Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 2:33 AM GMT on April 10, 2013

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Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts: What Can I Do? (3)

This is the continuation of a series in response to the question, “What can I do about climate change?” I thank Doug Glancy who helped me out last week with a blog Smoking, Marriage and Climate, which discussed the role of peer pressure and social networking to organize and develop a growing movement. These are ideas I will come back to later in the series.

In the first entry of the series, I set up the discussion with the definition of mitigation and adaptation. In this blog, I will focus on what individuals can do to mitigate climate change. That is, what can individuals do to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases?

The easy answer is to be more efficient. I included a complicated graph in the first blog that provided a foundation for thinking about efficiency. The message of that blog is that insulation improvements in building, fuel efficiency in transportation, elimination of standby losses, and more efficient lighting, air conditioning and water heating not only reduce emissions in a significant way but in a very short time they save money. “Standby losses” refers to computers that are left in a state of reduced power rather than being turned off. Chargers and adapters that are left plugged in when they are not being used also contribute to standby losses. According to Energy Star the average U.S. household spends about $100 per year on standby energy.

More efficient use of energy means less money spent buying energy. Over time, the savings in energy will pay for the upfront cost, for example, of installing better insulation or a more efficient water heater. Earlier, I wrote about personal barriers to taking action. Happily, federal and local governments and corporations have taken steps to reduce upfront costs, which many people cite as the reason they don’t spend on more efficient buildings and appliances. In other cases, there are local regulations and coding requirements that demand improving efficiency. A place, therefore, that an individual can contribute is to advocate and to support policies and corporations that advance more efficient use of energy. This helps to provide an environment that encourages better use of resources.

Individuals can and do make choices about fuel-efficient cars, public transportation, appliances and light bulbs. If your concern, however, is climate change, then you make these decisions and then don’t see immediate benefit to the climate. In fact, mostly we hear that carbon dioxide emissions continue to go up and that the planet is warming and changing in profound ways. Therefore, it is easy to become discouraged that an individual does not have a lot of impact. Turning this problem around, however, provides a different framing. Our individual behavior in the consumption of energy has, collectively, led to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: it has made the problem. Therefore, we have ample evidence that the collective behavior of individuals can have global consequences. This suggests that individuals should look at ways to promote the emergence of groups of people to enhance adoption of more energy-efficient buying and behavior.

Many individuals have the opportunity to contribute to the emergence of societal groups because they are part of organizations ranging from community associations to civic organizations – the list is long. As a member or leader of local organizations, you have opportunity to have a more direct impact. Students of mine have worked in efforts to improve insulation in entire neighborhoods and in the development of recycling and composting programs. Working in small organizations is also a place where people can take advantage of our natural competitive instincts and peer pressure to incorporate the power of social behavior.

A local activity that especially appeals to me is to get involved in local government and schools boards. This can either be as a citizen speaking at the meetings, volunteering, seeking appointments to committees or even getting elected. Activities range from working to assure excellent science education to asking for and developing weather and climate preparedness plans. Thinking about weather and climate in planning (adaptation) is a good way to make mitigation seem real.

Finally, individuals are often not individual in the resources they influence and control. People own businesses and work in management in companies. These are places where there is often strong attention to reducing cost; hence, efforts to reduce cost through efficiency are likely to be well received. Good businesses are often thinking long term – energy costs, appeal to customers who might be environmentally interested, emerging technology, protection of property, buildings and resources; therefore, business might see advantage in taking up initiatives that are beneficial to climate change. Businesses are places where individual influences have impacts that are far greater than that of a single person (UPS and Sustainability).

Here, I have provided a list of possibilities where the influence of an individual can reach beyond that of a single person. However, referring back to an earlier entry, I would argue that rather than a list of things that one can do, it is at least as important to state what to do and then provide the skills on how to do it. I need some help on skills of how to get things done, people with experience - perhaps the next guest blogger.

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Some Resources

Here are a couple of the better web sites I have found with the basic information of what individuals can do. Please send me more.

EPA: What You Can Do

Union of Concerned Scientists: What You Can Do About Climate Change

Links to the Series

Setting Up the Discussion Deciding to do something, definition of mitigation and adaptation, and a cost-benefit anchored framework for thinking about mitigation

Smoking, Marriage and Climate Behavioral changes and peer pressure

Organizing and Growing Individual Efforts A little detail on efficiency and thinking about how individuals can have more impact than just that of a single person

The Complete List Eight categories of things we can do to reduce greenhouse gases

We Are What We Eat Food and agriculture and greenhouse gas emissions

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640. Skyepony (Mod)
spathy~ UK they graze animals under them. In Monsantoland spraying is encouraged..



The leaders of 21 organizations welcomed Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to her first day on the job today with a letter calling for “an immediate moratorium on new coal leasing in the Powder River Basin and a comprehensive review of the federal coal leasing program.”

Today’s letter emphasizes the huge quantities of carbon pollution unlocked by federal coal leasing in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana, and how that is undermining President Obama’s climate commitment and record. As the letter states; “Between 2011-2012, BLM leased over 2.1 billion tons of coal in the Powder River Basin, unlocking nearly 3.5 billion metric tons of CO2 that will be released when this coal is burned. In comparison, EPA’s newest passenger vehicle emissions standards will reduce an estimated 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide over the lifetime of cars made from 2017-2025.”

