7 Ways Writers Can Help Stop Global Warming

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Wed, Jul 25 - 12:43 pm EDT | 7 years ago by
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votepoll.jpgI don’t know a single writer who isn’t truly concerned about global warming. If you’re like me you both grieve for the planet and fear for your children and grandchildren… or their contemporaries. It’s hard to know exactly how to make a difference, but here are some things you can do:

  1. Turn off your computer
  2. If you’re not going to be using it for the next hour or so, turn it off. This has an additional advantage of reducing the opportunity of hacking, particularly when you’re on the ‘net. (More suggestions at Lifehacker.)

  3. Turn off everything you can
  4. All those glowing lights? While they add an almost immeasurable amount to your electric bill, taken together, some estimates say as much as .05% of the power in the country is used by those lights. Turn stuff off! If turning it off doesn’t do it, unplug it. (A power strip with an on/off switch can make this easier.

  5. Switch to compact fluorescents
  6. Yes, if we all switched to compact fluorescents, we’d make a huge difference. And it turns out that the scare talk about mercury may be just that. Read the National Geographic News article called Fluorescent Lights’ Mercury Poses Dim Threat.

  7. Use recycled paper in your printer
  8. This is worth doing, although finding 100% recycled paper still isn’t as easy as it should be. Look for other paper products that are eco-friendly and be willing to spend extra for them.

  9. Recycle printer cartridges
  10. I recycle printer cartridges by taking them to Office Depot where I can exchange each one for a ream of partially recycled paper, one ream at a time. I put my used cartridges in the glove box when they empty so I don’t have to try and remember to gather them when I take off to shop.

  11. Buy yourself carbon neutral
  12. None of us can stop using energy altogether – it’s not even a reasonable goal. But we can become carbon neutral by purchasing carbon credits. I’ve done it; you can too. (Find out how at where.)

  13. Write about ways people can help stop global warming
  14. As writers, we have the opportunity to influence many people through our writing. So write about it. Then write or call your representative and senators, and your local government. Speak up.

I’d like to hear what each one of you is doing. An organization I like is StopGlobalWarming.org.

Write well and often,
Anne Wayman
Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

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  • Carma Dutra

    Energy conservation is not new. There are just not enough of us practicing it. When I was a kid in the early 60′s energy conservation was encouraged.

    Unfortunatley, people are not going to quit using things that make their life easier. The best we can hope for is reduction in usage.

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  • http://realmuscleonline.com RT the fitness guy

    Good post to write.

    One other thing that people don’t realize is that turning off appliances but stil leaving them turned on at the wall socket uses up heaps of power.

    My mom was told by the electricity company to switch off her a/c, computer, lamps, tv, etc. at the wall in her bill went from $400 to $150 in one period.

    Sweet.

    Also, the Australian govt has made it compulsory for every home and business to use fluro lights by 2010 which is estimated to reduce green house outputs by millions of tonnes per year.

  • http://www.writingwithvision.com Anne Wayman

    No, conservation isn’t new, but it certainly has become more urgent. Reduction is a place to start. And it turns out it’s easier than many think.

    I was really surprised that when my landlord replaced my fridge, my electric bill dropped a full $5 a month…

  • http://faisca.wordpress.com Faisca

    I’m a writer, and I’m not concerned about global warming. So now you’ve met one.

    These are fine tips and all, but please explain how recycling print cartridges will help alleviate global warming. Is recycling print cartridges good for the environment? I guess so. Will it stop the polar icecaps from melting? No.

    Now, I realize that I may be coming off as kind of a jerk, but global warming is one of my big pet peeves, and I just figured it’d be worth it to give an opposing point of view.

    If you wan’t to do these things, by all means go ahead. It really can’t hurt anything. I just don’t think it’s right to claim that recycling print cartridges or buying carbon credits is going to do anything to stop global warming.

    Another thing to keep in mind, though: Turning off applicances or other devices (microwaves, VCRs, etc) with LED displays isn’t the best you can do. You should totally unplug them if you want to conserve the most electricity.

  • http://www.writingwithvision.com Anne Wayman

    Hi Faisca – I knew there had to be at least one out there – glad you found us.

    You’re right, recycling print cartridges by itself probably won’t do a damn thing to stop the burgs from melting. But my own theory is that if we all recycled print cartridges, unplugged everything (and thanks for that), reduced our driving, off-set our carbon footprint, or if even half of us… or a quarter, global warming would at least slow… and yes, I realize the carbon I release today will be there for ages.

    I do believe our use of oil, etc. has at a minimum, magnified the natural swings of climate change… and my personal hunch is it’s impacted more than that.

    Since a planet without navy blue starfish on coral reefs, without tigers and elephants and wild salmon, to name a few, saddens and frightens me, I do what I can… which isn’t much… I do it in hopes enough people will and it will make a positive difference.

