading materials.

Additional resources

Climate Ethics Campaign The Climate Ethics Campaign addresses moral and ethical implications of climate change and demands that U.S. leaders recognize their moral obligation to climate action.

National Geographic: Global Warming Solutions – What Can We Do? Always informative and fun to look at, National Geographic features a brief article discussing some easy-to-implement, theory-based solutions to combating global warming. In addition, they offer many links to other areas of the environment including water, habitats, natural disasters, and energy.

Negotiators Discuss Taxing Ships to Pay for Climate Change In this Mother Jones magazine article, Kate Sheppard talks about a proposal to tax shipping companies for their carbon emissions. Currently shipping accounts for 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Session 4: Setting a New Course

Resources featured in discussion course

Additional resources

Global Green USA Global Green is a non-profit company and is the US arm of Green Cross International. Their work is “primarily focused on fighting global climate change through… green affordable housing initiatives, National Green Schools Initiative, national and regional green building policies, advocacy and education.”

http://climatecorps.org/ Talk about casting a wide net! The Climate Corp website is designed to be used as an encyclopedia (i.e. Wikipedia). It is free and is updated constantly. It’s the resource of resources, and is a brilliant concept of how an organization and organizations are combating global warming.

Beyond Green: A Net Zero College Community Implementation at its best! This is an article from the New York Times that showcases a community in Sacramento, CA that boasts net-zero energy for the breadth of its entire 130 acre development. Hopefully this and many examples like it will help reduce the effects of global warming.

Walmart’s Climate and Energy Goals Walmart! Sustainability! What!?! Here it is from the “mouth” of one of the leading sources of consumerism: a vow to sustainability, with measurable goals. This link will pose some interesting questions. Is Walmart making a valuable change? Or is it just a façade? They have the capital to make significant changes, but they are also notorious for damaging social capital. It’s perplexing to say the least. Take a look and you decide.

US Department of Energy: Energy Savers The US Department of Energy has offered up some valuable information on ways to save energy and money when heating/ cooling your home. Check this link out for some great tips. The website alone has many other great resources including tips for apartments, appliances, electricity, landscaping, lighting, and insulation.

50 Year Forecast This website provides tools to contact your local TV meteorologist and respectfully encourage them to use their unique influence to inform their viewers of the risks that climate change presents to our country, and your community.

Individual Actions

The following is a list of resources for individual and or collective actions you can take to address global warming.  Decide what role you want to play and begin now to change the course of climate change.

  • Cut back on driving and air travel.  Transportation is a large contributor to carbon pollution in the United States.  Walk, bike, and use public transportation or use car pools to reduce auto travel.  Limiting air travel also reduces your carbon footprint.
  • Reduce your consumption of electricity, natural gas and coal. Since much of our national power grid is powered by natural gas and coal-fired power plants, when you consume less electricity, you help reduce emissions and pollution from these facilities.
  • Use Green Power.You can choose to purchase electricity that is generated from renewable and environmentally friendly sources like wind and solar power.  The U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network website gives significant resources for state-by-state options for green power. http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/markets/pricing.shtml?page=1
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.  Note the order of this common phrase which starts with two important words that can be easily missed – reduce and reuse.  Recycling helps to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gases, but “pre-cycling,” or choosing wisely before purchasing, can help reduce packaging and energy consumption even further.
  • Buy Local.  The goods that are manufactured and food that is grown close to home require far fewer resources to get them to you than those things shipped from another continent or region.  Support local business and the local food economy to reduce transportation associated with the transport of goods. **For recent data regarding how food choices affect climate change, please refer to our Menu for the Future and Hungry for Change discussion courses.
  • Offset your remaining global warming pollution.  After you take steps to reduce your global warming emissions, take steps to calculate your carbon footprint and consider offsetting the balance.  You can go “Zero Carbon” to effectively support renewable technologies and minimize your impact on the climate.
  • Become an agent of change.  You can have a tremendous impact on those who surround you. Take note of the people, organizations and communities that you find your self living amongst, and work to bring about change in those areas where you have influence.
  • Contact your government representatives.  Speak with your representatives at all levels of government to let them know that global warming is a priority and needs to be addressed immediately.  Support local, state and federal initiatives that seek to reduce global warming.

Also, see this article for further facts and information on global warming.

