10% Challenge

The Reality of Global Warning” Isn’t it time you know the truth?Climate change is a threat to all areas of the world and will not only haveenvironmental implications, but also serves as a threat to human health,society, and civilization as we know it. Although the issue of globalwarming was once a topic of much controversy, it is now widely accepted asfact by the worlds leading scientists, including the world’s top 200climatologists, known as International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), andPresident Bush’s very own team of scientists. Presently, the levels ofcarbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are higher than they have beenwithin the past 10’s of thousands of years, and these CO2 concentrationsare continuously increasing. In fact, the IPCC has predicted a temperatureincrease of at least 5 degrees within the next 100 years, which would makeBoston’s climate comparable to that of Richmond, Virginia. Some othernoteable consequences that would result from rising temperatures are themelting of artic icecaps (which are already 40% thinner than they were 10years ago), a predicted 2-3 foot rise in sea levels, and the prevaleneceand spread of diseases such as the West Nile virus and lime disease. Howwould climate change impact Vermont? Some of the effects that have alreadystarted to occur include the northern migration of sugar maples, which willeventually have a dramatic effect on foliage, shortened ski seasons, theintroduction of warmer climate pests, and a loss of certain bird species.In fact, after a recent study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology, the type of environment which we are moving towards with theseclimate changes occured approximately 50 million years ago when there waslittle or no ice covering the poles; this was a time of severe storms andharsh climatic conditions also known as the ice age.Despite the fact that the issue of climate change seems morbid andoverwhleming, there are many actions thta individuals and businesses cantake to help slow the effects of global warming. Vermont, in fact, has oneof the largest grassroots programs in place to reduce crabon dioxideemissions. This program, called the 10% Challenge, is an EPA pilot program,which, if successful, will be launched nationwide. The 10% Challengeencourages households and businesses to reduce their emissions by takingthree easy steps: signing up online at www.10percentchallenge.org,calculating your emissions using our simple online calculator, and finallypledging to reduce these emissions by taking a variety of actions of yourchoice. Participating in the the program is a simple way that everyone canhelp stop the effects of global warming and ensure a healthy planet for thenext generations to come.