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Global Warming

Earth Alert #1
Apirl 1999

Take Personal and Political action to reach the goals of Earth Day.

problem || personal action || political action

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Carbon dioxide and other gases accumulate and trap heat from the sun's rays in our atmosphere. If the eco-system was operating in balance these gases would be absorbed and their levels would remain constant in the atmosphere. However, evidence is mounting that man-made pollution, created from burning fossil fuels-like gas and oil-has kicked the Earth off balance.

Over 2,500 of the world's leading experts are telling us that global warming is already occurring. The hottest ten years on record have occurred since 1980, culmunating in 1998 -- the hottest year ever recorded. With scientists predicting more violent weather, spread of infectious diseases and rising sea levels, we musts act now to reduce our global warming pollution.

More than half of greenhouse gas pollution in the US comes from power plants and automobiles. For this month's countdown, here's one personal and one political action you can take to make a difference in the fight to curb global warming.

Personal Action

Replace halogen lights in your home and office with compact fluorescents. If everybody in the country took this same action, we could reduce our need for new, polluting power plants-and our impact on the atmosphere.

The Worldwatch Institute reports, incredibly, that the 40 million halogen lights in use in the US consume more electricity than all of the current compact fluorescent lights are saving. The 980 million compact fluorescent lights today save the same amount of electricity as about 100 average coal fired plants.

Write the President

Write President Clinton and ask him to support tough fuel economy standards for sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

US PIRG, the United States Public Interest Research Group, reports that each gallon of gas burned spews 26 pounds of carbon dioxide in to the atmosphere. Therefore, the average car will emit more than 65 tons of this potent global warming pollutant over its lifetime. The average SUV or light truck, on the other hand, will emit more than 95 tons. Unlike many other pollutants, there are no known technologies that effectively reduce carbon dioxide pollution in exhaust. The best way to reduce this pollution is to build more efficient vehicles that burn less gasoline.

Government standards that maximize automobile efficiency have reduced America's dependence on foreign old, saved consumers money and reduced environmental damage associated with oil drilling, refining and transportation. They have also been instrumental in reducing pollution associated with global warming. Automakers have used their influence in Congress to prohibit the updating of these standards to reflect new technology and the increases sales of SUV's and light trucks.

Sample Letter

President Clinton

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Clinton,

Global warming is a serious threat to our planet . We need your help to stop it.

Light trucks and sport utility vehicles, like the new Ford Excursion, should be required to meet the same fuel efficiency standards as other passenger cars.

Making SUVs, mini-vans, and other light trucks meet the same fuel economy standards as passenger vehicles would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 tons over the lifetime of each vehicle.

Please veto the transportation appropriations bill if it contains language which continues to freeze CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards.

I know that there is intense opposition from the auto industry that wants to keep doing business as usual, but we most take care now.

The Earth hangs in the balance.





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march 2000

©1999 Earth Day 2000