I’m usually one of the last people to jump on the “let’s name a day” bandwagon, but Blog Action Day for Climate Change is one I can embrace.  Beyond the “sexy factor” of climate change, green, sustainability and the like, is a real need for people to understand what climate change is and why it’s relevant now.

The Environmental Protection Agency defines climate change as “a change in long-term weather patterns. [Weather patterns] can become warmer or colder. Annual amounts of rainfall or snowfall can increase or decrease.”

Climate change seems to be a normal occurrence, natural even.  But, problems arise with the degree and rate to which our climate changes, resulting in global warming, the greenhouse effect and sea level rising, among other things.

How are we doing?

Climate Change in ºF
(Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Average global temperature has increased by almost 1ºF during the past hundred years
  • Scientists expect the average global temperature to increase an additional 2ºF to 6ºF over the next one hundred years.
  • At the peak of the last ice age (18,000 years ago), the temperature was only 7ºF colder than it is today, and glaciers covered much of North America.

It’s easy to take for granted that the world as we experience it today will remain the same for all of OUR tomorrows, but what about when our children and grandchildren are planning for the future of their families?

What’s happening in California
(California Department of Water Resources)

  • Snowpack: By 2050, scientists project a loss of at least 25 percent of the Sierra snowpack, an important source of urban, agricultural and environmental water.
  • Floods: An increase in extreme weather will lead to higher winter river flows, runoff and flooding.
    • Runoff water contaminates the water supply by carrying soil contaminants, motor oil and other ground coverings into bays, watersheds and out into the ocean.
  • Water Quality: Less fresh water flowing out of the Delta in spring and early summer will allow more salt water to intrude.
    • Salt water is great for soaking, not so great for drinking.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not the doomsday type. I am not ready to go off the grid. I realize that I am very privileged to have a life where water magically flows at the twist of a lever and I can communicate via gadgets galore.

I also realize I have a responsibility to not only do less harm, but to do more good; look at the little things I can do to contribute to making a big difference.

10,000 people from 150 countries are taking time today to blog about climate change in an effort to get your attention.

Want to know what you can do to make a difference?

Following are some resources to get you started.

Climate Change: What you can do

Five Apps to help save the world

Ecology Center
Ecology Center resource page

On Twitter: Follow #BAD09 – @AndaPR – @blogactionday

Blog Action Day