Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Ten ideas to fight global warming

Mark Twain is arguably the brains behind the quote “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” What was once a brilliantly sarcastic quip about the futility of humans on planet Earth has taken on a new life and a new possibly unintended meaning centuries later. In recent days we have seen millions take figurative action on the warming trend Earth is seeing.
Sobbing Swedish kids, ranting politicians and jet setting movie stars gave lots of sizzle but no substance. I write below a list of 10 things we all can do to curb the heating of our home. Some are easy, some not so much. All are based on the premise fighting warming of Earth is the objective. Politicians have lofty plans that involve taxation with iffy outcomes with no real substance. Below are some common sense thoughts. Most are free and could save money.
1. Act like when you were a kid and your parents were paying the utilities. Mine yelled at me all the time. Turn off lights when not needed, wear a sweatshirt when it is cool outside, etc.
2. Never use a drier again. The two biggest electricity sinks in many homes are the refrigerator and the drier. I have yet to ever lay eyes on a drier in Sweden where average household energy use is half of USA. Using massive heat which is released into atmosphere to do what can be done by the natural process of evaporation seems odd to many cultures. It could become as such in ours.
3. Never drink bottled water again without a health reason to do so. You can spot an American from many meters away in Europe due to a hand clutched around a purchased bottled water bottle. Buying water when it comes for free seems odd and wasteful to many cultures. It could become as such in ours.
4. Pretend it is the era of the oil embargo. Enter an era self mandated oil embargo of sorts. Think before driving. Consider carpooling. Our parents did it, so can we! Seatbelt laws have changed significantly since I was stuffed into a Ford Pinto with my entire Little League team but no one can deny the decrease in carbon footprint.
5. Recycle in earnest. The thermodynamics of the organic chemistry of recycling is extremely clear. Recycling a molecule uses much less energy versus extracting and purifying from native sources.
6. Plant as many plants as you can. Earth once had a balance and every species had a place in an amazing perpetual motion machine. The closer we can get to that balance the better.
7. Propagate wisely. Earth only has so many seats on the bus. I was born into the ZPG (zero population growth) generation, which has long been forgotten. Every human carries a carbon load.
8. Shun NIMBY (not in my back yard). Support responsible and genuine renewable energy as a must with mitigation of warming the primary objective.
9. Acknowledge CO2 is not the only issue. Humans have covered the Earth with countless square meters of heat absorbing solar panels. There are otherwise known as rooftops and asphalt. A very small child will walk from a lawn to a parking lot on a hot day once and only once due to the massive differential in heat. All the asphalt humans have put down has a massive passive impact on heating Earth. Consider lighter colored roofing and stone instead of pavement.
10. Acknowledge this is a global issue and humans are all on the same big boat. All humans need to do their share as the atmosphere is shared. America should expect all nations will follow the same common sense rules toward a common objective.
Anders Holm
Portsmouth, N.H.

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