From Carol Parker, Natural Resources Director
We have all experienced the poor air quality from all the wildfires in August and September. We have seen the smog in our air and the pictures of the horrific orange skies from the Bay Area and other places. We all know that this has been a truly bad start to fire season in the West. What’s worst is the wildfires are pumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere that will trap more solar radiation, causing even higher increased temperatures, which will dry out the vegetation faster, which has increased fire risk, and so on. In California and Oregon, there has been more green-house gas (GHG) emissions from the fires this past month, than from the states’ power plants for the whole year. It is the first time this has happened since they started tracking this data. Wildfires are increasing because of climate change and they are contributing to speeding it up as well.
We can slow down global warming, and all the associated problems with wildfires and others, by cutting GHG emissions, then additionally drawdown CO2 in the atmosphere. We all can do our part through lower energy use, food waste reduction, using energy efficient cars, appliances and light bulbs (google Drawdown for climate solutions). But the biggest way to cut GHG emissions is for our government to change energy and land use policies.
Vote for national and local candidates that will make cutting GHG emissions and the environment a priority. Office holders will make decisions that they know their constituents care about. Please tell them about how you feel about climate change. I am voting for the climate this year because I believe making choices through the lens of the environment now, can lead to a better economy, more social justice, increased health benefits, and a cooler future.
Please join me in celebrating Earth Day on Election Day.