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Swiffer Jet and global warming

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“Morty, I’ve been living in a fool’s paradise.”

Have you seen the adorable Proctor & Gamble Swiffer TV ads featuring the 90-year old Kaufmans checking out their new Swiffer cleaning products?

Staring at her super-dirty Swiffer post swiffering, Lee tells Morty, “I came in under the assumption that my home was clean, but I’ve been living in a fool’s paradise.”

We are also living in a fool’s paradise called planet Earth.

This was made crystal clear on September 27, 2013 in the 5th United Nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) final summary report. The first report was printed in 1990.

Yet perception is reality and 66 percent of us don’t think global warming will impact us in our lifetimes. The IPCC’s climate change data suggests that now is the time to push on our perceptions of global warming because there’s a lot at stake for your family and our legacy.

What can you do? Get in the game or it’s game over. It’s time for us to get out of the stands and onto the field! No worries, we don’t all need to step in as the quarterbacks, so join the climate change game in a simple and positive way.

Here’s why.

We live our modern lives assuming that our planet is ok. But current global temps are already 1.5 ˚F higher than when coal was first mined in the 1700s. Coal fueled trains, which sparked the industrial revolution and here we are today in a modern world pretty much addicted to fossil fuels.

Eyes glaze over when climate data is reported, so here’s the skinny:

U.S. average temperature is expected to rise 7 to 9 ˚F by 2080 if we continue our current “whatever” strategy.

What does +7 to +9 ˚F mean? It’s way beyond the climate tipping point which is where a stable climate changes to another unknown climate. Humans have actually altered the Earth’s climate balance that’s been in place for millions of years.

Scientists are 95 percent certain that climate change is underway and is caused by too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels and from people chopping down too many trees.

Global warming’s impacts have been underway for decades.

The IPCC report lays out in detail how global temperatures, ocean temperatures, permafrost melt, glacier and ice melt, snow levels, rain levels, cold vs. warm nights, severe storms, carbon dioxide and methane levels have all negatively changed since 1750. Here is a link to the report and the good news, it's readable for non-scientist types.

What we can expect in the near future is unpredictable weather events that will throw a wrench into our world’s cogs. Typhoon Haiyan, Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, derechos in Baltimore, biblical Colorado floods, enormous wild fires in the West, sustained droughts, and increased tragic tornadoes like Missouri and Illinois are just a taste of what scientists predict for the future. Where it’s wet, it will be wetter. Where it’s dry, it will be dryer.

Though difficult to digest, global warming is an indisputable reality, even ExxonMobil’s CEO knows it. Check out this video of ExxonMobil’s CEO Rex Tillerson publicly stating that “burning fossil fuels is warming the planet.“

What can you do?

It’s time to get out of the stands and onto the field.

You have to get in the game or it’s game over.

Winning football teams have tremendous support teams that coach, bring water and towels and get the field ready for the first string players on the field.

We are all needed to get off the sidelines and out of our spectator seats and to get on to the field to positively fix this issue.

You do not have to be a quarterback or an activist - there’s actually plenty of those types. Mother Nature needs a much bigger team because quickly ramping up affordable and sustainable energy sources is key to our, well, survival.

In order for our “Team Earth” to recover the fumbled ball, make a touchdown and win this game of survival, we all need to do the right thing and join the game or we’re cooked. Literally.

Here’s what to do today:

  1. Join an online climate change group that works for you and keeps you engaged. Simple on-line actions sent by your green team will help make your voice heard. 350.org, Moms Clean Air Force, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, ConservAmerica, Climate Reality Project and National Resources Defense Council are just a few of excellent players working for realistic ways to move to sustainable fuel sources.
  2. Donate $1 every month to your green organization. Why? A monthly reminder about global warming will help keep the topic on your radar screen (it’s not on the media’s) and you will have some skin in the game. Donating more cash is an option too!
  3. Cut your greenhouse gas footprint anyway you can. Be mindful of your family’s carbon footprint from your cars, your home’s energy use, your purchases, your trash and your travel.
  4. Energy efficiency is the first place you can make a difference. Our modern lives waste an enormous amount of energy (~ 30 percent.) . To start, the top 3 easiest bang-for-your buck actions are to switch to green energy suppliers, change those lightbulbs and weatherize your leaky home.
  5. Make your voice heard with your elected officials. Believe it or not, the power of a simple email to your elected officials makes a difference. A hand-written letter is the golden key to YOUR elected government.
  6. Stay positive: Humans are smart. Things change fast now. We are connected. If we take climate change seriously and curb our world’s pollution and deforestation, maybe the temperature graph below will not become our legacy.
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