In other words, the new coal leases that have been approved in just the last two years have unlocked so much carbon pollution, it more than cancels out what will be avoided by one of President Obama’s most significant climate achievements.

In addition to the enormous amounts of carbon pollution, the Department of Interior’s coal giveaways amount to a massive fossil fuel subsidy. As Kelly Mitchell wrote last week, “A federal coal leasing program run by DOI’s Bureau of Land Management has resulted in almost $30 billion in government handouts to the coal industry. The giveaway happens through noncompetitive “auctions” where the Department sells the rights to publicly-owned coal for a fraction of what it’s worth.”

The Government Accountability Office and the Department of Interior’s Inspector General are investigating the federal coal leasing program because of these concerns that it has amounted to a major taxpayer subsidy to coal mining companies. Those concerns have intensified as coal mining companies hope to export increased quantities of federally owned coal, which is supposed to be managed “in the best interests of the nation.”

The groups signing the letter include national environmental, health, and consumer rights organizations, along with community organizations concerned about coal export proposals in Oregon and Washington and the impacts of strip mining coal in Wyoming and Montana. You can add your voice and help stop this giveaway to the coal companies.
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RE:637

One can control the JetStream Via the GulfStream... Computers will verify...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting Skyepony:
Jeff Masters is quoted in Jet Stream Blows Winds of Change.

The guy in the video is calling for mad tornadoes this spring. Makes since with the late cold which the sun will over take & the crazy jet streaks.


One can control the JetStream Via the GulfStream...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
636. Skyepony (Mod)
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635. Skyepony (Mod)
Jeff Masters is quoted in Jet Stream Blows Winds of Change.

The guy in the video is calling for mad tornadoes this spring. Makes sense with the late cold which the sun will over take & the crazy jet streaks.
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My troll-free climate change blog is up and running. Trolls are pre-banned. Enjoy.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8630
Quoting CEastwood:


That would be entirely too large a pucker session. Please get it all on camera.
my, you are obsessed with the possibility of..ahem..intimacy, aren't you? Problems in your personal life?
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2384
Quoting FLwolverine:
We may want to join forces!


That would be entirely too large a pucker session. Please get it all on camera.
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Quoting cyclonebuster:


Ignored..
You do realize that the fact that you took the time to respond to my comment indicates that you haven't ignored it at all?  Some people I'll never understand.

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Quoting FLwolverine:
We may want to join forces!



Come to my blog and let me know what other links I should put up. I am trying to keep away from partisan links but I may set up separate sections for information sources biased in one direction or another. But I'd like to keep either to a minimum.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8630



Quoting spathy:

Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:



"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." 
--Rita Mae Brown

Thats blogging for ya!

So its insanity.
Gotta release it somehow.

Society has unlearned community/neighborly contact and communication.
So if you cant talk to your neighbor,you can blather/fight/espouse ideals and agendas on the blog.

For myself. I do both. I have cleaned up "my"neighborhood and become close friends with them.

They felt isolated and helpless/invisible,until the white guy with an attitude(very loud voice)Working cell phone) and  and a desire for a good nights sleep moved in.
And then put his local officials on speed dial/invited them to my house at 2am.

To many neighborhoods live in fear because of dependency.
They just need a friend and a vocal voice to join in with.
Can't speak for your neighborhood, but in mine we get along just fine.  We have a couple of block parties every year, an association of people that devote time/money to maintaining the local park and a group of us that volunteer to help out the elderly in our neighborhood with home repairs, lawn mowing and snow removal.  It takes a lot of work to keep it going but it's worth it.  Note that all of our efforts are a supplement to government programs.

Maybe if you were willing to put in the effort, you could have the same kind of cooperation in your own neighborhood.


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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I have created a climate change blog where people are welcome to post articles, exchange information, debate, and behave in a civilized manner. I will not quash differing opinions. I will not tolerate personal attacks or trollish behavior. I have prebanned the trolls I am aware of.


My blog is here.


tunnel monomania will not be tolerated on my blog either.
We may want to join forces!
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2384
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Duh!  Dude, you really gotta learn to admit when you get it wrong.  Maybe save you from looking the fool all of the time.  Must be something in the genes.



Ignored..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Governor of Maine claims "Wind Hoax" - "Wind Turbine Runs On A Little Electric Motor That Turns The Blades"

thinkprogress.org/climate

Maine Governor Paul LePage accused the University of Maine of turning on an electric motor when the wind wasn’t blowing their turbine to fool people into thinking that “wind power works.”

LePage was not joking when he made the comment to the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, as Mike Tipping with the Bangor Daily News reports:

Asked about this curious claim, the University spokesperson’s first response was to literally laugh out loud. There is no motor. The project is actually a success story for the university, and for Maine. This was the first mid-sized turbine installed by a university in the state, has a 600 kilowatt capacity, and has produced 680,000 kwh worth of clean electricity in its first year. That’s $100,000 off the University of Maine at Preque Isle’s utility bill, and 572 tons of CO2 not burned into the atmosphere.


