What we can do (Mitigation and Climate Risk Management)

Mitigation and Climate Risk Management

MITIGATION means acting to counteract the increasingly severe negative impacts of the scientifically established human-caused global warming trend of climate change. Mitigation has a cost, but not mitigating climate change has a bigger cost. Think of mitigation as insurance within a climate risk management context. For example, house insurance costs something, but insurance payments are much less onerous than rebuilding your house if it burns down. For climate it is now clear that "Business as Usual" without mitigation will lead to disastrous impacts.

Click here for more discussion of CLIMATE RISK MANAGEMENT.

The World Economic Forum Global Risks 2013 Report says (p17): "The logic of risk management prescribes that countries should invest today to safeguard critical infrastructure and centres of economic activity against future climate-related losses that could be of much greater magnitude."

This topic emphasizes WHAT YOU CAN DO to help from many sources.

The most authoritative and complete reference is the new IPCC 2014 Mitigation Report, a compendium of mitigation research, which has an excellent readable summary. 

Action suggestions to help stop global warming:

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  Environmental Protection Agency

 What You Can Do

 

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 US Department of Energy

Energy Savings

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 UUA Statement of Conscience

Threat of Global Warming / Climate Change

A Call to Action

Affirming that we are of this earth and that humankind has brought about global warming/climate change, we, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, pledge to ground our missions and ministries in reverence for this earth and responsibility to it as we undertake these personal practices, congregational actions, and advocacy goals.

Personal Practices

  • Reduce our use of energy and our consumption of manufactured goods that become waste;

  • Use alternative sources of energy to reduce global warming/climate change and to encourage the development of such sources;

  • Choose the most energy-efficient transportation means that meet our needs and abilities (e.g., walk, bike, carpool, use mass transit and communication technologies, and limit travel);

  • Determine our personal energy consumption and pledge to reduce our use of energy and carbon emissions by at least 20 percent by 2010 or sooner and into the future;

  • Reuse, recycle, and reduce waste;

  • Plant and preserve trees and native plants and choose sustainably harvested wood and wood products;

  • Eat and serve energy-efficient food that is locally produced and low on the food chain;

  • Use financial resources to encourage corporate social responsibility with reference to global warming/climate change;

  • Model these practices by committing to a life of simplicity and Earth stewardship;

  • Consume less, choose appliances that are rated energy-efficient (e.g., by the EPA Energy Star Program), and choose products and materials that are made from renewable resources and can be recycled at the end of their usefulness; and

  • Commit to continue to learn about the science, impact, and mitigation of global warming/climate change and communicate this knowledge by teaching about and discussing the problems and dangers of, and actions to address, climate change.

Advocacy Goals

  • Full compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the understanding that because human activity is affecting global climate change, it follows that the greater our total population the greater the impact;

  • Ratification of and compliance with the Kyoto Protocol;

  • Funding for research and development of renewable energy resources and energy-efficient technologies that includes a shift of federal subsidies from fossil fuel industries to renewable energy technologies and improved energy efficiency;

  • Funding of regional, national, and international programs to assist in mitigating the effects of global warming/climate change;

  • Safe and responsible development of power sources with low greenhouse gas emissions;

  • Policies and practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase forestation and other forms of carbon dioxide sequestration;

  • Funding for development of energy-efficient mass transit and encouragement of its widespread use;

  • Global warming/climate change impact studies (including physical, social, and economic effects) to be conducted by local and regional governments, with the findings to be incorporated into local government processes;

  • Urban and regional planning designed to reduce energy consumption;

  • Access to family planning services in the United States and around the world;

  • Significantly strengthened Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards for automobiles and light trucks;

  • National greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 10 percent below current levels by 2015, 20 percent by 2020, and 60 percent by 2030;

  • United States policy that takes a leadership role in future global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the negative impacts of global warming/climate change;

  • Monitor, propose, and support legislation at the local and state level related to global warming/climate change and opportunities to reduce emissions; and

  • Provide information on legislative advocacy opportunities to members of the congregation.

