NFIP Expiration (14 days)
Government Shutdown (14 days)
New Congress (27 days)
The House and Senate have passed HJRES 143 by voice vote, which now awaits the President’s signature. If signed, the National Flood Insurance Program will be extended until December 21st and the government shutdown set to begin tomorrow will have been averted. Trump has until the end of Today, December 7th to sign the resolution.
The ‘Green New Deal,’ akin to Roosevelt’s New Deal during the Great Depression in the 1930’s, is a four part program for moving America ‘quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future.’ Read it HERE, and while the plan may seem extreme now, the question is what is more extreme – Curbing emissions and enforcing environmental regulations now or dealing with relentless natural disasters that will plague human health and prosperity for centuries to come if climate change is not addressed now? The plan proposes transparency throughout the government, but comes close to a socialist proposal. It in many ways departs from the American capitalist mindset, and places an emphasis on equal access to common human needs and resources – like education, jobs and healthcare. The plan is broken into four parts: The Economic Bill of Rights, A Green Transition, Real Financial Reform and a Functioning Democracy. It’s a short read and has some common sense principles in it, like removing the electoral college and opting for direct count elections. While some parts may be unagreeable, having even some parts of this plan implemented in the new Congress will be favorable for our nation and for the planet’s future.
Carbon emissions in 2018 accelerated despite efforts to reduce them. You may (hopefully) be wondering - What can I do? First, use this tool find out how many earths are needed if everyone was to live like you: http://www.footprintcalculator.org/ . If you want to be even more specific and find out your actual carbon footprint, use this EPA tool: https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ . Earth ‘Overshoot Day’ was August 1st, meaning that after August 1st humanity has used more resources than the earth can produce for that year. Carbon emissions are directly related to sea level rise and climate change, the focus of WaterLog.
Most of our carbon footprints suffer from embodied energy, meaning that whether or not you choose to bike to work, or not use plastic bags, or consume carbon laden proteins, the rest of the world will continue to operate as usual. Here are a few things that you can do (and save you money!):
Transportation: Drive less, or if you do have to drive, carpool, or drive in a fuel efficient, low-emissions vehicle. If you are looking at buying a new car, make sure that it meets, at the very least, California’s emissions standards, which are on par with the Federal Clean Air act. This will be an LEV, ULEV or SULEV (low emissions vehicle, ultra-low emissions vehicle, super-ultra-low emissions vehicle), of which the latter emits 90% less pollutants than the average vehicle.
Diet: An inconvenient truth - Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Factory farms must purchase feed for their livestock, which requires enormous quantities of diesel fuel and water to produce. On top of that, the parcel of land used to produce livestock feed could instead be used to produce vegetables for humans. Looking at the facts, meat and dairy provide 18% of calories and 37% of protein, while using 83% of our farmland and releasing 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. In additional, clear cutting for grazing cuts out carbon breathing forests. Not interested in going vegan or vegetarian? Try Meatless Mondays at Whole Foods, where you can stuff your plate with as many vegetables as you can fit for $8 bucks (it’ll be enough for two). Plus, the World Health Organization suggests that populations consume plant-based diets.
At Home: Record cold and record hot temperatures mean higher heating and cooling bills. Check your thermostat’s temperature and make sure that it is close to what your utility recommends. Close up drafts on windows and doors, install LED bulbs and fixtures and fuel efficient appliances and remember to turn off the lights when you leave the house.
At Work: Mobility is a huge factor in one’s carbon footprint. Take public transportation, at WaterLog we don’t sit in traffic, we utilize our subway system. Turn off your computer monitor when you leave. For those who travel a lot, fly as little as possible, which makes a very significant impact on your carbon footprint.
Shopping: Use reusable bags, buy from companies that have adopted sustainable practices and that use renewable materials. Always recycle.