The planet is in trouble. Man-made climate change is turning our planet from the sole haven for life into an unlivable hotbox of poison, pollution, and disease. At times it can be easy to feel helpless, especially when the major governments and corporations of the world seem disinterested in doing anything to change our current course.
But this is not an article about doom and gloom. Today we’ll be talking about how small gadgets can be used to help reduce your personal impact on climate change – and often for a pretty reasonable price!
Consumer drones are changing the world. On a large scale, quadcopters are being used to track endangered species and to keep a bird’s eye view on the greater effects of climate change. But many of the best drones under $150 (click here) are accessible to consumers and have a number of practical applications when it comes to saving the environment. You can use them to monitor your landscape, or to help you check for the effects of drought and other agricultural symptoms of global warming.
Affordable drones are completely safe – they run off of clean electricity, unlike traditional aircraft which use vast amounts of fossil fuel. And there are plenty of great options for beginners in case you’re new to this fast-growing and eco-friendly hobby. So if you want a good way to keep an eye on your property or you just want a fun, clean toy for you or your kids, drones are a great hobby for anyone.
Sun Power Charge Ports
We live in an age of technology; not one of us spends a day away from their phone, laptop, or tablet. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, the rise of consumer electronics and the Internet has allowed us to stay connected with each other like never before. How else could you read this very article and learn all about the great eco-friendly gadgets you’re missing out on?
But technology requires power, more than ever before. You can reduce the amount of power you need with sun power charge ports, known more simply as solar chargers. These also usually cost less than $150 USD and can be used to power a laptop, phone, or other device with clean solar energy.
Another important environmental issue is water conservation. Conserving water is obviously important for droughts and water shortages, but they can also extend the life of your septic system, reduce soil saturation, and reduce pollution caused by leakage. And it can start with your (hopefully) regular showering habits – Americans use 1.2 trillion gallons of water a year when they shower, which is 17 percent of the country’s total water usage.
Enter the Water Pebble. This waterproof device sits near the drain in your shower and measures the amount of water that passes over it. It flashes green at the start, changing to amber when you’re halfway through and flashing red when it’s time to end your shower. It memorizes your usage and uses that information to shorten your next shower. This device is available for as low as $14 USD in some areas, and is an easy and affordable way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Of course, these are just a few of the great gadgets available to help you help the environment. If there’s anything in particular that we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments! And be sure to try these items out for yourself if you’re interested in making a personal difference in the future of our blue marble.
We hear talk of drones these days as cutting edge technology. They are used in war and in filming, which is common knowledge. What might be less known are the drones used to protect the environment.
These drones can be used as a monitoring tool. That means that they hover over areas where people go out hunting. The images from the drone can be used later to protect against hunting parties that target endangered species or animals that are not supposed to be hunted in that area.
Going into Areas Easily and Undetected
Just like the movie “The Circle”, drones can go around giving real time information to professionals involved in environmental conservation. Although drones are not invisible, they are easy to maneuver, and then to get that information back to the people that need it. They are also more cost effective than sending out helicopters of people to get pictures. And of course, they are less easy to detect than people taking pictures from an aerial view.
Monitoring Work on the Environment
Also, the drones can be used to monitor natural landscapes. These days, there is a lot of talk about the glaciers melting due to global warming. It is easier to send drones to monitor conditions there than actually sending out teams of people. The same can be said with natural environments such as the rain forest. There is a lot of rain forest restoration work that needs to be done, and drones are the perfect tool to document how the efforts are going.
Studying Natural Patterns
Environmentalists keep tabs on all kinds of behaviors on earth, such as the migration patterns of birds. Drones make it easier to study the habits of earth’s inhabitants. They can conduct longitudinal data studies through tracking the wildlife.
As one can see, an invasion of drones does not mean war or too many amateur film directors. It can mean that professionals involved in earth’s conservation can more adeptly perform their jobs.
Most people who follow the climate debate — and many who do not — will have heard about the so-called Climategate. In a nutshell, hackers stole 13 years of emails from leading climate scientists at Hadley Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the UK’s University of East Anglia and published them on the web for all to see.
