the challenge of our lifetime
(and many lifetimes to come if we don't act decisively and soon)
Key actions - starting close at home and moving out
Our planet needs some greenhouse gases surrounding it to hold in the sun’s energy. That’s why the average temperature on earth is in the mid-50’s F rather than 0 F. But adding too much of these same gases is like putting too many blankets on the bed at night – things start to heat up.
That’s what we’ve been doing for the past 250 years, with fully half the extra blankets added just over the past few decades. Check out this page for more information on all this, but suffice it to say we need to act drastically and soon to avert planetary disaster.
Check out David Radcliff's videotaped summary of climate change features, causes,
consequences and solutions. -->
This not-so-gradual (compared to historic precedents) warming is bringing heat waves,
droughts, floods, Arctic blasts, disruption of the oceanic ecosystem, and all their
companions: food insecurity, conflict, wider-ranging diseases, the displacement of people
and other living things, the deaths of moose calves from tick infestations. See photos and
facts-on-the-ground from NCP partner areas in this album.
“It’s worse – much worse – than you think.” – David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth, first sentence (here's a summary of his book)
2020 - even with fewer emissions due to COVID - tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record.
The last time the temperature rose by 5 degrees Celsius (11 F) “ended with all but a sliver of life on earth dead.” Wallace-Wells (currently, it’s 1.1 C hotter than the historic norm, with a rise of 5 C within the realm of possibility in the coming century)
As it was human activity, coupled first with ignorance and now with arrogance and deadly nonchalance, that made the earth’s climate turn on us, it is humans who can – and must – turn it in the other direction.
Want to turn down the heat? Start close by - but don't stop there!
Home (here's our personal CO2 calculator with points for bad and good behaviors)
What we eat (lower on the food chain, closer to home, beans replace beef)
How we get around (every mile we drive typically emits a pound of CO2 into the atmosphere)
The size of our dwellings and how energy efficient they are
How much stuff we consume (it takes energy to make stuff, and a lot of it is shipped from abroad)
Lawn size (mowing = 25 million tons of CO2 per year in USA)
Challenge your school, congregation or other group to take climate change seriously; invite NCP staff to stop in for a workshop - we're cheap, knowledgeable and occasionally funny :)
By your own lifestyle show others that a good life can be had without sacrificing a livable future
Advocate for local systems to be climate-friendly: bike lanes, ride-share, farmers markets
Our Sustainable Living Center in Harrisonburg, VA led the way in getting that city to adopt a 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2025. More here.
Call for legislation to support carbon taxes, green energy and other policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions
Oppose more drilling and fracking
Support NCP’s If a Tree Falls… program doing reforestation around the world
Get your school, club or congregation involved in our Million Tree Campaign
Educating girls and empowering women are two of the top ten recommendations for reducing climate change from the book Drawdown – do both through our Give a Girl a Chance fund
Join campaigns to protect tropical forests, limit palm oil production, empower native people
Go on our Learning Tours to the Amazon, Arctic and Dine reservation in NM to support native communities as they protect the environment and battle the extractive industries
Crops planted by these Malawian farmers were washed away by cyclone- and monsoon-related flooding, leaving them without food and income. D. Radcliff photo 2019
NCP Sustainable Living Centers in VA and VT play all the right climate keys: food, energy, transportation, legislation - and have a good time doing it!