Now Available in updated paperback, the most comprehensive book on climate change science, effects and what to do about it.
An updated paperback edition of Earth Under Fire is now available in stores and for on-line ordering.
Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World is a comprehensive look at the world wide effects of climate change, its implications, and what action is being taken about it. In dramatic photographs and quotes from world climate science leaders, this book shows how the earth is being changed right now. Earth Under Fire ends with a vision of how we can slow global warming and improve the lives of people everywhere. Al Gore says: "The power of Gary Braasch's personal witness to the climate crisis makes this essential reading for every citizen."
Chosen one of the 50 Best Environmental Books and Media by Vanity Fair
Information and preview at earthunderfire.com
The Most Important Things You Can Do about Rapid Climate Change:
1. Understand the Problem, its causes
2. Do Something Today to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, find solutions
This Web site will help you learn the connection between human-made Carbon Dioxide and rapid climate changes and negative effects around the world. The hard fact is that despite what many nations, companies, cities and people are starting to do to reduce their global warming emissions, the world is putting more CO2 into the air than ever before. The current amount is 385 parts per million (ppm) -- higher than ever in the past 800,000 years.
At the same time, renowned American climatologist Dr. James Hansen of NASA says we already have too much CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the air: "If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted ... CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm."
This is scary and controversial, but Dr. Hansen and others believe we must act fast-- as a world of concerned people and leaders taking every action we can to limit greenhouse emissions. 350.org is a new movement of citizens from around the world which I recommend for its clarity of purpose and worthy goal.
Technologies to Combat Global Warming
In Louisiana, California and Oregon recently, I saw new neighborhoods being built of extra-efficient homes with solar panels, on demand water heaters, LED lighting, strong insulation, smart climate controls, batteries to store electricity for night use and plug-ins for electric vehicles. Said a realtor in Lancaster CA: "Even during our 107 degree heat wave the A/C cycles off."
Innovative buildings for education, business and apartments employ wind turbines, high efficiency glass, solar hot water systems, green living roofs, grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting and structural functions which allow natural cooling and warming. Please see 12 West and the Lillis Building sites for more information. Building codes are being changed nationwide to emphasize low-carbon technologies. Photos of many more low-energy choices available. Email or call us please.
Please see Climate News and Views.
Technologies to Combat Global Warming
New solar and wind in California
Throughout California and the Southwest, new energy sources are being constructed and connected to the grid. Solar power is burning bright all around southern California and Nevada. The nation's only concentrated solar power station, owned by eSolar in Lancaster CA, focuses the sun on central towers with 20,000 ordinary mirrors, boiling water for a standard GE turbine. The 5 mW plant is a demonstration that this technology, used frequently in Spain and being demonstrated also now in India, is feasible for wide application.
A new set of three similar solar plants is just beginning on BLM land near the Nevada-California border -- and already employs hundreds. The BrightSource Energy installation to provide about 400 mW of power, is on land that is habitat for the California desert tortoise, Federally listed as threatened. So besides 50 fence installers, along with road builders, engineers and security staff being employed, the BLM and the company have 40 biologists patrolling the site to keep tortoises from being killed or injured. Eventually the project will put an average 650 people to work in construction over the coming few years.
The desert tortoises -- an estimated 32 of them live on the solar site -- will be relocated to nearby habitat. During the planning and public comment phase of the project, with input by BLM and NGO endangered species advocates, BrightSource reduced the size of the plant and its footprint to lessen its impact on the land and the tortoises. However, for this and all kinds of energy, we must be humane and far-sighted in where to place installations which will change the land. The habitat for the tortoises and other rare species is limited, so tight concentration of solar installations which leaves lots of open untouched desert land is probably the best solution -- and to reduce the need for giant new installations, we also must have intense local efforts toward using less electricity and local generation of needed power on roofs, parking lots and already-developed land.
We saw hundreds of people at work on the energy future encouraged by the California climate laws. Truck drivers are delivering huge Vestas wind turbines, and electricians, engineers and crane operators work to install the 300 foot towers for Terra-Gen's vast expansion of the Alta Wind center, Kern County. When completed these 190 turbines made in Pueblo Colorado by Portland Oregon-based Vestas will provide 570 megawatts of power -- and the entire project is estimated to create more than 3,000 mW.
See bottom of this page for other low-carbon energy sources and an example of adaptation to rising sea levels. Other energy issues and solutions will be covered in coming reports, including new housing with solar roofs, energy and water saving technology, and other solar innovations like walls of glass that filter sunlight as well as generate photo-voltaic energy.
DOING OUR PART and TAKING ACTION ON RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE
Sources of information for citizens and educators from the references of Earth Under Fire
A guide is now available to help individuals of all ages understand how climate influences them -- and how they influence climate. A product of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, it was compiled by an interagency group led by NOAA.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy,
www.aceee.org/consumer/consumer.htm. Tips on home
energy savings and motor vehicle efficiency.
Climate Change Education, www.climatechangeeducation
.org. Links to museums, lesson plans, and other resources
relating to climate change.
Climate Institute, "What You Can Do," www.climate.org/
topics/you/index.shtml. Recommendations for reducing
our environmental footprint.
Earth Day Network, "Climate Change Solutions," www
Focus the Nation, www.focusthenation.org. Nationwide college
organizing committee on global warming solutions
and political awareness.
National Council of Churches of Christ, www.protecting
creation.org. Interfaith campaign for climate justice.
Vanity Fair, "FiftyWays to Help Save the Planet," www
Weather Channel, "Solutions Library," http://climate.weather
Photographs from the World View of Global Warming are available for license to publications needing science photography, environmental groups and agencies, and other uses. Stock photography and assignments available.
Use of photographs in any manner, in part or whole, without permission is prohibited by US copyright law. These photographs are registered with the US Copyright Office and are not in the Public Domain.
Photography and text Copyright © 2005 - 2017 (and before) Gary Braasch All rights reserved. Use of photographs in any manner without permission is prohibited by US copyright law. Photography is available for license to publications and other uses. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. View more of Gary Braasch's photography here.