Embarrassing, to say the least! And so, we see researchers talking trash, musing about tricks to coax trends out of data, puzzling over downward blips in the temperature record, and pondering ways to discredit their critics.
Humans are responsible
We have to face the truth, we as humans are responsible for all the climate change that is happening in the world and if we did any actions in time to prevent further damage, we might have had a chance to save the situation. However, nowadays, the climate change is such a huge problem that we need a miracle just to fix it. Turning to a greener technology that is eco-friendlier, we can make a huge step.
But the skeptics are having a field day, pulling quotes here and there that prove all manner of malfeasance, including proof that climate scientists killed John F. Kennedy, and that they were behind the infamous decision to change the Coca-Cola recipe.
All of the information that was released with these emails was read by a lot of people all around the world and it was a shocking experience for a lot of them. Who knows, what would have happened if these hackers didn’t share that information. Luckily, for us, we have that information and we can now use it to analyze a lot of things. The key thing with valuable information such as this is to know what to do with it.
Honestly, if you’re looking for a smoking that disproves global warming, you won’t find it. And that’s because there’s so little to be found. What global warming deniers can’t seem to get through their thick skulls is that four major climate research centers exist, including Hadley. If anyone of them had been cooking the books, it would have been apparent.
But, as the graph above shows, NOAA, NASA, HADCRU, and JMA show a remarkably similar temperature record. To doubt their results, you would have to believe that:
International scientists in three countries — and four institutions — are in collusion
That this collusion was invoked sometime around 1880
Have co-opted virtually every climate scientist on the planet and convinced them to play along. Publishing hundreds of false studies — in fact, 1,500 in the last three years alone
That somehow climate scientists at Hadley have managed to get Mother Nature to play along, melting the glaciers, Antarctica, and the Arctic Sea Ice, to name just a few of the thousands of changes wrought over the last 30 years
I joke, but Climategate does raise one serious matter: a few Hadley researchers discussed ways to avoid complying with Freedom of Information requests. If they acted, then their actions were stupid and illegal.
Let me say that again. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
What could have caused them to act so rashly? Perhaps being subjected to 58 FOI requests over a six-day period, and hundreds over the last few years. In a nutshell, were being hounded by non-scientists who, in most cases, don’t know their ass from their elbow.
But I’m with Dr. Jim Hansen on the issue. Ninety-eight percent of climate data is available for all to see. But we need to bump that up to 100 percent, as they do at NASA, to ensure complete and utter transparency. Here’s Hansen’s take:
No, [the emails] have no effect on the science. The evidence for human-made climate change is overwhelming… [The hacked emails] indicate poor judgment in specific cases. First, the data behind any analysis should be made publicly available. Second, rather than trying so hard to prohibit publication of shoddy science, which is impossible, it is better than reviews. Such as by IPCC and the National Academy of Sciences, summarizes the full range of opinions and explains clearly the basis of the scientific assessment. The “contrarians” or “deniers” do not have a scientific leg to stand on. Their aim is to win a public relations battle or at least get a draw. Which may be enough to stymie the actions that are needed to stabilize climate.
As mentioned above, these emails that were provided to the world, showed that some cases indicated poor judgment. They should have made all the data of the analyses to be available for everyone to see and use.
People like Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit and Anthony Watts at Watts Up don’t have to concern themselves with the truth. They play a cynical public relations game in which they smear their betters. And line their own pockets — even as people in the developing world watch helplessly as rising sea levels wash away their homes.
Frankly, I don’t know how they sleep at night.
You have to understand something, global warming is just one of the things that this climate change will affect. There are still a lot of people who don’t believe in climate change and global warming because they don’t feel like they are affected by it. Well, the reason for that is because some other areas of the world are very much affected, and you can see that if you just do a little research online.
Let’s begin with the preliminaries. The first is that global warming isn’t a scientific theory, it’s a scientific fact. The time for debate has ended. We can still argue over tipping points and the minutia — like when the Arctic will become ice-free during the summer months, or how much world sea levels will rise by 2050 — but the core truth is as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. Global warming is a scientific fact. We’re just dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.
Of course, many people, including Canada’s Prime Minister and US Senator James Inhofe, have been bamboozled into believing that global warming is a hoax or a socialist money grab, ignoring the fact that conservative governments throughout the world are already vigorously fighting climate change.