    I also believe that if we could get the U.S. government to move in an Apollo-like program, much more could be done. If we can buy some time, we may be able to come up with fixes.

    I’m old enough to remember when President Regan ripped the solar panels off the White House roof… and wonder what would have happened if he’d taken another, Jimmy Carter-like approach.

    It also just offends me to see so much waste… the size of the trucks that pick up my trash alarms me.

    Ahhh…

    A

  • http://faisca.wordpress.com Faisca

    Gotta love us deniers, huh? ;-)

    Seriously though, I’m of the opinion that if global warming is happening (and yeah, there seems to be some kind of climate change going on around us) it’s not our fault and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    The Earth has seen many drastic changes in climate over the years (that whole ice age thing comes to mind), and it will continue to see changes. When people think that they can play god and attempt to stop something that is a natural part of the world, that’s where I start to say “hmm.”

    I have no problem with individuals who want to do their part to stop hurting the environment (which is where recycling and reducing comes in), but I don’t believe that people should go around saying that it’s our fault and that if we don’t do anything about it that we’re all gonna die and the Earth will be doomed. That’s just not true.

    I don’t see why it should be up to the government to do something about it anyway, why not leave it up to private organizations and public support? Why the need for government intervention and programs? (That’s the libertarian in my showing its ugly self).

    Also, what did you mean about the Apollo-like program?

    I’m always glad to stir up the pot and bring some discussion. By the way, as someone who’s trying to get into freelance writing, I really like your place here (I’ve added you to my blogroll).

  • http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com Patricia – Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker

    Thanks for the tips. I learned some new things that I will put into practice.

  • http://www.writingwithvision.com Anne Wayman

    hah! I was a libertarian once… but I no longer believe it all depends on the individual… the so-called free markets exist because of government. (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0312-08.htm or anything else at all by Thom Harman).

    The Apollo Program was how we got to the moon… JFK energized the country, etc. etc. etc… just an example.

    Re environment, weather changes, and fault… when you look at how any civilization collapsed, the causes were often (not always) because they trashed their environment. Sure it was done unknowingly and that’s the difference today.

    Because of science etc. we now know at least some of the problems we’re causing… not all by ourselves for sure. And yes, until fairly recently we didn’t know enough to understand, but now we do… we do have a part… how much is unknown. Can we conserve/change enough to make a difference? Unknown.

    But what if, by making changes, by conserving, etc., we could make a positive difference? And we didn’t?

    Glad you like the blog, thanks for the roll, come join our forum too… links at aboutfreelancewriting.com

  • http://www.wisehealer.co.uk Carol Webb

    It’s making a positive statement about yourself that you feel for this planet, and what the human race is doing to it. And, like everyone else I do my bit willingly by recycling and turning off stand-by lights, believing that if this is all I can do, then I am doing the least harm possible.

    As with everything there are two sides to this argument, and I have just been advised by the academics of Oxford University, that whatever we do now will not make the slightest difference to the temperature rise, it is happening and will continue to happen in the years to come. It is part of the continuing cycle of warming and cooling that has created the Earth as we know it now. There will also be polarity shifts that will cause planetary upheaval and violent volcanic activity which will spew tons of carbon di-oxide into the upper atmosphere, which of course will add to the warming effect.

    I know that this doesn’t give us humans carte blanche to to be poor stewards of our world, but we need to make our collective minds up that our home planet will become a more hostile environment, and ready ourselves for massive changes in our living conditions.

    To survive will be testament to the tenacity of the human race.

  • http://www.youseedrybones.com donnie5

    I like what you have to say, but the first one is a little dangerous. I work on hard drives for a living, and the more they are shut off and turned back on, the better chance they will crash. I recommend only turning your computer on and off one time a day (unless a thunderstorm is happening). Use your computers energy saving settings (sleep mode, hibernate, suspend etc.) and you can save a lot of energy. The monitor is a big drain, buy and LCD or at least turn off your CRT (big fat tube monitor).

  • http://chicbynature.com Erin

    okay, if you recycle print cartridiges, you won’t be wasting the energy that goes into the production of making a new one. Less energy use, means less fossil fuel use, which means less carbon emissions, which means the planet won’t heat up as fast, which means the polar ice caps won’t melt as quickly.

    i know in the grand scale the 2 grams of carbon you save isn’t a lot, but there is a (slight!!) connection!

  • http://faisca.wordpress.com Faisca

    I know what Apollo is, I was just wondering about the context in which you were using it.

    You could be talking about some kind of huge government project to stop global warming that would invariably be wasteful, sluggish, and ultimately improbable. Or you could be talking about a similar government project to find ways to live in outer space once our planet dies.

    See the confusion?

    In regards to libertarianism and that article you linked, I don’t buy it.

