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Catastrophic Climate Change:
If You Leave the Hard Work to Others, It Won't Get Done.

What Matters to You?

Does a safer, survivable world matter to you? Do you have children or grandchildren to want to provide for? If so, what is more important than a survivable future for you to leave to them as your personal legacy? In their minds and memory, who do you want to be? How will you make that happen?

Things You Can Fix - Setting Priorities

What do you want to achieve? What resources are you willing to commit to making the things you want happen?

Are you looking to start where you will get the 'biggest bang for your buck'? Or do you want to ease into making changes without making dramatic changes to your lifestyle? Do you want to start with things which will save you money while also saving the world? Answering these questions will help you set your priorities.

How about planting a tree in your yard? As the tree grows, it will absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, converting the carbon into plant mass and releasing the oxygen into the air. But, it can do more. If you plant a deciduous tree (one that sheds it leaves in the autumn) in front of a big window on the sun-facing side of the house, you can reduce the heating effect of the sun (solar gain) in the summer, reducing your air-coolling costs. The leaves can be composted and used as fertilizer. The bare branches in winter can allow the solar gain to occur in the winter, reducing your heating bill. If you're not an expert on trees, talk to one before planting one. That way, they can tell you what sort of tree will do well in your climate, won't grow too big for your yard, won't cause problems for your foundation, and what you should do to make sure it survives and thrives.

When I suggest planting a tree, most people shrug and some ask "What difference will one tree make?" Quite a lot, actually. First, it means YOU are doing SOMETHING. Perhaps that will later lead you to doing something else. Second, you are setting an example, and perhaps someone else may plant another tree. Which may lead others to do something, and then the impact becomes cumulative. Perhaps you think even planting a lot of trees won't make much of a difference. However, some historical analysis suggests that growing a lot of trees made a very big difference indeed in the past few hundred years. Perhaps we are smarter now, and could obtain the same benefit without the cost of millions of human lives. Or do nothing and wait for catastropic climate change to kill millions.

Think you might need to replace your roofing before long? Could you use longer-lived metal roofing instead of asphalt shingles (made from oil products)? Perhaps metal which is made from recycled material, reducing the energy used to make the roofing (and probably the price)? How about the colour? Could you go with a light colour, which will reduce heat absorption in the summer, and reflect more sunlight back into the sky instead of converting it into infra-red energy (heat)? Could you use a roofing material which includes insulation, keeping outside summer heat out and indoor heat in through the winter? Or could you make a big leap and include photovoltaic panels (solar electricity) into your new roof, reducing your future electricity bills?

It's your ToDo List, so you have to figure out what goes on it and why. Perhaps you can find some inspiration on this list of things which can help fix climate change.

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