Climate Change: Energy Policy and Sustainability
Global climate change due to human activity is a major concern to millions of informed citizens. The U.S. government and scientific community have acknowledged the threats posed by global warming are real and stem from the unprecedented emission of greenhouse gases such as C02 and methane in the last 75 years (U.S. EPA, 2013). The United States is a major source of world greenhouse gas emissions including CO2 (U.S. EPA, 2013).
The specific effects of climate change on human health and safety are numerous including access to food, housing, and changes in patterns of disease transmissions. The worldwide scale of the pollution issue complicates protecting public health and safety against the dangers of global climate change (U.S. EPA, 2013). In the past 20 years, the government has begun to put forth regulations addressing carbon ...view middle of the document...
Because individuals and households contribute to our nation’s GHG emissions and global climate change, understanding my personal footprint is a good first step to understanding what actions I can take reduce my household carbon footprint.
Weber & Matthews (2008) found “..GHG emissions associated with food are dominated by the production phase, contributing 83% of the average U.S. household’s..CO2e/yr footprint for food consumption…” (p. 3508). Weber & Matthews (2008) found “Shifting less than one day per week’s worth of calories from red meat and dairy products to chicken, fish, eggs, or a vegetable-based diet achieves more GHG reduction than buying all locally sourced food”. My family’s shift to locally produced fruits and vegetables and eliminating red meat can be a more effective means of lowering an average household’s food-related climate footprint than just buying locally produced foods alone.
Because even small changes in transportation or diet result to dramatic changes in a household carbon print, the opportunity is huge to make significant reductions in household emissions through national, state, and local policies and public education campaigns.
Randolph, J. and Masters., G. M. (2008). Energy for sustainability: Technology. Planning. Policy. Washington: Island Press
United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). (2013). Climate Change: Human Health Impacts & Adaptation. Retrieved August 19, 2013, from http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/health.html
Weber, C. L. & Matthews, H. S. (2008). Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States. Environmental Science Technology. 42, pp. 3508-3513. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://psufoodscience.typepad.com/psu_food_science/files/es702969f.pdf
World Resource Institute. (2013). Climate Analysis Indicator Tools. Retrieved August 30, 2013, from http://cait2.wri.org/wri/Country%20GHG%20Emissions?indicator=Total%20GHG%20Emissions%20Excluding%20LUCF&indicator=Total%20GHG%20Emissions%20Including%20LUCF&year=2010&sortIdx=&sortDir=&chartType=#