Given our human capacity to reflect and act upon our own lives as well as the condition of the world, we accept with humility and determination our responsibility to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change through innovation, cooperation, and self-discipline. We undertake this work for the preservation of life on Earth.

 

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Climate Action Team Activities

Climate Action Team Launch Final - see page 2 of the pamphlet for possible CAT activities

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Union of Concerned Scientists 

What You Can Do about Global Warming - UCS Global Warming Solutions

You can help and get involved in many ways - click on a line to see the details below:

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Take Personal Action

You can reduce your personal contribution to global warming and set an example for others by using less gasoline, natural gas, oil, and electricity in your daily life. Your choices about energy and transportation are especially crucial.

  • The next time you buy a car, choose one that is highly fuel efficient. Your choice of vehicle is probably your single most important environmental decision: for every single gallon of gasoline burned, 20 pounds of carbon dioxide go into the atmosphere.
     
  • Instead of driving alone in your car, join a carpool, take mass transit, walk, or ride a bike -- anything that reduces the amount of gasoline you burn.
     
  • The next time you buy an appliance, purchase a highly efficient model. You can tell by looking for the Energy Star, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency.
     
  • Ask your local electric or gas utility to perform an energy audit of your house or apartment. Then put the recommendations into practice.
     
  • Develop a plan to reduce daily electricity use around your home. Ask each member of your household to take responsibility for a different electricity-saving action.

 

Encourage Community Action

You can work within your community to promote energy efficiency and use of clean energy.

  • Make sure that public buildings are models of energy efficiency and encourage the incorporation of passive-solar techniques in community construction or remodeling projects.
     
  • Urge your local library, businesses, and church or synagogue to install bike racks.
     
  • Promote community carpooling plans and the construction of bike lanes.
     
  • Work to change local zoning ordinances and other regulations that involve energy use.
     
  • Encourage your local electric utilities to promote energy efficiency and the use of clean, renewable energy sources.

 

Influence U.S. Action

The United States needs to play a leadership role in addressing global warming, and you can help make this happen.

  • Write to your local newspaper about the significance of the global warming threat and the need for U.S. leadership.
     
  • Monitor your newspaper's coverage of this issue and write in response to any stories or letters that dismiss global warming.
     
  • Write or call President Obama to let him know that you expect him to be an international leader on this issue.
     
  • Contact your congressional representative and senators to encourage them to support actions to address the root causes of global warming: the emission of heat-trapping gases.
     
  • Ask your governors, state legislators, and public utility regulators to promote energy efficiency, nonpolluting transportation alternatives, and the development of clean, renewable sources of energy -- like solar and wind power.
     
  • Tell government officials that you want them to push industry to protect the future health of the environment by reducing carbon emissions.

 

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Specific Steps to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

HERE is information on how to reduce your carbon footprint from "Wikihow". Excerpts are

  • Calculate your carbon footprint level. To do this, visit http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx and fill in the form.

  • Start with small steps.

  • Try to eliminate the use of energy wherever possible.

  • Reuse, reduce recycle.

  • Recharge when necessary! .

  • Consider purchasing a different vehicle

  • Write to your congressman in support of nuclear, solar and wind power.

  • Consider drinking tap water as opposed to bottled water.

 

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UN Gateway on Climate Change

Climate change is impacting everyone!

Find out what people around the world are doing to learn about climate change, make eco-friendly choices and help create a greener world. Here are a few ideas for making a difference:

 

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Projects from CB-Nex

HERE is a list of projects from CB-Nex

  • CB Nex is a platform designed to connect people and organisations to climate change and biodiversity resources, projects and activities.

  • The CB Nex mission is to harness and catalyse the power of collective action, through state-of-the-art web 2.0 technologies and social networking, to successfully fight against the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss worldwide. We believe that with global co-operation, open innovation and effective knowledge transfer, climate change can be successfully addressed.

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 ACT ON CO2

 

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Here are more resources on the Climate Portal, plus these  topics:

 

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