Earth Day 2014-We Can Make A Difference!

Earth Day is here, April 22, 2014. Look at it as a soul searching day. How are we taking care of the earth? What have you/we done to improve life for the next and future generations? The concept of looking out 7 generations is still very much alive, for as we live, we effect the environment. I hope you think about this daily, I know I do. This is a life philosophy for me. I think everyone should put their thoughts, actions, time, and money into positive actions to improve the situation on the planet. As a teenager I used to think, “Why are my grandparents and parents generation allowing the air to be so polluted?” “Why, after all the wars that were fought, are people still being treated so poorly around the world?” “Why was the population on Earth expanding at such a rapid speed that food and water were going to be limited?” As I grew up and began to vote, these thoughts were on my mind. We all need to give back as we are able. We all need to think of the Earth as a complex integrated chemical system that works in balance for each living entity. Life is beautiful. Humans need to remember that our actions affect all other living systems on the planet.

You hear on the news every day that farmers are having problems obtaining water for their crops and that in the years to come you will be spending more money on buying energy. The top 1% can buy their way out of any calamity, up to a point. The less fortunate are at the mercy of their environment and their government. If you are starving and you have no water to grow crops, your only choice is to hope for assistance from your government, other governments, or to move. In Syria, the farming community chose civil war in hopes of changing their government to get assistance. Their need to move causes neighboring communities to experience large amounts of population growth, thus disturbing their balanced economic system and using a greater amount of their natural resources. So you see how our actions lead to populations of discontented people with lack of water and food. They are easily manipulated into civil strife and aggression toward those that have. This leads to war or terrorism.

Systems are in flux. In Earth's history this happens over time, giving all living creatures time to adapt. However, these days that change is happening at a very fast clip. The last 10 years have had the hottest days the planet has experienced since monitoring began. The planet is heating up, drinkable water is drying up, the ice sheets are melting very fast, and ocean levels are rising. World populations are changing their ways to meet these demands but leaving many with no way out of this predicament.

One of those populations is in the US: it’s The State of California. Along with Kansas and Washington, It is ranked 3rd as the Greenest state and at the forefront of reducing Greenhouse gas emissions. Check out the chart on energy-related carbon dioxide emissions for the US. 

My wife and I attempt to save each year at home and at work. We continue to look into cost effective ways to reduce our home and office energy budgets. At home we have installed a 5KW system on our roof. Check out our sample home project on our web site for the Heimler Residence. It has been on the front page of newspapers up and down the California coast. We vote for the future. Not just our needs. Working close to home, being healthy, and helping to reduce our use of natural resources enters every decision we make. We can make a difference.

Part of that difference comes from the mainstream media. Did you see Showtime’s new star-studded series on climate change? The surprisingly action-packed first episode of “Years Of Living Dangerously” featured big names doing bigger things: In one scene, Harrison Ford helicopters over the scorched forests of Indonesia. In another, Thomas Friedman interviews rebel fighters in war-torn, drought-ridden Syria. The tipping point for many people in understanding global warming and human actions is when they go to the NASA website, download global temperature data, and plot it on their own computer. It is clearly going up.

Then you have to decide, was NASA, the organization that put people on the moon, involved in some worldwide massive hoax or were they telling the truth? You can see that right now we are way out of the ballpark. In hindsight, people are recognizing that the hours spent debating climate science were critical to sharpening their understanding of the fundamental science behind climate change and, perhaps more importantly, our ability to communicate it to a doubtful audience.

As you can see, our actions do make a difference. You can make a difference. Make a difference! It is in your power! Think! Act!.

Please follow these links to learn more about climate change:

NY Times | Carbon emissions show biggest jump ever recorded | December 2011

The increase, a half-billion extra tons of carbon pumped into the air, was almost certainly the largest absolute jump in any year since the Industrial Revolution, and the largest percentage increase since 2003

Science Daily Global CO2 emissions may reach record levels in 2010

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions -- the main contributor to global warming -- show no sign of abating and may reach record levels in 2010, according to a study led by the University of Exeter (UK). posted data for the 2013 Global Carbon Budget on November 20, 2013. Key findings are listed here: