Environment


Forest fires being put out in Europe.

Scientists have found a way that might soon show the real possibility of extreme weather like the floods and heat waves being due to global warming. Huge heat waves have spread across Europe. Greece has hit 113 degrees fahrenheit, following closely behind a record-setting heat-wave in June of almost 114.8. The heat has killed 500 in Hungary, left 350,000 in Britain without running water. I think it is astounding that simply the heat is killing people. It has been frustrating for me to see people squandering around wondering “Is it Global Warming?” But hopefully these scientists, particularly Myles Allen, who hails from Oxford, (one of the most highly respected universities in the world), with all of these computer simulations, will be able to finally end the questions for skeptics around the globe.

The heatwave in Europe terrorizes.

Of course there will always be the howling from “scientists” placed in high places by oil companies, but hopefully the truth will ring out from these complex experiments. Allen claims that is simply a matter of calculating the probability. He, in particular, is running a team conducting thousands of simulations on one particular British flood. Each individual computer runs one climate simulation. Allen says that the results will be published later this year. Hundreds of scientists in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted more and more drastic changes in the weather like floods and heat waves. The heat wave overtaking Europe that I mentioned earlier is a huge example of what the IPCC predicted. With this new technology of pointing the finger at a particular variable in one situation… I think we will be able to revolutionize the way people look at global warming research. I think that soon we will have the most concrete evidence ever presented to the public.

On July 7th, 2007 people all over the globe celebrated at Live Earth ‘Parties for the Planet’, a reaching-out to all kinds of people around the world to raise awareness and actually do something to stop global warming. People everywhere were encouraged to throw parties of their own, not just to watch the ones on TV, because you don’t need a concert hall to tell people how to save the earth. We, Team Gaia, an Atlantic Beach based teen environmental organization, decided to do just that. We decided to throw a big Live Earth party in our very own studio office in Mayport. We posted our party on MoveOn.org, an environmental and political website that acted as a HQ for people who wanted to go to a Live Earth party. People all over typed in their zip code, and if they were near us, our party showed up on their screens. We also got together and invited a bunch of our friends to join in! We got around 70 people, and their ages were very diverse. We had about 50 adults, some of them seniors, some middle age, and some of them even in their twenties. But at the same time we had about 20 teenagers from different schools in the area. Aside from the mere diversity, a lot of the people who came were very progressive. Members of local organizations like the Sierra Club and JaxTaxpayers.com came, along with lots of other concerned members of the community like UNF professors and school board members. All of us at Team Gaia were really excited to meet all these amazing people!

At the party we had a huge potluck where everyone brought in vegetarian and organic dishes, and we even organized getting some biodegradable silverware. The food that was there was absolutely delicious! People ate, mingled, and we showed the concerts from all over the globe on a projection screen in our studio. We kicked things off with an introductory piece from the Live Earth campaign by Al Gore, and then showed a 30-minute town meeting with different people running for government talking about the environment. We (Team Gaia) also showed our own pieces we ourselves produced about Global Warming. At Team Gaia we produce all kinds of videos spanning from global warming, to getting teens to vote, to organic food and healthy eating. We got some awesome feedback from all kinds of people, and it was really rewarding. The whole experience was simply exhilarating, and it was great to say that we took action, that we will continue to take action, and that we’ve encouraged others to take action.

Most importantly, you can take action against the climate crisis even as a simple reader of this blog! You don’t need to be a member of Team Gaia or Sierra Club or anything like that to make a change. You can change the light bulbs in your home to compound florescent, you can turn the AC up a couple degrees when it’s hot and down a couple when it’s cold, you can do what you can to use less hot water like take shorter showers, and on top of all that, you can drive less! Together, all of us can do our best to prevent global warming– that’s what ‘Party for the Planet’ and Live Earth was all about!

All throughout the world, an enormous party is being held with the planet in mind.

A party with 7 continents participating!

7/7/07: Al Gore’s Live Earth Concerts are being held all over. They are being held to raise awareness of the rising climate. The concerts sold out within the first two days .. so what are the rest of us supposed to do? Party anyway! Party for the Planet is an event anyone can celebrate anywhere. People are holding block parties.

Team Gaia asks you: What are you doing to spread the word about global warming?

Team Gaia’s doing it’s part. We’ve made a whole segment made about global warming– we truly want to make change. We’re holding a Live Earth house party, and you should too!

Party for the planet .. before it’s too late!
http://www.liveearth.org/

A hydroponic garden.

An environmental group called New York Sun Works thinks the rooftops of New York could be used as gardens to provide food for the whole city. To prove their point, they created a garden on a barge on the Hudson River. The barge is a greenhouse that uses solely rain, solar panels, wind turbines and biofuel to subsist. New York Sun Works says that if these ‘hydroponic systems’ with no water or soil were installed on the rooftops of New York, the provided food could feed 20 million people.

Cities like New York growing their own produce would encourage becoming organically inclined and aid the fight against global warming! Having the gardens on the tops of schools could feed the school, and teach lessons in science and horticulture. It would solve the terrible nutrition problems that American cafeterias face! And because space on land is often sought after in cities, what better place to choose for these gardens than the often unused rooftops?

I think this is an extremely exciting and inspiring idea! Think of the changes that this could create in American society– it would be like a tidal wave of health, beauty and tasty organic food! The greenhouses apparently produce seven times more food and they use four times less water than the traditional farm. So many benefits would be in store for New York if they chose to enforce this plan. This is truly one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard– there has to be a city who will do this. Please, someone listen to these wonderful people!

S O U R C E S:
Reuter`s Article

Berkshares, a currency accepted in Great Barrington (Massachusetts) and some neighboring communities, keeps the profit being circulated inside the community. Great Barrington is a unique community that features many organic farms, yoga studios and other such cafes and new age shops. Berkshares have been a hit with the community’s economy, and locals use the bills as almost a form of local pride. The bills allow small businesses to stay alive and compete with large chains that are sprouting up everywhere.

I am delighted to hear that this bill experiment was brought about in such a green-inclined community, and I hope that this currency will encourage other communities to do the same and create their own currencies. I would love to see the organic farms grow because of a change in economy. This seems like a great tool to combat fast food and other restaurant chains with great alternatives to their terrible food.

S O U R C E S:
Reuters’ Article.

Many parts of Northern Texas were hit with around 2 to 3 inches of rain in a single hour sunday evening, June 17th 2007. Several families were forced up on rooftops as nearby bodies of water filled with the rain simply pouring out of the sky. Several areas in Texas have received up to 8 inches of rain over that night. The rainfall bombarded the town of Gainesville, which has appeared to have received the brunt of the storm. Recent footage shows families lost on the rooftops of their homes. Power was lost to approximately 300,000 homes in the area. Luckily, there have only been two casualties, although all of us wish there wouldn’t have been any…

Texas flooding diagram.

As people continue to ignore global warming, what do they expect to come from mother nature? I think that in this day and age we truly shouldn’t be losing children to random weather accidents. But as the terrible weather becomes more intense, perhaps people will wake up to the world around them. I do not blame global warming for every rainy day, but I do think there is a very real connection between the earth’s increasing climate and the magnitude of different natural happenings. If anyone can think back to Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, they will truly understand what I’m talking about. As the line between global warming and the weather isn’t being drawn in popular media as they’re covering these horrifying tragedies, people aren’t seeing that we can aid the problem.

The Tsunami of 2004

S O U R C E S:
Disaster News’ article on the Texas flash flooding.
Reuters’ article on the flooding.
Reuters’ video of the flood.
The United Press’ Article

Beijing at night. (Do you see any energy police?)

A small update on my last little bit on China’s battle against global warming. Chinese government’s latest weapon against the cruel climate change? A sort of “Energy Saving Police” out to make sure all buildings in Beijing are obeying energy saving rules, like making sure their air conditioning is set to no cooler than 79 degrees. The Chinese government also has a phone line set up just so people can call in and report people disobeying these Energy Laws.

The effort to save energy has even become somewhat of a political campaign, considering the 2008 Beijing olympics are approaching and they truly want to get rid of all the pollution by then. The People Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece in China, says: “All regions and sectors must thoroughly grasp the importance and urgency of saving energy and reducing emissions,” showing the government’s desperation to urge things forward. According to the China Youth Daily, 84.6 percent of almost 5,000 Chinese citizens found global warming and energy conservation to be considered an urgent issue. It seems to me that China is certainly keeping its’ promise so far!

S O U R C E S:
Article about China’s efforts.
Article mainly about the energy police.

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