Along with all that we love about summer, the dog days are also increasingly bringing extreme heat waves, bad air days, ticks, poison ivy, foodborne illnesses, risky swimming and ruined park visits, and so on. They will get worse unless we take serious actions to combat climate change. That’s because heat-trapping carbon pollution encircling Earth is driving up temperatures, supercharging these summer hazards.
But here’s the good news. In early June, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the centerpiece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—the first-ever limits on carbon dioxide pollution spewed by our fossil fueled power plants. These plants are responsible for nearly 40 percent of our heat-trapping carbon pollution, which is fueling climate change. We’re nearly out of time to curb climate change, but we’re not out of solutions. By 2030, the president’s proposal would reduce the annual 2 billion tons of carbon pollution from power plants 30 percent, compared to 2005 levels.
That’s a great start. In the meantime, we all need to get through another summer made more challenging by climate change. Here are some day-to-day things that you and your family can do to tackle eight of the here-and-now effects of climate change.