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Planetary Emergency

November 2, 2007

Have a boat? If not, you’re going to need it, we’re in a “planetary emergency” according to former Vice President Al Gore. With the ice-caps melting and the potential of mass flooding, there is going to be a serious global problem if we don’t act soon. These are some of messages presented by the former Vice-President at his countless speeches, tours, concerts, books not to mention his Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. This past weekend, the Nobel Peace Prize committee awarded Mr. Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

“for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”

Ok great – Gore loves trees, we get it, but what does this really mean? I decided to attend the Beyond An Inconvenient Truth event hosted by the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and the Climate Project (TCP), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness on the climate crisis. After seeing Gore’s film, I was interested to see what additional information the event could provide and how this information could be applied to today’s political debate. Experts from the organization, Chester and Donna Joy served as experts in the field of environmental policy and answered a series of questions following their presentation. They provided AU students with tips on how they can be a part of the movement, and how seem

ingly small changes in daily habits could have a global effect. Here’s their top ten ways to stop global warming: 

  1. Change a light Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  2. Drive less
Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often.  You’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don’t drive!
  3. Recycle more
You can save 2.400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.
  4. Check your tires
Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3%.
Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere!
  5. Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water.  Use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of CO2 saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).
  6. Avoid products with a lot of packaging
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.
  7. Adjust your thermostat
Moving your thermostat just 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer you could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.
  8. Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
  9. Turn off electronic devices
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  10. Spread the word!

This event showed the true value Al Gore has brought to the movement, and countless others that have contributed to stopping global warming. Almost everything you see is turning Green. Top companies are picking up on the importance of this social cause and have changed their policies to adapt. Take a look at GE’s Ecomagination, a site purely dedicated to educating its visitors to the importance of energy conservation. Even our Facebook profiles proclaim our environmental awareness, I am Green. It’s time for the presidential candidates to take action and firmly present a plan on how to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent further global warming. Who know’s, if the candidates don’t act fast it wouldn’t be surprising to see Al Gore jump into the race, he already has 200,000+ supporters dedicated to making him the next president. 

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