    Government DID NOT create the free market. The market existed before government. The market of ideas is directed by and prospers because of individuals. Sure, people are able to engage in commerce and enterprise because it is necessary that we drive on government created roads, and abide by government created regulations, etc, but that does not mean that the free market exists only because of government, or that government created the free market. It is the individual who controls the market of ideas.

    Sorry, that was quite a tangent. Feel free to yell at me if I’m derailing your intended message =/

    I don’t recall any civilizations that fell because they ruined their environment. Civilizations usually fall because of some kind of internal or external strife. I never read that Rome fell because they created aqueducts or something. An example might be helpful.

    Unless you’re talking about the Great Flood, but that was the Lord’s doing, and He was pissed.

    And no, we’re not sure that humans cause global warming. There is no scientific fact, there is only theory and consensus.

    It’s true, we don’t know that creating artificial trees or a “sun shade” won’t help the environment. But what if it makes things worse (which is what will probably happen)? Then how will we feel that we’ve actively ruined the planet beyond repair?

    My problem lies with the politicians, celebrities, scientists, and others who hijack this consensus, recreate it so it fits their agenda, and then make the rest of the world think that THE WORLD WILL END IF WE DON’T DO [insert whatever agenda they have here] IMMEDIATELY!

  • http://www.writingwithvision.com Anne Wayman

    An Apollo like program could, for instance:

    + lead using hemp and other non-food bios to reduce our need for foreign oil as well as reduce carbon

    + really encourage solar, same results

    + support/encourage research that could get same results and who knows what else., etc. Which could include moving into space I suppose.

    Re markets – yes, buying and selling (or trading) seems to be a natural human inclination… and I submit that much of government (law) has developed to support markets… once a market gets beyond a few people, some sort of order needs to be established… hence government.

    Easter Island is the most obvious example of a civilization collapsing because of environment… most island economies have the same challenges, but it’s not just islands…
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=civilization+collapse+due+to+environmental+factors&hl=en&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS226US226&um=1&oi=scholart has all sorts of links, some which fit.

    And I have a problem with a government that directs science to produce results…

    Back to writing ;)

  • http://www.writingwithvision.com Anne Wayman

    Carol, it’s interesting that the “two sides” seem to be switching from global warming exists/doesn’t exist to global warming exists and we can/cannot do anything about it.

    Ever the optimist, I believe we can go a long way to solving the problem.

  • http://faisca.wordpress.com Faisca

    Carol, I’m glad someone else brought up the fact that the Earth warms and cools, has always, forever will, and there will always be environmental disasters and changes that we have no control over. That is how things are.

    The problem is that some people want to play God. Scientists and politicians feel like they know what’s better for the Earth than it does. That’s where I find a problem with the entire endeavor.

    As I said, I have absolutely ZERO problem with people cutting back on energy use, recycling, doing simple things to help care for the environment. These are things that everyone should do. But people shouldn’t think that by doing so, they will stop global warming. Or they will “make things better.”

    Who is to say what is “normal” for the Earth? What right do mere humans have to make such claims? Oh no! Sea levels are rising! Polar bears are dying! So? That’s how the world goes ’round. It’s not up to humans to be stewards of the Earth.

    I guess a lot of my problem lies with the idea that we can “STOP” global warming and climate change. Nevermind that I think we shouldn’t mess with mother nature. We will not be able to stop anything.

    Alleviate global warming, sure. Stop it, no.

    Seriously, if the environment wants to destroy humanity, it will. The ice age wiped out dinosaurs, yet life went on.

    The idea that we should stop global warming to “save the planet” is people lying to themselves. Humans are just selfish and obsessed with legacies, and we don’t want our (greatx100) grandchildren to die off.

    Nobody in our lifetime, our children’s lifetime, or even their children’s lifetime is going to be wiped out because of global warming (well, I guess I could be wrong, but I’ll be dead anyway). So it pisses me off when alarmists go about claiming THE END IS NIGH!

    It’s really not.

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  • http://www.energyefficientmechanism.blogspot.com/ Jigar Patel

    My concern is about energy security and global warming. we have oil that can last up to 50 years. We have coal that last up to 100 years. but the problem with coal and oil is global warming. Solar and wind has also some limitations.So what is the solution? because we dont have much time. Global warming will create huge problem. I think engineering is the only solution of this problem. We need something that works like I.C Engine or steam engine without pollution. that we can use in our cars and also generate electricity with it in power station. So I used my 2 nd semester engineering knowledge (Strength of material and applied mechanics). We can utilize stationary force to do work. I know you are laughing because I am telling you something that is against the law of conversion of energy. Well I am not asking for fund. I will try my best to help you if you need any technical help. visit
    http://www.energyefficientmechanism.blogspot.com/