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November Featured Climate Actions

We all know about climate change but may feel overwhelmed and ask ourselves, “What can I do?”  To help provide focus the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG) provides suggestions for monthly activities at each of 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

1. Personal: This is a biggie. Make a commitment to reduce or eliminate your airplane miles travelled in 2014. Per person (assuming the plane is 100% full), one round trip between Boston and L.A. consumes about 1/3 the fuel as driving 11,000 miles in a 35 mpg car.  Per person, one round trip between Boston and Antarctica consumes about the same as the above car. The actual climate impact of aviation may be much higher due to the additional effects of water vapor and oxides of nitrogen that are also released high into the atmosphere. For details on this calculation, please email Molly.

2. Community: Convene a neighborhood meeting to brainstorm ways to prepare for power outages and major storms. Identify neighbors who may need special support and neighbors willing to share assets such as wood stoves or generators. Families can help each other to develop emergency kits and plans. One useful book is Just In Case by Kathy Harrison which explains how to prepare for loss of power, various natural disasters, pandemics and fire.

3. State/National/Global:  Before the hearing date of November 12 write to your state representative and senator to support H2935, An Act to Transition to a Clean Energy Commonwealth. The bill would phase out all MA’s coal plants and facilitate economic transition plans for affected communities and workers. For more info see http://www.progressivemass.com/an_act_to_transition_to_a_clean_energy_commonwealth_page

4.  Inform yourself:  Warm up by viewing the 10 minute video Last Hours at lasthours.org. Recently produced by Thom Hartmann, it outlines the real possibility of human extinction caused by the runaway release of methane from undersea and under permafrost. Then settle in with The Global Warming Reader, edited by Bill McKibben. This 2012 book contains essays from over 30 esteemed contributors on the science, politics, and impact of global climate change.