Personal Research and Action

  • The Pew Center on Global Climate Change – “Brings together business leaders, policy makers, scientists, and other experts to bring a new approach to a complex and often controversial issue. Our approach is based on sound science, straight talk, and a belief that we can work together to protect the climate while sustaining economic growth.”  www.pewclimate.org
  • World Resources Institute – By conducting independent research and developing innovative policy and business options, WRI is promoting an effective international and US response to climate change. www.wri.org/climate
  • Union of Concerned Scientists – “Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing us today. To protect the health and economic well-being of current and future generations, we must reduce our emissions of heat-trapping gases by using the technology, know-how, and practical solutions already at our disposal.”  www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science
  • Climate Solutions – A Northwest non-profit organization, “Climate Solutions has emerged as the region’s leading source of ideas and inspiration on ways to act decisively and creatively towards addressing the global warming crisis.” www.climatesolutions.org
  • RealClimate – “A commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.”  www.realclimate.org

 

Carbon Offsets – Information, Certification and Carbon Offset Providers

  • Ceres – Investors and Environmentalists for a Sustainable Future
  • Investor Network on Climate Risk – Managing climate risk and capturing opportunities www.incr.com

 

Cap and Trade

Citizens Climate Lobby, http://citizensclimatelobby.org/

The purposes of Citizens Climate Lobby are (1) to create the political will for a sustainable climate and (2) to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in exercising their personal and political power. Lobby Teams are comprised of at least five Partners. Teams practice speaking together, visit their members of Congress and write letters to their MOC’s together.    Their website features a FAQ section on carbon fees and dividends: http://citizensclimatelobby.org/node/444

Annie Leonard’s The Story of Cap and Trade: http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-cap-trade/

 

Faith Community Resources

  • National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs – Provide an opportunity for the national bodies of member Protestant and Orthodox denominations to work together to protect and restore God’s Creation. www.nccecojustice.org
  • National Religious Partnership for the Environment – Guided by biblical teaching, the Partnership seeks to encourage people of faith to weave values and programs of care for God’s creation throughout the entire fabric of religious life. www.nrpe.org
  • Interfaith Power and Light’s Cool Congregations Calculator helps you estimate your congregation’s carbon footprint. It offers a snapshot of your carbon footprint, allowing you to look at the best places to lower your footprint and become more energy smart. http://coolcongregations.org/calculator/

 

Communities and States

  • The Apollo Alliance – The Apollo Alliance provides a message of optimism and hope, framed around rejuvenating our nation’s economy by creating the next generation of American industrial jobs and treating clean energy as an economic and security mandate to rebuild America. www.apolloalliance.org

 

National and International

To find out how to contact your federal Representative go to:  www.house.gov To find out how to contact your federal Senators, go to:  www.senate.gov

  • US Global Change Research Program – This site brings together information about federally funded research on global warming, changing ecosystems, the carbon cycle, the water cycle, and much more. It contains links to hundreds of U.S. and international science organizations.  http://www.globalchange.gov/
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – Established by WMO and UNEP to assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. www.ipcc.ch

 

Recommended Films 

  • The Great Warming – A beautiful and empowering documentary that reveals how climate change is affecting the lives of people everywhere.  The film is neither political nor negative in tone, rather, it is uplifting and unique in suggesting that climate change is a moral, ethical and spiritual issue.  Available for public screenings. www.thegreatwarming.com
  • Who Killed the Electric Car?  – Martin Sheen hosts a documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.
  • National Geographic’s Strange Days on Planet Earth – “By revealing a cause and effect relationship between what we as humans do to the Earth and what that in turn does to our environment and ecosystems, the series creates a new sense of environmental urgency.” www.pbs.org/strangedays/episodes/onedegreefactor/#
  • Kilowatt Ours – This documentary film “Kilowatt Ours: A Plan To Re-Energize America” illustrates how buildings across America have successfully taken steps to reduce energy use, save money and reduce global warming impacts, all at the same time.   www.KilowattOurs.org
  • The New Heroes – PBS series looks at innovative social change entrepreneurs.  Not directly related to Global Warming, but incredibly inspiring stories about the difference that one person can make.  www.pbs.org/opb/thenewheroes

We would love to hear how you are taking action to address global warming and what resources you find helpful in addressing the issue.  If you have suggestions of inspiring actions, organizations, campaigns, and events that you would like us to consider for our updated website resources section, please email contact@www.nwei.org.