I welcome your feedback, questions and suggestions on this very important topic.
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If you are not actively involved in combatting climate change you are either not aware of how serious the threat is to our quality of life or don’t know what do to. To be quite honest here in El Paso I have met only a few people who care about the topic and most are like the majority of people in our country, thinking that our government will solve the problem. Think again.
Last year I attended an online town hall meeting on climate change sponsored by my representative in Congress Veronica Escobar. Knowing how serious the problem is I asked her during the meeting and with a follow up email to take the lead in our community on climate change since leadership in El Paso has been seriously lacking. She said yes and knowing that I initially conceived the group I have been invited to be a member of a new El Paso Climate Crisis Advisory Council. The Congresswoman and her office is convening this council to develop community recommendations to tackle the global climate change crisis. The committee will focus on policy and changes that can be influenced at the federal level, and City and State officials will be at the table to listen and share input to promote coordination across local, state, and federal action.
I hope you will share with me your ideas on how best to move our country forward in reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. No matter where you live your views are important to me and I would appreciate hearing from you on this subject.
Over the past year I have been blogging on climate change on a El Paso Zoo Conservation Education blog. I was happy to hear recently that Congresswoman Escobar has been appointed to The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. This appointment will help her continue the fight to combat the climate crisis with the bold, innovative policies El Pasoans demand. The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was established in 2019 and is charged with investigating, studying, and developing ambitious climate policy recommendations to Congress, in order to build a clean energy economy and achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis.
How can you take action?
- Meatless Mondays- Livestock are responsible for nearly 15% of global greenhouse emissions. Cows’ digestive systems produce methane which is a greenhouse gas.
- Reduce your carbon footprint- Minimizing the amount of energy and fuel that you use on a daily basis will reduce the amount of harmful gases you emit. You can calculate this by visiting the Conservation International Carbon Footprint Calculator.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle – Greenhouse gas emissions are produced in every step of a products life cycle which includes manufacturing to disposal. If you purchase less and throw away less, greenhouse gases are reduced.
- Plant trees- Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants through their process of photosynthesis.
- Use less plastic- Plastic releases methane and ethylene which are two greenhouse gases. Less plastic waste means less greenhouse gases. This can easily be done by using reusable shopping bags, water bottles and say “no” to plastic straws.
- Use less water- Cleaning and treating our water supplies uses lots of energy. Simple steps to take are turning off the water when brushing your teeth and taking shorter showers.
- Community cooperation and outreach- Talk about climate change with your friends and family and contact your elected representatives to find out what they are doing to help address this threat to our planet. We need environmental regulations that will have a measurable impact in lowering our community-wide carbon footprint. The benefits to be gained are vast. Carbon-free energy can be attained with solar panels, fuel-efficient fleets and electric vehicles that lower overhead costs. As a community working together we can make a significant impact in creating a sustainable future.
More on photos
Top Image – Sunsets started to tease the Arctic horizon as scientists on board the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy headed south in the Chukchi Sea during the final days collecting ocean data for the 2011 ICESCAPE mission. The ICESCAPE mission, or “Impacts of Climate on Ecosystems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment,” is a NASA shipborne investigation to study how changing conditions in the Arctic affect the ocean’s chemistry and ecosystems. The bulk of the research took place in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas in summer 2010 and 2011. Credit: NASA/Kathryn Hansen.