One person might not be able to change a lot, but if everyone did something that will benefit the plant, then we could have a huge result and our climate and global warming issues might be fixed. However, in order for that to happen, people need to open their eyes first.
It is not a question anymore, we know for sure, it has been scientifically proved that we are responsible for these climate changes and that the global warming will become a huge problem if we don’t do anything. The biggest mistake we can do is sit and wait for others to take the first step. If you have a way to improve your lifestyle and save the planet from climate change just by a little, you should do it.
And many others think that scientists are still engaging in a vigorous debate. With thousands of studies all pointing in the same direction, how is that possible?
Well, we can thank the tobacco companies. In the 1980s, big tobacco paid big money to establish “independent” think tanks and “research” institutes that were charged with confusing the public over the dangers of sidestream smoke.
Astroturfing began when Imperial Tobacco, Canada’s largest tobacco manufacturer, commissioned a secret study that weighed various strategies for combating the growing influence of non-smoking groups like The Lung Association and the Non-smokers Rights Association.
“Passive smoking [should be] the focal point,” the study suggests. “Of all the health issues surrounding smoking… the one that the tobacco industry has the most chance of winning [is to argue] that the evidence proclaimed by [anti-smoking groups] is flawed… It is highly desirable for us to control the focus of the debate.” Later, the study urges a comprehensive attack on “the credibility of the evidence presented to date,” and tells the company to hire several doctors and scientists who would be willing to take their side.
And that’s exactly what they did.
Companies like Phillip Morris used their huge profits to create institutes and smokers-rights groups to promote pseudo-science and false research as the real thing, thereby confusing many people who don’t really understand how the scientific process works. The campaign convinced many non-smokers that second-hand smoke was just another unfounded fear — a fear that could be equated to concerns over cell phones, pesticides and, believe it or not, global warming.
Ten years later, when study after study confirmed that global warming was real and that it seemed likely to roll over us and lead to catastrophic warming, scientists sounded the alarm. The oil industry saw the way the wind was blowing. But rather than do the ethical thing, and join the fight to slow global warming, most companies took a page from the tobacco industry play book.
The created research institutes and public policy centers — all very official sounding — that are paid to distort and confuse. They aren’t trying to disprove global warming; they’re trying to convince decent folk everywhere that the debate is still ongoing, and that the scientific community still isn’t speaking with one voice.
In a nutshell, these groups are paid to lie in a very clever, media-savvy way.
And it’s worked. It’s still working. People are busy. We lead frenetic lives. In the attempt to provide balance, newspapers give voice to people who can lie boldly and confidently, and still sleep at night. As a result, most people in the North America and the UK still don’t believe that climate change is a major concern, or they still believe that we have to put the economy and jobs before the melting glaciers. Most Canadians believe that our country is getting warmer, but they seem to think the real problems are a century away, or that technology will solve the issue before it gets out of hand.
Both possibilities are nothing more than pipe dreams. What we do it the next five years will determine the fate of humanity. If we fail to convince governments in North America to tackle climate change with the same steely resolve that we displayed during WW II, then we are putting the health of our bank accounts before the physical and emotional well-being of our descendants, beginning with your children and grandchildren.
This climate change debate
Has become a story of citizen journalism gone awry, for the blogosphere is littered with amateur writers who have been duped into fighting against global warming by slick websites with official-sounding names like the Science and Public Policy Institute and the Friends of Science. There you will find “climate scientists” who spout all manner of opinion that muddies the global warming waters. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find that SPPI — and their ilk — are sponsored by oil companies who borrowed the tobacco industry’s guidebook. Their experts aren’t experts; they either pocket oil industry money, or they can’t publish their work in respected scientific journals.
To make a climate skeptic sputter, you need to as ask him for real evidence — published in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal and authored by a scientist with a Ph.D. in climatology — that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 can rise above 450 parts per million (ppm) without affecting global temperatures. No expert will make that claim. The overwhelming majority of climate scientists believe that a global tragedy is drawing nigh.
Our parents have been described as the greatest generation. If we fail to act, we will be known as the selfish generation, and our children and grandchildren will remember us for the rest of our days — for all the wrong reasons.
One of the most common ways you can generate green energy is by using the power of the sun. Most likely you are already familiar with the term solar panels or solar energy. But in case someone is not, we will explain it to you. Solar panels are essentially just the tool that allows people to use the power of the sun and turn it into usable energy that you can use all around your home. depending on how many solar panels you have. You can either use it to power your entire home with electricity or you can use it just to get warm water. Both of these ways are very beneficial because you are not using the harmful energy that is gathered by a nuclear power plant.
When you are using these solar panels, you are essentially saving our planet from global warming. People think that just because they change to solar energy. Nothing else will be affected and the climate change will still be an issue, so they decide to not do it. That is the main problem because everyone is thinking like that. However, the key is to everyone use the solar energy and then we will have some very good benefits. Tuning your home into a green energy producing machine is the best thing that you can do because not only you are saving the planet, but you are also saving yourself a lot of money.
One of the other common sources of green energy is wind. There are some places where you can see a lot of wind turbines working. But that is not nearly enough to make a drastic change. If we want to achieve some type of change. Then we need to start using both the power of wind and sun in our favor.
The problem with all of the green energy production sources is that they will cut out all of your electricity bills. And people that are high up don’t like that idea. So, what they want to achieve is to suppress this green energy producing idea. And make everything about the regular energy-producing power plants. We have to fight the system if we want to make a change and turn our homes into green energy producing homes. Of course, this requires a huge investment but if you look at it from a long-term perspective. Then you will see that you will actually save much more money.
Canada is such a nice country and filled with so many nice people. And yet Canadians are among the world’s worst climate-change villains! A lot of people are surprised when they hear this about Canada, but if you have ever been there, then you know what we are talking about. Of course, it is a nice country and we strongly recommend that you visit as soon as you have the chance because it is a unique traveling experience that everyone has to see. As mentioned they are not the best or the most concerned people about the health of our planet and that resulted in a very bad climate change.
We are not saying that they are the only reason to blame for the climate change, but they are surely on top of the list. People need to start understanding that we have to take care of our planet and we cannot do everything as we please. There have to be certain rules that apply, especially now that the climate change has such a huge effect on the planet and people. It is never too late to start making changes in the world, even the smallest change can make a difference, we just have to start this revolution. Making the planet greener again is a possibility, but if people are not ready for changes, then we are in a bad situation.
Until Canadians man-up, we have no choice but to be blunt and critical about the Great White North, which won’t be white for much longer. Under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government, Canada has become an international pariah at climate change summits.
Yes, the previous administration deserves every ounce of criticism thrown at it for their failure to enact any meaningful legislation that would slow global warming. But in the last Canadian election, all four opposition parties earned strong passing grades from the Sierra Club, while the Conservatives merited an F. The Sierra Club’s excellent PDF analyzed the environmental policies of all five major parties for the October 2008 election, and awarded the following grades:
Green Party: A-
Liberal Party: B+
New Democratic Party: B
Bloc Québécois: B
We believe their analysis is fair and comprehensive, as it mirrors our own keen reading of the issues (We work in the environmental publishing industry, and read hundreds of global warming studies and stories each week).
Here’s what we think:
Climate change should be a conservative issue. Throughout the world, right-wingers everywhere are getting very serious about slowing global warming. Just not Harper’s Conservatives because their political base begins and ends in oil-rich Alberta and red-hot Saskatchewan.
So, we’re not going to pull our punches, we need to convince people who are sitting on the fence — or who aren’t aware of the serious consequences of global warming — to join the fight to slow climate change. And since we need to start today, we need all four opposition parties to work together — perhaps in a Unity Government, as formed during the war years — to bring Canada’s climate-change policy into the 21st century.
And so… We’ll begin with an apology to Progressive Conservatives and Red Tories — many of whom have strong environmental sensibilities — and who are nevertheless offended by One Blue Marble. We prefer playing nice, but if we can’t get your government to change its policies soon, we’ll need to bring them down.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims that he’s all for saving the environment, and then argues that Canada will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions when India and China do the same. At best, his argument is specious.
Global warming has no borders, and it will first affect the poorest of the poor. China is now the world’s worst GHG emitter, having just wrested that dubious honor from the US. But even in teeming China, wracked with environmental disasters, the average person emits just one-fifth the CO2 of the average Canadian. The average Rajasthani has less than one-eighteenth the carbon footprint of the average Albertan.
We’re exceedingly wasteful. That’s one reason why the G8 Nations need to lead, why we must first make internationally binding commitments. Not only are we the worst, but we have always been so.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased 40 percent since the Industrial Revolution which made western nations exceedingly wealthy. To the extent that we are rich, we can thank modern production methods. To the extent that global warming has already occurred — and it has warmed significantly over the last century — we can blame our modern production methods. It can all be delivered right to our doorsteps.
The developing world has had virtually no hand in creating the global warming that has already occurred. Until recently, China and India didn’t possess the economic engine to create significant carbon emissions. They do now, but they shouldn’t be forced to curb their emissions as an act of good faith before we’re willing to negotiate.
Harper hopes you won’t pay attention. His sly twisting of facts suggests that Canada shouldn’t have to go it alone. The whole truth is that we’re not alone. Our allies have already joined the battle. The 27-member European Union will meet its Kyoto commitments. Australia, which only signed the Kyoto after last December’s election, is slashing emissions. Yet over the last 15 years, our emissions have ballooned by 28 percent, the developed world’s worst record!
Among developed countries, only the US and Canada have criminal policies. But President-Elect Barack Obama is going to make fighting climate change a priority in his administration. So we’ll soon be alone, but not in a good way.
But Canada’s problem goes deeper still, and it is frighteningly short-sighted. Harper is locking Canada into a fossil fuel economy. While supporting the oil and gas industries in Alberta and Saskatchewan above all else, Harper has whittled country’s huge surplus down to nothing. As a result, the rest of world is launching a green tech revolution, and Canada is traveling in reverse. Every day, the industry is moving forward, making huge investments in clean renewable energy and mass transportation; an investment that completely misses our country. Even as we fritter away our international reputation, we’re destroying our global ability to compete.
Atlantic Canada, with thousands of miles of stormy coastline, could become the Saudi Arabia of wind and wave power. With enough energy to power eastern Canada and the Atlantic Seaboard in the US. BC is similarly blessed with a long and dramatic coastline. The waiting list for wind turbines is three years long; that could provide a solution for Ontario’s manufacturing sector or Cape Bretoners who lost jobs when the Sydney steel plant closed. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba should have wind farms as far as the eye can see. And Quebec ‘s hydro resources are already legendary. In other G8 nations, the green construction industry is going from strength to strength. Countries like Denmark and Israel are creating an electric car recharging infrastructure so gas burning vehicles are a thing of the past.
All of those industries will work in Canada, and make the most of our incredible natural wealth. But not if we continue to exploit the oil sands as if the world was depending on us. They’re not. And it will be a very rude awakening for Canadians over the next decade.
Harper, with his head stuck in the tar sands, has brought Canada to the abyss. While the Liberals share responsibility for our predicament, the science is stronger now. And the Liberals gave us the largesse to fight against global warming. We had the chance to lead, but that chance has evaporated.
I was raised to expect better from Canada. How is it that we ask so little of ourselves? Reporters should be writing stories about how Canada is spearheading. The green energy revolution, and helping nations come to grips with their carbon problem. We shouldn’t care about the price of oil because we shouldn’t be relying upon it. We should be exporting clean energy to the United States, and using our technological savvy to help China and India. Lord Nicholas Stern. Former Chief Economist with the World Bank, estimates that investing just two percent of our GDP would get us there. If we don’t make that investment, in a decade, maybe 15 years. We’ll be forced to devote 20 percent of GDP to battling the worst effects of global warming.
Our parents and grandparents were the greatest generations, sacrificing everything to win a war. We inherited a country full of promise and goodwill, but we are squandering it. Unless we can overcome our regional and national pettiness. Children will inherit a country that is filled with sadness and heartbreak. World will be devastated by a self-sustaining warming system. Hundreds of millions of climate refugees, dozens of bloody land-use disputes, and a tattered economy.
We can do better… if we choose. We have to start today, but replacing a few light bulbs won’t cut it. We may have to replace our politicians.