I read a humorous blog linking the decline in the number of pirates over time to the increase in global temperature claiming that the decrease in Pirates caused the increase in temperature. The solution to global warming is to have us all become pirates. We all realize that this is a false conclusion bordering on absurdity. We have a lot of these being thrown about lately. Photo via http://bama.ua.edu/
Let’s take a true – false quiz.
The caption to the political action plan illustrated in these two pictures reads: “One Politician With a Plan vs Two Politicians Planning Together.” Politicians sometimes do what their constituents want, assuming that what we want is in their political best interest when the lobbyists come around. I contend that they have their heads in the sand when it comes to global environmental and health issues. Without our help, they will all drown in a heavy rainstorm. Let’s educate and motivate these politicians and your parents through a discussion of Choose Rain’s mission to improve our global legacy to our children one bottle of rainwater at a time.
Global Warming vs Climate Change – The world goes through natural cycles where, over periods of thousands of years, it heats up and cools down. This is called climate change. Wikipedia defines Global Warming as “the rise in the average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Since the
early 20th century, Earth’s mean surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two-thirds of the increase occurring since 1980. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning
of fossil fuels and deforestation.”
Naysayers claim that man is not leading us into catastrophic global warming
the magnitude of man’s impact. The Chicken Little group claims we are in an irreversible downward spiral which will result in water wars and famine as crops fail. Each group distorts the facts to reach unsupportable and inappropriate conclusions. If the average global temperature has indeed increased 0.9°F since 1980, as Wikipedia states, then the projection of only 0.7°F by 2100 generally accepted by the Naysayers is a gross understatement. A simple linear projection of the
Wikip edia numb er
puts us at a 3.6% increase by 2100 which could be catastrophic with a resultant increase in sea level of three to six meters. My home at 21 feet above sea level would become beach front property. South Florida and most coastal communities would be under water. Miami would become our own Atlantis.
We at Choose Rain believe that man is negatively impacting the earth through the unchecked generation of Greenhouse gases. We believe that the harm is not irreversible and we can greatly reduce greenhouse emissions with effort and legislation. The United States needs to join the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. There are 192 parties to the convention, including 191 states (all of the UN members, except Andorra, Canada, South Sudan and the United States) and the European Union. As part of the Kyoto Protocol, many developed countries have agreed to legally binding limitations/reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases. The graphic shows the coastline of Florida in 2100 with a six meter sea level rise. One possible scenario if we do not act immediately to curtail our emission of greenhouse gases. Where are Miami and the Keys?
Urge your politicians to get their heads out of the sand, pass meaningful legislation to curb the emission of greenhouse gases and take a tough stand for our children’s future.
Rainwater vs the Aquifer – Our aquifers across the nation are diminishing as a result of unchecked over-pumping, over-development and salt water intrusion. Populations in cities are growing. Combine this with lower reserves and we are facing a crisis. This chart shows that areas in South and Central Florida are already using more water than can be provided through the aquifer. Central Florida will follow by 2030. Aquifers are replenished through rainfall with 30% of the rain filtering into the aquifer. Global Warming may actually increase rainfall in certain areas. With 70% of rainfall not replenishing the aquifer, what if we simply caught rainfall and used it where possible? Politicians view rainfall as a storm-water problem, designing systems to quickly divert rainfall to lakes, streams and the ocean. This interference to move the storm-water as quickly as possible actually decreases recharge of the aquifer.
We at Choose Rain believe that using rainfall is our salvation. In Florida one can capture 30 gallons of rain per square foot of catchment area. A 4,000 sq. ft. home can capture 120,000 gallons of pure, sweet rainwater needing very little treatment. This could provide a family of four with all their fresh water needs. Urge your politicians to get their heads out of the sand, incentivize the use of rainwater, restrict manufacturing and individual water waste and take a tough stand for our children.
Health and Childhood Obesity – Obesity is reaching crisis proportions all over the world more than doubling since 1976 with 15% of our children considered obese. Adults are also increasingly obese. We educate by example. We Super-size it and sit in front of a television or computer all day. We eat fast foods replacing family dinner time with rushed, high calorie meals. What do we expect our kids to do?
I am sorry, but we can’t blame all of this on our politicians and most of the solution falls on us. Lead by example. Take the kids hiking or to the park. Create outdoor activities where you all participate. Take responsibility for what your kids eat. Get rid of high calorie sodas and meals. Sit down for healthy meals and engage your children in creative conversation. Turn off the television and computer. Encourage participation in sports. Just have fun, you might like it and the pounds will fall off!
We at Choose Rain believe that large, sugary drinks contribute greatly to obesity. Our children eat what we allow them to eat. Be responsible parents and teach your children how to eat. If you yourself don’t know what is healthy and good, LEARN! It takes more effort but your kids will lead longer and healthier lives. Replacing sodas with low or no calorie drinks will eliminate hundreds of calories each day. Bottled water processed without chlorine is the best solution.
Urge your politicians to get their heads out of the sand, fund healthy meals and exercise in schools and take a tough stand for our children.
Plastic waste and landfills – “Free, an island in the Pacific the size of Texas. All you need to do is clean up the plastic trash.” The catch is that once you remove the trash, the island no longer exists.
We humans lead a very wasteful and self-serving existence. If it exists, we feel that it is ours to use and abuse. In the 50’s, I think it was Life Magazine that pinned an article on the role of plastic allowing the woman to come out of the kitchen. Little did they know that plastic waste would eventually clog landfills and remain there for the next forty generations. That is 14 million descendants that have to deal with our waste. Think about this, when Leif Erikson landed in Greenland in 1010AD, if he had a Voss plastic PET bottle, he could have dropped it on the shore and it might still be there. We are a throw-away society selfishly polluting our world.
Shame on us!
Plastic waste is a difficult issue because much harm is already done. Even if we curtail the waste today, we cannot reverse the pollution already in the land-fill. Take plastic water bottles, a recent phenomenon. Americans discard 20-40 billion plastic water bottles a year. That creates millions of tons of plastic waste buried in our landfills or thrown away on the side of the road or cast into the ocean.
Bottled water companies whitewash their responsibility by claiming that they are using less plastic which creates less plastic going to the landfill. They omit telling you that they saved an estimated $800 million in plastic costs by convincing the public that they did it to save the environment. If they dropped the price to compensate for the reduced cost, then the claim might be credible. Instead, they could spend another half cent and impregnate the plastic with an organic biodegradable binder which would cause the plastic to biodegrade in the landfill in three to five years instead of the 500 to 1,000 years the plastic currently remains.
We at Choose Rain believe that you should use refillable bottles and not purchase bottled water in plastic bottles. When you must purchase bottled water in plastic containers, it is simple, demand that the bottle is biodegradable. Urge your politicians to get their heads out of the sand, pass meaningful legislation to curb the proliferation of solid waste. Pass laws requiring that all plastic bottles must biodegrade in three to five years. And, take a tough stand for our children’s future.
Don’t Worry Children, everything is going to be all right! Our current practices are not sustainable and change MUST occur. Our politicians will eventually do what they are forced to do by our citizens and the citizens are finally fed up. Your parents do have your back. Demand that they fix the problems before they pass the problems on to you. Demand that everything will be all right.