Out and About

#ClimateFriday

While Americans geared up for record Black Friday sales today, the federal government released the second part of the fourth US National Climate Assessment (view NCA4 Vol. 1 here).

We get excited about deals just like any good American, but try to keep the planet in mind when you make your Black Friday purchases. Choose items made from sustainable materials, that are intended to last many years, or enhance your eco-friendly lifestyle, like these zero waste gadgets.

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve (personal care products) and Luna Pads (zero waste menstruation items) have great Black Friday deals. A company that recycles hard-to-recycle materials, TerraCycle, has a BOGO 50% sale for any zero waste box with the code GREENFRIDAY.

The real news today though is the publication of the NCA4 Vol. 2. NCA4 is another in a string of recent climate reports, including California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment and the outcomes of the Global Climate Action Summit.

On October 8, 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that our planet with reach a the critical temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, which “increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” if dramatic changes are not made immediately.

Without a 45% decrease in carbon emissions from 2010 levels by the year 2030, we will not be able to prevent this 1.5 degree C warming. Intense weather patterns, like the hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires we are already experiencing, will continue to worsen, disproportionally affecting disadvantaged populations.

Contrary to President Trump’s misguided tweet on Wednesday (“Whatever happened to global warming?“) in response to the coldest Thanksgiving weather in the American Northeast on record, extreme (not just hot) weather patterns will continue to worsen in severity if climate change is not adequately addressed. Fortunately for us, not everyone in the federal government seems to share these opinions.

The NCA4 presents Americans with the staggering reality of climate change and the effects it is already having. Although we are making admirable efforts to reduce our national carbon emissions, significantly more work needs to be done immediately to dampen the future damages to our health, economy, and environment.

The effects on sea level rise, climate, and population and land use have been modeled in various scenarios in the NCA4. Currently, we are on schedule to have many of these changes be irreparable in the next twelve years, such as the increase in global temperatures changing the color of the ocean. Although the unfortunate sequelae of climate change can be avoided and “is possible within the laws of chemistry and physics,” it will require drastic changes in nearly all aspects of our society.

Hopefully the urgency of today’s congressionally-mandated report, as per the Global Change Research Act of 1990, will not go unheeded by the Trump administration. We hope that the NCA4 will not be ignored because of its moved up release date to one of the slowest news days of the year, Black Friday.

Please don’t let a holiday of giving thanks be overshadowed by a day dedicated to consumerism. Instead, let’s celebrate #ClimateFriday, pat ourselves on the back for a big environmental win, and share the NCA4 with our family and friends this holiday weekend.

In other good news, you can offset the carbon emissions from your holiday travel here! For more ideas on how to lower your personal impact on the climate, check out our transportation, electricity, and clothing posts.

Disclaimer: We receive no financial compensation for any of the products recommended or shared anywhere in this blog. 

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