Cool Planet 2009

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Whether you are an individual, an organization, a business or a government, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce your carbon emissions, the total of which is described as your carbon footprint. You may think you don’t know where to begin, but by reading this, you have already begun … (full long text 12 steps).

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About: World Environment Day, observed on June 5, coincides this year with the kick-off of UN’s global campaign on climate change Seal the Deal.

The message to world leaders in Copenhagen is simple but urgent: seal the deal in December to protect people and the planet .

CoolPlanet is promoting Seal the Deal in Europe through a new concept ‘Wear Seal the Deal” (T-shirts: Our Cool Friend the Belgian designer Jean-Paul Knott has come up with several ways to customize your Seal the Deal t-shirt. A cut here, a knot there, all you need is scissors, some imagination and you can create your own design. Here are Jean-Paul’s sketches of some ideas how to make your own special design based on your do-it-yourself Seal the Deal t-shirt. You can also watch the video) in partnership with the Belgian designer and our cool friend Jean-Paul Knott.

Background:

What is climate change? Causes – Increased warming:

  • The problem that we face today is that the ‘blanket’ of greenhouse gases that occurs naturally in the troposphere is quickly getting thicker and this results in the rapid warming of the world’s climate.
  • The changes that scientists can measure in the atmosphere, oceans, ice caps and glaciers conclusively indicate that the world is already warming in response to past greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The temperature rises when the climate system adjusts to restore the balance between incoming and outgoing energy. A rise in temperature, global warming, occurs in addition to other changes in cloud cover and wind patterns.
  • Up until now the earth’s average temperature has been stable but now the ‘blanket’ which regulates  the planet’s climate is getting thicker at an unprecedented speed  due to the large amount of artificial emissions of greenhouse gases. These emissions result in an enchanced greenhouse effect. This occurs because of the adjustment that the climate has to make as a result of the thick blanket of GHG.
  • Over the past 100 years (1906-2005), the Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by around 0.74°C. The rate of warming averaged over the last 50 years is nearly twice the rate for the last 100 years.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere:

  • The artificial greenhouse gases that are causing global warming largely come from fossil fuels formed by long-dead plants and animals and from the oceans due to the increase in the Earth’s temperature.
  • Other sources caused by humanity are burning coal, oil and natural gas releases.
  • Meanwhile, massive herds of livestock emit methane, as do rice farms and waste dumps.
  • Long-lived gases such as CFCs, HFCs and PFCs, used in air conditioning and refrigeration, are manufactured by industry and eventually enter the atmosphere.
  • Almost everything we produce and consume today means GHG emissions. Many of these GHG-emitting activities are now essential to the global economy and form a fundamental part of modern life.
  • Getting from one place to another, transport, demands a lot of energy as well. Energy which results in GHG emissions and housing accounts for 30 percent of  global GHG emissions.

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