Energy & Climate

Here's a new definition of madness: running the economy on fossil fuels with climate change underway.

It's time to begin switching over to renewable energy in earnest. (See Warming Worries on the dangers of waiting.) Those who say it's too expensive are simply doing bad math. What breaks the bank will not be green power, but global warming.

How? Heat waves and drought. Monster storms and floods. Lost property, livelihoods and lives. Far from being projections, these are facts on the ground today. See the evidence on NRDC's 2012 Extreme Weather Map and the Union of Concerned Scientists' Climate Hot Map.

The sad truth is that climate change will continue whatever we do because of the lag between cause and effect. But human action can rein it in if we act now.

Shifting to greener energy sources will also reduce pollution associated with extracting, transporting and burning coal, oil and gas, including air pollution that aggravates health conditions such as asthma and shaves years off people's lives.

To the extent that you can nudge society along by opting for green energy for your own home or office, do it! You will help make the world a cleaner, healthier more life-supporting place.

You can also help by becoming more energy-efficient and reducing your energy waste. Check out Naturally Cool and Light and Bright for ways to do this in your everyday life.

And please, please don't just bemoan catastrophes like the Gulf oil spill, but take action to reduce your personal need for oil and other fossil fuels. Check out Oil Spill Got You Down? for suggestions.

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