by Leslie McGeorge and Geri Koblis, Earth Ministry Team
As the 51st Earth Day approaches on April 22nd, the Earth Ministry Team is highlighting the climate emergency. There is a consensus among most scientists that the climate crisis is a substantial, if not existential, threat to humans and the world’s ecosystems. With business as usual, we are on a path to warm the planet by close to 4 degrees Centigrade by 2100 – far exceeding sustainable temperature goals. Impacts such as excessive heat, more frequent and intense storms, and wildfires are already occurring.
With increasing global demands for electricity, including needed electrification in developing countries, demand could double or triple by 2050. Wind and solar energy are not growing fast enough to displace fossil fuels to power such things as vehicles, ships, and planes, provide space heating, and support industrial processes. Clearly, better technologies for clean electricity are needed, as well as for carbon sequestration or capture.
The current federal administration has prioritized the climate crisis, and has proposed a new infrastructure plan which includes policies intended to make “transformational progress” on climate change. https://www.npr.org/2021/04/01/983470782/by-the-numbers-bidens-2-trillion-infrastructure-plan. Plan investments would include: green energy research and development; public transit; 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations; and breaks for consumers buying electric vehicles. Another national effort to address climate change is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend bill, https://teddeutch.house.gov/uploadedfiles/deutch_eicda_117th.pdf, which was recently reintroduced in Congress, and would put a price on carbon, without hurting low income Americans.
So what can you do? Consider these actions:
● Engage politically and push Congress and state legislators to act!
● Advocate for protection of natural ecosystems, and agricultural practices that increase the amount of carbon that healthy soils can absorb
● Buy green power, energy efficient appliances, home technologies, and electric vehicles
● Eat lower on the food chain. At least try doing a Meatless Monday
● Get better educated. Read Bill Gates’s new book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
● Join the UUA ‘s climate organizing hub for activists: createclimatejustice.net
● Join in Earth Ministry’s tree/shrub sapling distribution on Saturday, April 17, at UUCWC, from 11 am to 1 pm.
Leslie and Geri thank The College of New Jersey’s Adjunct Chemistry Professor Mike Aucott for his technical input.