You can monitor the wind turbines real-time output HERE

Member Since: September 18, 2005 Posts: 25 Comments: 948
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Duh! %uFFFDDude, you really gotta learn to admit when you get it wrong. %uFFFDMaybe save you from looking the fool all of the time. %uFFFDMust be something in the genes.

Have no problem admitting when I am wrong.

If you are trying to get a rise out of me, you should really try harder. Your attempts are very amateurish at best.

In fact they exceed even the low expectations I have set for you. LOL

This is fun isn't it
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting weatheringpoints:

Sun is conjunct Mars today ;)


relevant content:
lots to look at here
Thanks. Good stuff.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2384
I have created a climate change blog where people are welcome to post articles, exchange information, debate, and behave in a civilized manner. I will not quash differing opinions. I will not tolerate personal attacks or trollish behavior. I have prebanned the trolls I am aware of.


My blog is here.


tunnel monomania will not be tolerated on my blog either.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8630
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:
Yeah but, as usual, what you believe is wrong. Such is your life.

Perhaps but it is open to debate. Brown may have been the first to put it into print but that does not mean she was the first to say it. If I am wrong it will not be the first time nor will it be the last. I will sleep fine either way. Such is life as you say.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259

Quoting cyclonebuster:


One thing you will learn in science is you will get different results every time..

Cyclonebuster
Seriously?  If you do, you better find a new line of work.  

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.
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Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:



"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." 
--Rita Mae Brown
Actually I believe that quote is from Albert Einstein
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:



"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." 
--Rita Mae Brown


One thing you will learn in science is you will get different results every time..

Cyclonebuster
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401

Quoting cyclonebuster:


I don't like you definition of spam... Such is life..Get over it.


"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." 
--Rita Mae Brown
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Funny, the full moon isn't until the 25th.
Member Since: January 6, 2013 Posts: 3 Comments: 2384
Quoting spathy:
There is an uncomfortable medium between warmists and denialists.
That medium (I swear) rests with the fiscally cognizant and  the vast number of everyday Citizens that want a cleaner World.

I count myself among that perceived majority.



You are smart like NRAamy..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:
I don't like your spamming the blog with your tunnels.  Such is life.



I don't like you definition of spam... Such is life..Get over it.
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting cyclonebuster:


I don't like your insults..
I don't like your spamming the blog with your tunnels.  Such is life.

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Anyway I solved the problem. Ignored both the troll handles. Like I said before being a global warming skeptic doesn't make you a troll. Running around using multiple handles and being rude and disruptive does.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 26 Comments: 8630
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Self pity isn't gonna get you anywhere.  Maybe try growing up instead.

I have no self pity. It would be worthless and a waste of my time
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259
Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

Actually, Bill Gates and Al Gore are spending significant sums of money to fund new technologies.  I'd say that willful ignorance is a big part of your being a troll.Ideology really does make you look stupid.



I don't like your insults..
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401
Quoting CEastwood:


I totally agree. Liberals are the most vehement supporters of the First Amendment; that is, until someone says something that threatens their belief system. Then they want them muzzled. Liberalism is the antithesis of freedom.
It was not made to be a point for or against any group (ie liberal, conservative, democrat or republican) Frankly I am not in favor of any.of these.
Member Since: July 6, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2259

Quoting CEastwood:


I totally agree. Liberals are the most vehement supporters of the First Amendment; that is, until someone says something that threatens their belief system. Then they want them muzzled. Liberalism is the antithesis of freedom.
You might want to go read the First Amendment and see if you can figure out why it doesn't apply here. 
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Quoting TheDevilsAdvocate:

I'm gonna ask a simple question which I'm gonna guarantee you you won't answer honestly.  How many times has NRAamy been permanently banned for repeatedly making xenophobic comments and how many alternate handles have you created and posted under while banned?

These are the things of which trolls are made, Peaches.



It is no longer foreign or strange once the concept is understood. Posting what she knows is not trollish...
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401

Quoting NRAamy:
Thank you, cb.....

And.... I am not a troll...

I simply don't believe in manmade global warming.... and I support the tunnels theory..

THAT makes m a troll? By disagreeing? Then half of the people on this blog are trolls.
I'm gonna ask a simple question which I'm gonna guarantee you you won't answer honestly.  How many times has NRAamy been permanently banned for repeatedly making xenophobic comments and how many alternate handles have you created and posted under while banned?

These are the things of which trolls are made, Peaches.

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6 degrees
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Quoting spathy:

Thats the mindset Cyclone. Picture them in operation/testing and it will be.
Put those kinds of thoughts out there while working your tail end off to make it so.

I truly admire your gumption and you have a well thought out contraption that deserves a trial run.

Do you have a donation link?
Email me if you do.
I think there are rules against that here.


Donate it to the University Of Michigan to study them with computers. Then perhaps they could hire me as a consultant if that is possible????
Member Since: January 2, 2006 Posts: 127 Comments: 20401

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About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

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