2. Conservation: the cleanest form of energy is not wind or solar or geothermal—it’s the energy you never use. It’s estimated the US wastes 25% of energy. With meticulous attention we can greatly decrease our individual energy consumption.
3. Rooftop solar: energy production is one of 2 top sources of GHG emissions. Thus everyone should consider rooftop installation. Required is unobstructed roof, and optimum is south facing. My experience has been fantastic in every way, and I recommend this highly. Holtek in Waco does a great job, and Freedom Solar in Austin offers financing. Those companies who basically rent systems are not working in Waco, to my knowledge. Remember the 30% tax credit and variable ONCOR service area discount. www.holteksolar.com
4. Renewable utility: if one does not have a home PVC system, using a 100% renewable energy provider is the next best choice. Green Mountain is available in most parts of Central Texas and offers only clean, renewable power. If TxU or other company states their power is from renewables, check carefully. I have been deceived by their claims in the past.
5. Drive electric: the future of personal transportation is the electric car, and we should be in the forefront of acceptance. There are approximately 25 hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and plug in electrics out there, starting around 20K. And for now, the $7500 tax credit applies. Considering our climate emergency, I cannot imagine purchasing an internal combustion car. I have great personal experience with the Chevy Volt and Chevy Bolt. http://www.plugincars.com/cars
6. Diet: the science is very clear that the diet with the lowest GHG emissions is vegan, followed by vegetarian, followed by carnivorous. If a vegan diet is not appealing, having 1 or 2 meatless meals per week is one great approach. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1169-1
7. Education: climate science is a very large, complex, and fascinating field. There is always new information to absorb. The following are some of my favorite references. BOOK: “This Changes Everything” by Naomi Klein; “The Atmosphere of Hope” by Tim Flannery; “The Zero-Waste Lifestyle” by Amy Korst; “Climate Change” by Joseph Romm; anything by Bill McKibben; “Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living” by the Union of Concerned Scientists; “High Tide on Main Street” by John Englander; “The Rising Sea” by Pilkey and Young; “The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert; “The Soil Will Save Us” by Kristin Ohlson; “Our Renewable Future” by Heinberg and Fridley. AUDIOBOOKS: Some of the books mentioned here are available at audible.com. WEBSITES: www.ecowatch.com , https://thinkprogress.org/climate/home, www.stateofourclimate.com PODCASTS: The Energy Gang, Democracy Now!, Talking Tesla, Cultures of Energy, Climate Connections, Sea Change Radio, The Climate Minute, Green News Report. CELL PHONE APP: Dark Sky (weather), Skeptical Science, Get Green, CO2 Emissions Calculator, Happy Cow, iRecycle.
8. Dealing with Climate Science Deniers: this is a frustrating business, but we all debate or attempt to convince deniers at some point. Here is a reference that provides great information to arm yourself for this endeavor: www.skepticalscience.com or the Skeptical Science app on iPhone.
9. No plastic bottled water: this product contributes to atmospheric GHG through oil required to produce the plastic, fossil fuel required for transport. Since it persists for 1000s of years, it inhabits our landfills, and contributes to the massive islands of plastic in the oceanic gyres. Animals ingest it and become injured or die and it enters the human food chain. Avoid this dangerous product except in emergencies.
10. No single use plastic bags: this product is horrendous for the biosphere in a way similar to bottled water. Reusable cloth shopping bags may be kept in the car at all times making plastic bags almost always unnecessary. Waco Friends of Peace/Climate distributes these for FREE each Earth Day. If you would need some free bags, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Support a carbon fee and dividend: most climate economists believe a gradually increasing fee on carbon is the most effective way to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy. Citizens would receive an annual dividend to equalize their increased costs from the carbon tax. The Citizens Climate Lobby has been a major proponent of this plan. www.citizensclimatelobby.org
12. Work with local climate activists: Waco Friends of Peace/Climate is a climate education and direct action organization, working in Waco for about 14 years. We usually meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6pm, Poppa Rollos Pizza, Waco. More info: www.friendsofpeace.org. Facebook: Waco Friends of Peace—Climate.
13. Do online climate activism: several national organizations will send emails that allow you to sign online petitions/letters, or sign messages to various governmental officials. Examples are: www.350.org, www.greenpeace.org, www.sierraclub.org .
14. Oppose all new fossil fuel infrastructure: the science is clear that we must keep 70% of fossil fuel reserves in the ground if we are to keep global temp shift to 2 degree C. Thus we must oppose any new fossil fuel construction, including pipelines and power plants. One can be involved in protests and other actions against the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Transpecos pipelines, for example.
15. Oppose the proposed Tradinghouse Lake natural gas plant: Luminant Corporation has license applications to the TCEQ to build this natural gas power plant. Waco Friends of Peace/Climate began a campaign against the plant. It would emit ozone and other pollutants locally, and would contribute CO2 to the atmosphere. We should NOT be building new fossil fuel infrastructure now, but should be building up renewables as rapidly as possible. FREE anti-Tradinghouse bumper stickers available. email@example.com
16. Purchase carbon offsets for airline travel: We recognize the need to avoid air travel as it is a major source of GHG emissions. But when necessary we can calculate our carbon emissions for trips and purchase carbon offsets from a UN sponsored program. www.carbonneutralnow.org
17. Low carbon farming: New techniques have been developed in which minimal or no tilling is performed, thus maintaining capture of carbon in the soil. Some proponents believe these techniques can play a large role in a low carbon future. Reference:” The Soil Will Save Us,” by Kristin Ohlson.
18. Divestment: The divestment movement is now huge, with some $4-5 trillion now divested from fossil fuel companies. This is a relatively easy action to take to aid this struggle. Some combine this with re-investment in green energy technology. www.350.org, www.gofossilfree.org
19. Vote always: Elections at all levels are an opportunity to vote against all climate change deniers and support climate mitigation policies. And write to the newspaper: firstname.lastname@example.org
20. Weatherization: Tremendous amount of energy can be saved by improving home insulation and efficiency.
21. Real Science: To confirm scientific news is accurate, follow the link to the original peer-reviewed article. These papers always begin with an abstract or summary, and the name and volume/page numbers of the journal will be listed.
22. Questions: Feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Compiled by Alan Northcutt, MD 10.16.2017